QStar Technologies, Inc., the enterprise-class archive and data management software provider, has announced QStar Object Storage Manager (OSM), said to be a new approach to ease the challenges of managing and archiving rapidly-growing unstructured data. OSM software provides tremendous cost savings by removing the need for backup through archiving, and by eliminating future costly data migration as new storage, servers or infrastructures can replace retired technologies seamlessly. Healthcare, media and entertainment, government, and research/education organisations, who are managing tens or hundreds of Terabytes of data today, and who are planning for Petabyes in the future, can all benefit from this self-managing/self-healing, secure, object-based storage solution.
Object-based storage allows large quantities of data to be stored in a more intelligent, efficient and secure manner than traditional file systems, making it ideal for long-term archiving and cloud storage. QStar's OSM stores data to disk as objects rather than files, allowing a significantly larger store to be created, one that can grow to include billions of objects. There is no subdirectory structure within OSM as each object is given a unique hash and replicated a user defined number of times to unique disk locations. Should an object become corrupt or a disk fail, OSM automatically recreates the object to a new location, maintaining the user defined number of copies at all times.
QStar's OSM includes a back-end object storage system containing servers (nodes) with disk storage and a front-end CIFS / NFS Gateway server. The system will typically use low-cost SATA disks, which can be directly attached to each node, or SATA disk arrays connected through iSCSI, providing increased fault tolerance. Nodes can be 1U rack-mount or blade servers and feature two Ethernet switches: a front-end and back-end switch. The first clusters server nodes, allowing many to appear as one through a single IP connection; the back-end switch allows any-to-any node communication to improve performance by load balancing read or write requests.
Like all QStar software, OSM is hardware independent, allowing System Integrators to help their customers break free from vendor lock-in, and reduce storage costs by using lower-cost, industry-standard, servers and hard disks or disk systems. Unlike the traditional file-based approach, an object-storage infrastructure allows "future proofing" by smoothly integrating new technologies as they become available. They are easily integrated in existing storage environments and automatically recognised and added to the cluster. For example, a failed 1TB disk drive can be replaced with a new 8TB disk drive, which will automatically be recognised as 8TB and added to the archive capacity.
In addition, retention management is built into QStar's OSM, allowing objects to be stored securely for a user-defined period and then deleted once lapsed. This flexible solution also provides options for the use of removable media for disaster prevention by storing additional copies of the data offsite through replication or manual removal. This significantly reduces the cost of the overall archive and provides additional levels of data security and permanence.
"In an archive environment, slower performance is often a trade-off. QStar's Object Storage Manager allows archives to be created using self-managing SATA disk systems. Archived data can therefore be accessed quickly and yet still retained securely, until the defined retention period elapses. Uniquely, OSM allows data to be moved to removable media, such as tape or optical, for additional layers of data security, disaster prevention and cost reduction." said Dave Thomson, Sr VP Sales and Marketing, QStar Technologies.
Summary of features include:
Support for Windows, Linux, Unix and Mac servers or clients
Self-managing / self-healing features automatically rebuild lost copies of data to new storage locations
Future proofing design allows new disk capacities to be added and their full capacities used
Back-end TCP/IP switch allows communication between nodes, load balancing read and write requests to improve overall performance.
Retention management with Legal Hold prevents accidental deletion of data during an e-discovery process
Encryption options are available, allowing only authorised access to on-line and off-line archive objects
Disaster prevention strategies, to create remote stores to a secondary OSM system, NAS, tape or optical libraries.
Easy user interface.