Copan, Quantum combine MAID, file archiving

By Kevin Komiega

August 28, 2008 -- Copan Systems and Quantum this week announced they have entered into a strategic partnership with the goal of delivering a file-based archiving and data management system for unstructured data that combines Copan's power-saving massive array of idle disk (MAID) technology with Quantum's StorNext file system software.

Rod Evans, Copan's vice president of channel development, has been quarterbacking the Quantum-Copan relationship since Copan began investigating technologies that could bring writeable file system access to its MAID platform.

Surprisingly, the key to the relationship, according to Evans, is the ability of the StorNext software to work with tape systems. The Copan MAID platform can take as long as 14 seconds to power-up a drive in response to a file request. Waiting for data tends to make file systems angry.

"The problem with file systems is that they require all of the disks be on all of the time. We only have 25% of the disks on our platform online at any given time," says Evans. "Quantum not only has a very good standalone file system and HSM product, but StorNext also knows how to wait for things to come back because it can work with tape."

The initial result of the partnership will be interoperability between StorNext and Copan's MAID system. The companies are in the process of certifying the products for customers that want to plug Copan's hardware into a StorNext environment. Final certification is expected by the end of September.

Going forward, Evans says the companies plan to embed StorNext in the MAID platform to create a NAS archive. A joint Copan-Quantum archiving product could be generally available later this year.

"The StorNext software can manage multiple petabytes of data, but we will probably start off with an initial configuration of about 100TB," says Evans.

According to Copan's press collateral, the new system will enable users to archive up to 896TB of file-based fixed data in a single cabinet with a footprint of less than one square meter.

Quantum and Copan claim they already share customers, including organizations in the government space and the media and entertainment industries.

The companies plan to offer the integrated archiving system through Copan's direct sales force and channel partners.

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This article was originally published on August 28, 2008