Plasmon virtualizes archiving

By Kevin Komiega

—Plasmon is moving beyond the physical limitations of traditional optical archiving into a virtual world with the announcement of the latest release of its Enterprise Active Archive (EAA) platform. The new release now includes archival virtualization capabilities that allow hard disk and Ultra Density Optical (UDO) media technologies to be used together as archive targets.

The EAA is a multi-tier optical archiving system designed for long-term retention of fixed content data. The system uses Plasmon partner Nexsan's Assureon software to create policies that automate the data management process as well as provide contextual indexing and search capabilities. Plasmon's UDO Archive Appliance provides the storage hardware with WORM media, in addition to transparent online and offline media management with capacities that range from 1TB to more than 78TB.

The new version of the EAA recognizes differences in service levels, combines multiple storage technologies, and can virtualize media management of data on both online and offline media.

Plasmon has also added a search capability to the EAA to speed up information location. The company has aligned the file system search functionality directly with the media assigned to the EAA. Instead of a search request choosing media at random to search, the EAA aggregates requests together and then searches the media in sequential order for greater visibility into the data that is archived on the EAA.

Plasmon' s chief strategy officer, Mike Koclanes, says the company's aim is to virtualize all-things archiving, from the storage components to application integration with the archive to meet service levels.

"We looked at the service level requirements of our customers and they tend to have long-term retention and disaster-recovery [needs], both of which are suitable to UDO, but they also have a data recall requirement of a few seconds or less," says Koclanes. "The new release of the EAA platform allows users to have a copy on disk and a long-term copy on the UDO appliance without the application being aware of where the data resides."

Plasmon also intends to build more intelligence into the EAA platform in the near-term that will allow it to work in concert with multiple technologies as a single virtualized storage pool. Specifically, Plasmon plans to virtualize the policy and data management integration with enterprise content managers and document management applications.

This article was originally published on May 30, 2008