Clearpace turns storage system into virtual appliance

Offering it should be mandatory for all software companies, CEO says

U.K. archiving software vendor Clearpace is launching a virtual appliance version of its data compression product NParchive, it said on Wednesday.

NParchive is used to compress and archive structured data, including databases. Data within NParchive is typically compressed to less than 5 percent of its original data size, according to Clearpace. The data can then be accessed using normal SQL (Structured Query Language) queries.

Advantages of running the product as a virtual appliance, as opposed to on a traditional server, include easier installation -- since the appliance comes prepackaged -- and better use of computing resources, according to John Bantleman, CEO at Clearpace.

The advantages with virtual appliances are so big that offering them should be mandatory for all software companies, Bantleman said.

The appliance itself can run on virtualization platforms from VMware, Microsoft and Xen, according to Bantleman. He also hints about the product becoming available as a cloud-based service in the near future.

Archiving solutions are generally a good fit for running in the cloud, according to Bantleman. It's not something a customer uses every day and if more performance is needed to speed up archiving, the cloud can supply that, he said.

The NParchive virtual appliance is available now and costs about US$1 per gigabyte.

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