Imation launches line of NAS appliances for nearline, offline storage

The hardware is aimed at small and mid-sized enterprises

Imation, a vendor of removable storage medium that includes hard disk drives and magnetic tape, today announced its first network-attached storage appliance aimed at offloading data from primary storage to near-line disk backup and remote disk archives.

Imation's new appliances come from its recent acquisition of ProStor . The appliances come in two distinct lines: the Imation InfiniVault archival product and the DataGuard multi-tiered, data-archive and data-protection appliance.

The difference between the two is the use of the disk drive technology. The InfiniVault system combines fixed RAID hard disk drives and Imation's RDX removable hard disk drives, which can be taken off site and stored like magnetic tapes or used to populate a cloud storage service offering. The InfiniVault appliance is shipping now.

The DataGuard appliance is a backup target that uses hard drives and RDX removable drives to provide data protection within existing backup infrastructures. It comes in both a tower and rack model and uses RDX removable hard drives to retain backups and to seed the cloud infrastructure. The Imation DataGuard appliance will be available through authorized Imation resellers and dealers early next year.

The rack-mountable versions of both new appliances are 3U (5.25-in high) servers that hold up to 100 of Imation's RDX removable hard disk storage disks or embedded 2.5-in disk drives. The appliances hold a maximum of 120TB of capacity. Additional 3U enclosures can be added for more storage capacity.

InfiniVault is a NAS-based archive storage appliance that stores files in "vaults" formed from the creation of storage pools of either online hard disk drive-based storage, or nearline, removable RDX storage or offline RDX disks that have been remotely stored away.

Through the use of Imation's new VaultCenter software, files in any of the online or nearline "vaults" can be migrated between storage tiers - from fixed drives to RDX drives. The VaultCenter software also facilitates the creation and provisioning of vault properties such as retention, compliance and disaster recovery. Various settings can be managed automatically by the VaultCenter application, including data retention, encryption, compression, deduplication and digital fingerprinting.

Digital fingerprinting ensures that for every file sent to InfiniVault, a hash algorithm is performed to produce a digital fingerprint. The digital fingerprint is stored in the InfiniVault's internal control information system, which contains metadata for every file, allowing it to be mapped for retrieval.

The VaultCenter software virtualizes files to allow applications to access them. The files remain visible, even if the RDX cartridges are offline. Labeling, location, contents, operations and verification are all managed by the VaultCenter OS.

The VaultCenter software provides a single management framework that covers all four tiers of the InfiniVault system: online hard disk drives, nearline (RDX), offline and offline tiers.

The InfiniVault product has a starting price of about $15,000 range. No prices were yet available for the DataGuard appliance.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

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Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
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