Nexsan enables archiving-as-a-service

By Kevin Komiega

-- In an effort to make online archiving more cost-effective for managed service providers (MSPs), Nexsan today announced the availability of Assureon 6.0, a new version of its archiving platform designed to alleviate the security, management, cost, and energy consumption concerns associated with content-addressable storage (CAS) archives. 

Bob Woolery, Nexsan's senior vice president of marketing, says online archiving services have been hindered because users don't want their files co-mingling with anyone else's, which forces MSPs to deploy multiple archiving systems.

"Our new software architecture enables archive-as-a-service because it allows providers to guarantee that they can separate different organizations' data in a single archiving system, which lets them pool and share storage versus installing separate archiving systems for individual customers," Woolery says.

The Assureon 6.0 software architecture can virtualize a system into an unlimited number of physically secure archives, according to Woolery, making it a viable archiving platform for hosted storage service providers.

The system scales to support multiple virtual file systems, creating independent CAS archives within one consolidated, or federated, archive. Woolery says this capability provides physical separation of individual customers' data.

The Assureon 6.0 technology is embedded in 2U servers and attaches via Fibre Channel to Nexsan's SATABoy, SASBoy, and SATABeast disk arrays. The archive can subsequently take advantage of the power-saving features of Nexsan's arrays and AutoMAID technology.

AutoMAID places unused data into progressively more idle states in order to save energy. It gives users the option of choosing among three levels of energy savings, each with its own performance metrics. The first level offers 20% power savings with response times of less than 10 seconds, and once the first file is accessed, the disks perform at full speed. For level two, AutoMAID slows down the drives to about 4,000rpm for energy savings of up to 40% and response times of 15 seconds or less. The third level puts drives into what Woolery calls a "light sleep," yielding up to 60% energy savings. Once the drive comes out of its level-three nap, the first I/O transaction takes 30 seconds or less.

Assureon 6.0 also includes digital fingerprinting technology that tracks the chain of custody for each file for compliance purposes.

Nexsan has not disclosed pricing for Assureon 6.0.

Related articles:
Nexsan ships AutoMAID disk array
Nexsan ships SAS array with MAID
Nexsan targets Apple Xserve market

This article was originally published on October 06, 2008