The Future of NAS is Object

If you have been around the computer industry long enough, you have witnessed multiple major shifts in technology.  If you were working in the 1970’s you remember the major shift from mainframe computing to workstations.  In the 1980’s, we witnessed the shift from proprietary workstations to personal computers.  Most recently, we saw the major shift from personal computing to the smart phone.  In each example, the incumbent technology never disappeared, but its growth slowed considerably in favor of new technology that pulled the entire market in a complete new direction.

A similar technology shift took place in 1992 when NetApp, Inc. was founded.  NetApp pioneered a new enterprise storage technology called Network Attached Storage (NAS).  Compared to traditional direct attached storage (DAS) and storage area network (SAN) storage, NAS storage offered access to large amounts of storage in an easy to manage appliance.  NAS was enabled by improved network technology and new high capacity disk drives.  NetApp combined the new technology in such a way to revolutionize the enterprise storage market.

It has been 25 years since its introduction and NAS remains a highly viable enterprise storage solution.  But, 25 years is a long time for any technology and NAS is beginning to show its age.  Major changes are taking place in the computer market that are directly impacting NAS.  The first is the exponential growth in unstructured data.  In each era, data use changed dramatically.  In the mainframe era, data belonged solely to the System Admin and it consisted of structured database information.  In the Personal Computer era, control of data moved to the individual and unstructured files proliferated in the form of word documents, spreadsheets and graphics.  Most recently in the current era of smart phones and Internet of Things (IoT), data growth has exploded in the form of multi-media files and device/machine data.

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The True Cost of File Archival

At Data Dynamics, we are passionate about file management.  Our belief is that You should always have control of your files.  You control where they are located.  You control access to the files.  And importantly, your files should never be trapped by proprietary software.  To be clear, proprietary gateways, virtual file systems and namespaces and file archive solutions that compress, de-duplicate, stub or shard your files, trap your files in a never-ending cycle of license and maintenance fees.

What is different at Data Dynamics?

Just recently we unveiled StorageX 8.0, the latest release of our flagship file management solution.  StorageX 8 introduces a powerful, integrated analytics engine and support for file-to-object conversion for file archival.  Together, you perform deep discovery on your file assets and identify files to archive, based on size, type, age, owner and more.  File meta information is used to build automated file migration policies that move files to S3-compliance object storage, on premises or cloud-based. For large workloads, comprising hundreds of terabytes or petabytes of data, file movement policies can be implemented programmatically using the StorageX RESTful API.

We not in the “archive” business.  We do not market an archive application with indexing, legal holds, case management, etc.; that is not our business.  Rather, we convert your files to object format and we provide a file movement engine capable of moving millions of files to the location you select.  Files remain in native S3-compatible format, so you can always access your files directly using a S3-compatible API or S3-compatible browser.  You never pay to access your files.

What is the true cost of file archival? 

Archive vendors sell applications for moving files to Amazon S3 cloud storage or its equivalent.  You get an AWS account which you pay for.  Not a bad deal considering “cold” blob storage costs as little as one cent per GB per month.  Archive vendors add approximately ten cents per GB per month for the archive application license and maintenance.

The Data Dynamics approach is different. You pay us to move your files to S3 and you pay for the S3 storage.  And that’s it.  That is a cost savings of $120,000 for 10TB of file archiving for ten years.

Do you have silos of aging unstructured data that needs archiving to new low-cost object storage?  If so, call us to learn why 24 of the top Fortune 100 rely on StorageX for intelligent file management.