MaxiScale out of stealth with Flex clustered file system; Hybir to challenge Mozy and Carbonite

Headlines: MaxiScale delivers Flex clustered file system storage software platform aimed at improving performance of Web-based applications dealing with millions of small files; Hybir comes out of beta with online PC backup that uses global data deduplication at the source among all customers, along with bare-metal restores.

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MaxiScale out of stealth with Flex clustered file system for Web companies

MaxiScale Inc. came out of stealth today with a clustered file system software platform that runs on commodity hardware and is aimed at Web companies that handle millions of small files.

MaxiScale has plenty of network-attached storage (NAS) file-serving expertise. Its founders include president and CEO Gianlucca Rattazzi, founder and former CEO of BlueArc; and chief technology officer (CTO) and vice president of engineering Francesco Lacapra, former CTO of Attune. The Sunnyvale, Calif.--based startup was founded in 2007 and raised $17.25 million in VC funding.

Rattazzi said MaxiScale's Flex platform is built for companies that may have billions of files of less than 1 MB, such as pure Web-based companies, enterprises with Web-facing (e-commerce) operations or Web-based hosted services such as Salesforce.com.

Read the rest of this story on MaxiScale's clustered file system.

New online data backup service Hybir challenges Mozy and Carbonite

Hybir Inc. has just wrapped up a public beta of its Hybir Backup online PC data backup service, which it plans to make generally available in October to challenge established competitors such as EMC's Mozy and Carbonite.

Hybir claims it can perform backups and data restores or bare-metal restores more efficiently than competitors by using data deduplication among all customers on its network to make more effective use of bandwidth and reduce backup/restore times.

Mozy, Carbonite and other online data backup services perform data reduction either at the source before data crosses the wire or in the back-end repository. Hybir's approach is to use an inventory of cryptographic hashes for chunks of data within files on each PC, which are compared against a centrally stored inventory at the Hybir data center of all hashes already uploaded by all customers.

Learn more about developing online data backup and archiving services here.

Storage Decisions: Storage managers must explain retention, email archiving and compliance

NEW YORK -- A consultant specializing in information governance told a Storage Decisions crowd Tuesday they must help their organizations understand the realities and limitations of technology as it fits with compliance because "If you don't do it, nobody else will.

"Lawyers create policies that are well written, astonishingly intelligent and absolutely impractical," said Barclay Blair, information governance practice director at Phoenix-based Forensics Consulting Solutions LLC. "Somebody has to help understand the realities of technology. You bring an understanding of how information management works."

Read the rest of this report from Storage Decisions.

Getting the most out of your disaster recovery budgets

Figuring out how much to spend on disaster recovery (DR) is always difficult for organizations, but shrinking IT budgets make the problem even more acute. Despite these challenges, for some organizations, not even a lousy economy is an excuse to cut back on disaster recovery investments.

"Our capital budget is probably half of what it was last year, but we don't scrimp on DR spending. We'll defer a system upgrade before we defer the capital needed to maintain our DR capability," said Harry F. Lukens, CIO of Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH) and Health Network in Allentown, Pa.

The 700-bed hospital system uses a series of "hot boxes" at a secondary data center in nearby Bethlehem. Formerly a testing and data center of IBM Corp., the facility was purchased as part of an acquisition of another hospital about 10 years ago.

The off-site data backup servers enable 14 different critical computing systems -- including those for operating rooms, medical/surgical, and labor/delivery -- to continue functioning in the event of an outage. In addition, LVH has configured individual backup servers for about 40 other major systems housed at its primary data center in Allentown.

Lukens estimated that LVH spends about $540,000 annually on disaster recovery, including capital costs of $300,000 to upgrade or replace servers. Operating expenses, including testing and a salary for a disaster recovery coordinator are about $200,000.

The disaster recovery plan is managed mostly by the hospital's IT department.

Read the rest of this article on getting the most out of your disaster recovery budgets.

The tape storage end game: The pros and cons of recycling backup tapes

As many tape backup users -- and all tape vendors will tell you, tape storage is the unsung, unglamorous mainstay of data retention. Despite the low and declining costs of disk storage, tape, which is comparatively cheap to buy and has low energy costs, remains one of the most economical ways to store and back up data.

But what happens when you move up to a more modern format of tape, to disk backup, or simply choose to dispose of old tapes? For years, third parties have offered another option -- sell the tapes and recycle them to others customers. However, according to OEMs and others, this secondary tape market is fraught with risk. With no standards and no oversight, third parties frequently erase only the header information from the tapes they acquire, potentially leaving gigabytes of sensitive information available for perusal. While there don't appear to be any documented incidents of major data breaches occurring as a result of poor tape recycling practices, the potential for disaster is there.

Sensitive data still on recycled tapes

"We have purchased recycled tapes on the market and found that we could easily read large amounts of data, some of which could be considered sensitive, such as social security numbers and hospital records," said Tom Lally, vice president of Imation's commercial division. In fact, in lab tests run on 100 "recertified" tapes purchased commercially, Imation discovered intelligible information on one-third of the cartridges. And that's the kind of risk that should be a wakeup call for IT managers, he said. Furthermore, noted Lally, in Imation tests, multiple degaussing passes were needed to render data fully inaccessible; meaning that about the only practical solution for those intent on complete data destruction is shredding and/or incinerating the tape.

Read the rest of this story on recycling backup tapes.

Texas schools form disaster recovery consortium and collaborate with SAN replication

As he watched Hurricane Ike devastate the Texas coast a year ago, Alvarado Independent School District (ISD) executive director of technology services Kyle Berger wished he could help the other schools he knew that were facing a long disaster recovery process.

"I knew of several districts on the coast that were scrambling to get data off site," Berger said. "It would've been nice if I could've said, 'send it to me and I'll hold it for you.' Then I started seeing people were using the same [storage area network] SAN products, spread across our state."

Learn how to create disaster recovery contingency plans for your customers.

Seagate to sell self-encrypting drives through the channel

Seagate announced the launch of the Seagate Secure Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) option across its portfolio of hard drives to channel partners. Products supporting this option include the Savvio 15K.2, Savvio 10K.3, Constellation, Constellation ES and Cheetah 15K.7.

According to Seagate, resellers and integrators can gain new streams of revenue, broader market reach and time-to-market leadership. The company said the drives help customers avoid the high cost of data breach, enable encryption safe-harbor protection, and eliminate costs while saving time.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup here.

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