StorageTek to offer fixed-content device

StorageTek to offer fixed-content device

Storage Technology Corp., of Louisville, Colo., is jumping into the fixed-storage content market with the introduction of its Lifecycle Fixed Content Manager 100, the company will announce this month. The appliance might interest agencies that need to archive e-mail so messages cannot be altered, said Harvey Andruss, product marketing manager for StorageTek.

StorageTek's initial version of the appliance will archive only e-mail, though future versions will support additional file types, Andruss said. Subsequent versions of the product will also feature expanded information lifecycle management features, allowing administrators to set more nuanced policies on how and where to store data.

According to Andruss, the Lifecycle Fixed Content Manager is StorageTek's first product aimed at the emerging fixed-content storage market. Using a fixed-content device, once a file is committed to storage, it cannot be altered without changing the file's hash value, a numerical summary of the file's characteristics.

Each appliance can hold up to 18T worth of e-mails. The appliance consists of two access nodes, or servers, and a number of storage nodes, which are Serial ATA disk-based units scalable in 2T increments. Each node has a number of disks that run under the Redundant Array of Inexpensive Nodes architecture, a design that ensures if one disk goes out, its data can be recovered from the other disks.

Users interact with the appliance through one of several commercial e-mail archiving software packages, which come with the appliance, including software from CommVault Systems Inc., iLumin Software Services Inc. and IXOS Software AG. The applications will 'containerize files from Lotus Notes or other e-mail packages, and package them up in a way that we take them and apply a policy on them,' Andruss said.

The appliance will interface with more commercial archiving packages in the future, according to Andruss.

Although other companies have introduced fixed-content storage units, such as EMC Corp's Centera product line, StorageTek's appliance has a number of technological advantages, Andruss claimed. He said an administrator can rebuild the content from a failed disk within six hours, rather than the 'days or a week' that it may take to do so with another product. Also the equipment uses the open Network File System file format and the Common Internet File System file access protocol, making it easily interoperable with TCP/IP-based network equipment and software. Users can access data at about 8 megabits per second per access node.

According to the company, a base-level 2.3T appliance would run about $74,000, a 9.2T configuration would cost about $191,000 and an 18.6T configuration would run about $435,000.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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