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Migrant Worker: Smart Storage's InfiNet Automates Network Data Migration

Stephen Clark Jr.

December 1, 2020 | While the majority of people making their way into midtown Manhattan's Grand Hyatt Hotel were there to grab a glimpse at New York senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton (with the state's new first-husband presumably in tow), Smart Storage promised brush-with-fame opportunities of a different sort--an up-close look at their SmartStor InfiNet solution in an exclusive, invitation-only seminar. The beefed-up NYPD patrols and secret service agents only added to the heightened intensity of new solution's unveiling.

Smart Storage's SmartStor InfiNet is a software data management solution that allows the transparent integration of primary and secondary networked storage. The software allows files to be automatically migrated between primary storage (a fileserver, for example), and secondary storage (a tape or disc library, for example), based on specific criteria. The criteria can include file size, type, age, or system attribute, and migrations can be scheduled to run immediately, or in a daily or weekly schedule. Although data is may be migrated between primary and secondary storage, the data appears to the end user as if it never moved.

"Eighty percent of all data is infrequently accessed," said Christine Duda, senior product manager at Smart Storage. "This data can be expensive to maintain on a fileserver, due to lost space, backup time, and file restores, and expensive to move offline."

With companies generating more electronic data than ever before, the need for accessible storage is also increasing. Smart Storage is wagering that SmartStor InfiNet will be attractive to companies because it offers a way to increase overall online storage capacity without being forced to invest in expensive fileservers. It is also compatible with SAN configurations, Smart Storage said, an ever more attractive selling point in today's disparate shared data set-ups.

SmartStor InfiNet utilizes Universal Document Format (UDF) version 2.0 to allow compatibility across differing platforms. "Utilizing the non-proprietary UDF 2.0 format, support for which is built into Windows 2000 and Solaris 8, means that your data will be readable with future hardware," said Gary Brock, president of Smart Storage. For secondary storage options, InfiNet supports DVD-RAM and MO drives and libraries, with plans for future support of tape and DVD-R. The software runs on the Windows NT 4.0/2000 platform, with support for UNIX platforms in the works.

While InfiNet is not meant as a replacement for a server backup, the software can decrease the amount of information that is necessary to back up by moving data off of the server onto secure, infrequently accessed media. "InfiNet reduces time-to-backup, reduces time-to-restoration in case of a failure, and provides integration with backup software," said Duda. The software also keeps data available over the network, which allows immediate access to it. "InfiNet allows data to be migrated to nearline or secondary storage automatically, as opposed to moving it offline, which requires human intervention," added Duda.

(Smart Storage, Inc., 100 Burtt Road, Andover, MA 01810; 978/623-3300; Fax 978/623-3310; http://www.smartstorage.com)

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