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PowerFile tackling data storage head on.

PowerFile[R], an innovator in archive appliances for permanent storage of digital content and assets, announced the introduction of its Active Archive Appliance[TM] (A3[TM]).

Redefining archival data storage, the A3 embraces an entirely new approach to keeping fixed content data, such as documents, images and media files, accessible on the network and 'active.' This innovative approach stands in sharp contrast to the traditional method of banishing data off to tape where it remains an enterprise burden for years.

While presenting itself to the network as a standard network volume, the PowerFile A3 commits permanent data to a virtualized massive array of DVD optical media. The system leaves a copy of frequently accessed data in primary cache for very fast retrieval. By pooling the DVD subsystem storage, the A3 creates highly reliable volumes of storage up to 30.6 Terabytes. By using a standard DVD underpinning, the system protects important archived information from accidental erasure, unauthorized modification, data corruption, or viruses, for 50 years or more. Since the system was designed and tuned for long-term online archive, power usage is 5% of that of typical spinning disk.

The total cost of the system over five years is about one-tenth to one-twentieth the total cost of this disk over the archival period.

In the past five years the emergence of multi-tiered storage has gained great acceptance, as an organization's ability to generate data has outstripped the ability to scale primary storage systems, either physically or economically.

For aging content that needs to be kept for reference or to satisfy regulations, the only choices have been lower-cost, SATA-based disk systems and offline tape systems. Both technologies require high maintenance over the life of the archive, due to the nature of magnetic media. Power and cooling alone make the SATA systems too expensive over five to 10 years, even if the systems were free. Meanwhile, tape is offline, inaccessible, and vulnerable to data decay.

PowerFile's introduction of the A3 is a timely response to the growing emergence of archiving as a distinct discipline. As forecasted by ESG, total digital archive capacity is expected to grow at 58% CAGR between 2006 and 2010.

Many industry observers have remarked how optical storage technologies have failed to take hold in the enterprise storage market over the years, due to reliability, cost, proprietary format, and management complexity concerns.

PowerFile addresses these issues head-on with its A3 in much the same way NAS vendors have eliminated the complexity of individual disk drive management complexity and reliability concerns. By leveraging off-the-shelf DVD technologies, the cost becomes compelling, and customers do not need worry whether or not the format will be readable in 15 years.
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Title Annotation:TECHNOLOGY
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Sep 27, 2006
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