While the data storage industry rushes to incorporate solid-state drive (SSD) technologies into their appliances and arrays, Ottawa-based StorageQuest is taking a slightly different tack. The company announced that its Flash Storage Appliance (FSA), a headless, iSCSI-compatible unit that uses a type of flash memory typically associated with digital cameras, is publicly available.
StorageQuest director of Product Development revealed in a statement that what sets FSA apart is its use of CompactFlash cards.
"This new product leverages the popularity, availability and price of industry standard Compact Flash media and transforms it into a portable archival and retrieval storage system. Its current application lends itself well to the Security and Intelligence communities looking for portable, automated long term archiving of evidence data," informed Lelieveld-Amiro.
When it comes to backup and archiving, traditional hard drives and tape still dominate. Yet flash storage has made some inroads in systems like Nimble Storage's CS-series of converged storage and backup arrays. StorageQuest gives the concept a different spin.
StorageQuest's "first and only device of its kind" features 16 CompactFlash slots and supports cards from 1 GB to 256 GB, for a total of up to 4 TB of total flash storage capacity. FSA supports Windows 7 Professional, Windows 2003 or Windows 2007 servers.
Sporting a compact, desktop or rackmount form factor, FSA is fronted by an LCD screen and keypad for basic alerting, configuration and management. Redundant power supplies are included with the rackmount version.
FSA comes bundled with StorageQuest Archive Manager (SAM) software. The option provides more sophisticated storage management and archiving capabilities.
SAM provides remote replication to the cloud, optical libraries or other CompactFlash systems, read and write caching and card tracking and cataloging. Administrators can use SAM to group multiple CompactFlash chips, expanding the amount of data capacity that is available to users and applications. The software presents flash storage as virtual drive letters and supports manual, drag-and-drop storage and archiving.
For CEO Marwan Zayed, FSA fits into the company's approach to safeguarding data. "Our mission is to provide our clients a variety of scalable hardware and software storage technology options, that fit their particular needs, for long term archiving," he said in press remarks.
StorageQuest Flash Storage Appliance is available now. Prices start at $7,995.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.