Article

ADIC software merges disk and tape

Kevin Komiega

Advanced Digital Information Corp., Redmond, Wash., has tweaked some past technology to offer the end user a way to automatically manage data based on policies.

ADIC's latest storage management software suite, dubbed StorNext, merges disk and tape into an integrated storage system that provides access, management, and protection of data in storage area networks (SANs), the company said.

StorNext combines Fibre disk arrays and storage networking tape libraries into a single storage system. The devices then appear to applications as simple disk-volumes. The management tools give users the ability to manage data over time to provide streamlined workflow, reduced management overhead, increased resource utilization, and improved long-term data integrity, a concept that ADIC calls Total Data Life Management.

At the heart of StorNext is the ability to set pre-defined policies within the file system so that it is able to route data to different types of storage devices automatically, according to Paul Rutherford, VP of technology and software for ADIC.

If you're thinking that this sounds like Hierarchical Storage Management, you would be partly right. ADIC said that the StorNext software is based partly on its past HSM technology. There is, however, a difference between StorNext and traditional HSM.

"HSM was more about space saving and archiving," said Rutherford "we're taking those tools and moving it up to more of a database

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policy."

The software suite includes ADIC?s CentraVision file system and Infinite Storage Manager. CentraVision provides fast access to data by letting many users access the same files or file-sets at the same time, while the Infinite Storage Manager controls data storage locations based on user policies, and protects the integrity of data over time by writing disk-based files to tape in near-real time, performing in-stream replication and versioning, migrating data to different media types, and managing media vaulting.

Nancy Marrone, senior analyst for the Milord, Mass.-based Enterprise Storage Group, said the StorNext Management Suite addresses two critical storage issues - file sharing among heterogeneous servers and the fact that different data sets have different storage requirements.

"Neither are new concepts by any means," she said, commenting that SANs address file sharing and that HSM solutions have been around for some time. "But ADIC is addressing the issues by providing the whole solution, including the file system and the data lifecycle software."

Marrone said the CentraVision file system enables multiple data streams from a single file, and the Infinite Storage Manager determines the storage requirements of data sets based on attributes of that data, Both of which enables users to use their storage resources more effectively.

The StorNext Management Suite is designed to provide automated data management for applications that manage large data sets in enterprise data centers, scientific data analysis, digital broadcast, rich media creation, digital asset management, large-scale imaging, and Web-serving, ADIC said.

StorNext Management Suite is available now from ADIC's channel partners and supports Windows, Solaris, IRIX and Linux operating systems.

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor

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