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Backup hardware

Permabit Enterprise Archive Data Center Series

Reacting to the significantly amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), many companies spent much of 2008 crafting their data-retention policies and deploying products to help them comply with the new guidelines for the legal discovery of electronic information. Other organizations deployed the same gear to archive inactive data and ease the impact of data growth on strained backup and management processes.

Typically retained for long periods, the growth of archived data can become as much of an issue as the one it's trying to solve. Maintaining data-retrieval performance and keeping ongoing ownership costs in check are critical as the archive repository grows. The ability to migrate data within the repository to take advantage of new technologies and economies of scale is also important. Toss in regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the situation is further complicated by the need for heightened security and data integrity.

Permabit Technology Corp.'s Enterprise Archive Data Center Series, introduced in early 2008, addresses those challenges with a combination of sub-file deduplication and compression, as well as a grid-based architecture

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called RAIN-EC. Dividing data among multiple hardware nodes in the grid yields several benefits: it boosts performance to up to 2 Gbps through parallel processing; keeps archive data available in the event of a node failure; allows for rolling migrations to new hardware over time; uses standard interfaces like CIFS, NFS and WebDAV that keep data accessible to multiple applications; and includes features such as data verification, replication, write once read many (WORM) and encryption for compliance.

The data integrity features and grid architecture also mean users can build the archive using space-efficient 1 TB drives, while avoiding lengthy RAID rebuilds in the event of a drive failure. All of that adds up to scalability -- up to 3 PB, to be exact. When asked about the product's appeal, one user of the Permabit archive simply repeated the IT pro's data-growth mantra: "Faster and more capacity."

This was first published in February 2009

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