2010/05/27 Leave a comment
Data storage is something many business owners take for granted until a purchase order comes through to buy more storage for their company’s computer systems. If a company’s data is growing at 50% a year which is not uncommon, 2 terabytes (TB) of data will grow to 10TB or 20TB will grow to 100TB in just 5 years. For example, Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco’s historic Presidio National Park, required 60 terabytes of storage for the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. And the next release in that franchise’s series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, required at least 50 percent more storage. Today’s 3D animated films can use 100 TB or more of storage during development. While the Entertainment industry may be an extreme example of storage use, every organization whether it’s the City and County of San Francisco , Charles Schwab, a hospital or medical clinic, or one of the many small venture-backed to large multi-national companies in the Bay Area like Hewlett Packard, Oracle, and Apple, the quantity and size of data is growing exponentially.
Today’s data storage, archiving and management needs are complex, and will be more so in the years ahead as all companies are under increasing scrutiny from regulatory and legal compliance rules (like HIPPA, Sarbanes Oxley, Federal Rules for Civil Procedure, and the Freedom and Information Act) and ‘green’ best practices, precipitating a change from social responsibility to a business mandate. More specifically, think about the accounting and tax records that need to be held for up to 10 years, or medical records which need to be held until a child is 21 plus 6 years, or the architectural drawings of a public building or a bridge that need to be held for the life of the structure. Companies then need to layer on top of the data growth and legal retention requirements the need to have multiple copies of data for protection in the event of natural disaster or terrorist action. The end result is that businesses need to store more and more information for much longer periods of time.
Compelling economics, scalable and manageable data storage, and the elimination of technology obsolescence become undeniable criteria for a company when acquiring storage for disaster protection and data retention. Businesses are struggling to contain the cost, space and power requirements of additional capacity required on their primary storage systems and are aware that much of data is static or ‘cold’. Additionally, it is increasingly less likely that the data will be accessed over time, yet it resides on some of the most expensive storage. This ever-growing pool of static data exacerbates the data storage management problem in a couple of ways – it takes up valuable and expensive primary storage space and secondly, it continues to get backed up on a regular basis. This adds to the ongoing frustrations around meeting backup windows and the need to add backup hardware and software to accommodate it. Any technology that can reduce the amount of data that is being stored on those primary storage systems (hence offsetting the cost of buying more), reduce the amount of data that is being backed up, and make the long term retention of that data simpler, cheaper and less disruptive to the existing workflow are in high demand right now.
I recently interviewed President & CEO Frank Harbist of ProStor Systems, whose ProStor InfiniVault ® and RDX® products, which many industry pundits consider the gold standard, directly address the growing challenge of business data backup, archiving, and retention management. The transplanted Bay Area executive who was an integral player at Hewlett Packard, is at the helm of a company that is capturing a significant portion of the business backup and archive business. The adoption of their RDX removable disk drive technology (removable 2.5 inch drives that can be presented to the host just like a removable tape) by all of the major system vendors (Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Lenovo, and NEC) and OEMs like Tandberg and Imation has accelerated the demise of the DDS/DAT/AIT tape technology to a great extent. RDX is now the most likely technology to be used for single server protection with over 600,000 drives sold and over 125 PB of capacity shipped. Harbist also noted that its open platform ProStor InfiniVault is designed from the ground up to help companies address the challenges of long term data management. For example, with the new 1TB RDX cartridges, companies can move static data off of primary storage while still securely giving users access to up to 100TB of securely managed online capacity without having to purchase new system hardware, thus eliminating technology obsolescence. He added that ProStor InfiniVault’s use of both online and RDX removable disk technology provides the benefits of removable media with the performance advantages of disk in a single architecture. This enables ProStor customers to directly address power and space requirements by allowing companies to “unplug” data from the power grid and store the data on the shelf for at least 30 years. RDX’s true forward compatibility also seamlessly leverages new capacity points, like the 1TB cartridge, as opposed to tape which requires a technology refresh to take advantage of each capacity increase. This unique functionality of having 100TB online and an unlimited offline storage capability will play well into the new cloud computing paradigm.
ProStor Systems has over 20 patents and its RDX based products provide businesses with smart, simple, safe, and speedy data protection at an affordable price. While there are many copycats, follow the leader – ProStor’s global market adoption by major system vendors and its widespread user base is a strong validation of its technology. I will take a closer look in part two by highlighting three areas where the company is setting the trend for the future of storage backup and archiving solutions.
About ProStor Systems
ProStor Systems provides industry-leading solutions for the cost-effective, long-term storage of digital information. ProStor’s RDX® removable disk technology is sold by leading server manufacturers Dell, HP, IBM, and others who combined have shipped over 125 petabytes to 250,000 customers worldwide. ProStor InfiniVault® is the most cost-effective storage system for the long-term retention of data and images. ProStor InfiniVault integrates information management software, online disk, and RDX removable disk to simplify retention management while automating disaster protection and regulatory compliance. This intelligent storage system is replacing optical, tape, and disk in healthcare, document imaging, financial services, digital video archive, service provider, and government markets.
For more information about ProStor Systems, visit www.prostorsystems.com or contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-565-3100. Visit www.rdxstorage.com to learn more about RDX removable disk technology.