ProStor Compliance Appliance Offers Data Retention Capabilities

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The ProStor InfiniVault appliance is now better able to meet customers' needs for long-term, secure and auditable archiving of data, said Buzz Walker, vice president of product management and marketing for the Boulder, Colo.-based storage vendor.

RDX removable disk cartridges, which also are sold on an OEM basis through server vendors such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, are complete hard drives in a tape cartridge-like format. Data stored on the RDX cartridges can be rotated, accessed and archived the same as if they were tape cartridges.

The InfiniVault 2.0 now includes remote replication, which allows a copy of archived data to be sent to another InfiniVault in a remote location for disaster recovery purposes, Walker said.

This also is important for smaller offices or branch offices that can now replicate data to a central office for archiving while keeping a local copy available for use as needed, Walker said. "For instance, doctors can replicate patients' data to a headquarters location to handle retention for HIPAA," he said.

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Also new in the InfiniVault is the ability for users to have both WORM (write once, read many) and read/write-enabled vaults together on the same appliance. Previously, the InfiniVault could only offer WORM storage, Walker said.

"This means that certain applications that directly manage retention times can do so for files on the InfiniVault," he said.

These are two critical functions, said Todd Williams, senior vice president of operations and CFO at Construction Imaging, a Rocky Mount, N.C.-based solution provider and software developer for the construction industry.

Replication of data from one storage appliance to another device at a remote site typically requires the two be the same, which can be expensive, Williams said. But with InfiniVault, the data can be replicated to older, lower-cost ProStor appliances, all of which can access the data stored on the RDX cartridges, he said.

Also, because Construction Imaging's software application controls the retention policies of captured images down to the file level, the InfiniVault's new read/write vault feature is a must, Williams said.

"Our retention control is at the document level, based on the intake date of the document," he said. "The InfiniVault controls retention at the folder level based on the date a file is saved to the appliance."

Release 2.0 of the InfiniVault also includes dual Gigabit Ethernet adapters, which let users either double the throughput or deal with separate network data and management traffic, as well as capacity reclamation, which automatically frees up space once data is deleted, Walker said.

Construction Imaging signed up with ProStor this year in response to the bankruptcy of its former vendor partner, Plasmon, Williams said. The solution provider until that time used Plasmon's appliances for archiving customers' data.

"I identified ProStor as a Plasmon replacement last fall after Plasmon announced it was shutting its doors," he said. "We were surprised by the Plasmon shutdown. Two weeks prior to the shutdown, we had a Plasmon executive at our user meeting singing the Plasmon praises."

ProStor's InfiniVault appliance is lower in price compared to many disk-based appliances sold for compliance purposes, but has proven itself to be a good choice for customers that need to archive data, Williams said.

"It provides legality," he said. "Our customers need to be able to show that if they pull a document, it's the same as the original."