Caringo Updates Storage Compliance Archiving Software

software compliance

The Austin, Texas-based company launched the latest version of its CAStor application, said Mark Goros, Caringo's CEO. CAStor 2.0 sits on any industry-standard server, to turn it into a content-addressable storage node, Goros said. "It's high-performance, scalable, and easy to use, and offers ten times the performance of the [EMC's archiving solution] Centera at one-tenth the price," he said.

Content-addressable storage, or CAS, is a technology which turns a data file into an object using a cryptographic algorithm to develop a unique object based on the content of the file to be stored. Because each object is unique, even a slight change to the content of the file changes the hashed object, making it possible to eliminate duplicate files. Using CAS technology also prevents the unauthorized reading of stored information, and allows administrators to see if data has been changed from when it was originally stored.

New with CAStor 2.0 is Web-based management so that users can add new nodes and boot from the Web without the need for a server being configured to do the management, Goros said.

The application now also allows both local area replication and wide area replication, and scales to over 1,000 nodes. The software also has data de-duplication capability, but it will not be turned on until a later version is released, Goros said. "As soon as a major user says we need de-dupe, we'll turn it on," he said. "When it is turned on, it will de-dupe data already stored by the system. It's just that we still have some additional development to do."

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CAStor 2.0 also allows data on old storage nodes to be automatically migrated when those nodes are eliminated or replaced, and automatically erases the data on those nodes when they are retired. Adding a new node takes about 60 seconds, Goros said. And if a node fails, the data continues to be available automatically, he said.

Rob Sims, president and CEO of Crossroads Systems, an Austin, Texas-based manufacturer of networked storage and security appliances, said his company plans to implement CAStor 2.0 in an archiving solution sometime this Fall.

The Caringo software, because it is node-based instead of RAID-based, helps improve long-term data protection, Sims said. "With RAID, if you lose a disk, you'd better replace it right away, or you will lose data," he said. "With Caringo, you can use a disk or an entire storage node, and still work with the data while you repair the system."

James Dunham, senior account executive at Synegi, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider which works with Crossroads on a number of its appliances, said that the vendor's plans to come out with an archiving appliance based on CAStor 2.0 fits well with its full line of storage interconnect products, data encryption, and data security appliances.

"CAStor is clearly a step forward for customers to avoid being locked into a vendor relationship," Dunham said. "This allows a mixture of different storage products to work together."

Caringo was founded two-and-a-half years ago by CTO Paul Carpentier, who several years ago helped develop the software that until recently enabled EMC to enjoy an almost exclusive lock on the content addressable storage market with its Centera family of storage appliances.

The current leader in the CAS space, EMC, got its start in 2001 with the acquisition of FilePool. FilePool was co-founded by Carpentier and Jan Van Riel, who is now EMC's director of technology for the Centera line. EMC used that company's software to develop its Centerra appliance, which allows data to be stored using CAS technology for compliance purposes.