Quantum Unveils Appliance For High-Performance StorNext File Sharing

The new appliance, the StorNext M330, combines Quantum's StorNext software with a metadata controller server that allows the sharing, management, and protection of files stored on nearly any vendor's primary storage arrays, said Shawn Klein, senior director of strategic marketing and alliances for the StorNext line.

The new StorNext M330 makes part of a SAN work like a local hard drive which customers can access for high-performance file sharing that is transparent to the applications and users, Klein said.

It also provides policy-based file management and protection capabilities which allow customers and their partners to specify to which tiers of storage data should be moved if not accessed after a certain length of time, he said.

"When you combine these, you get high-speed file sharing with the ability to tier the data protection," he said.

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At the heart of the M330 are two StorNext Metadata Controller Servers, which provide high availability access to the files stored on the included Quantum storage array and on arrays from nearly any vendor including EMC, NetApp, Hitachi Data Systems, and even second-tier vendors, Klein said.

The M330 includes 10 SAN client licenses which support data access via any major operating system, as well as a simple user interface and all the needed tools for managing file access he said. Data can be backed up via customers' existing data protection technology to preserve user choice, he said.

Quantum has offered its StorNext software for several years to solution providers who then combine it with industry-standard servers as an appliance for customers, Klein said. "Now we're making an appliance in order to make it easier for companies with typical IT environments to use," he said. "It's the same high-performance software, but in an easy-to-deploy, easy-to-use appliance."

The StorNext software has traditionally been used for managing big data in such industries as media and entertainment or oil and gas, Klein said. "Big data" is data which scales to multiple petabytes of capacity and is created or collected, is stored, and is collaborative in real time.

"However, big files are moving into more general enterprise uses," he said. "For instance, video making used to be done mainly in the media and entertainment business. But now they're being done by enterprises for corporate training."

The starting price of the StorNext M330 is about $75,000, which includes the hardware and software as well as the 10 SAN client licenses. Archiving of data from the M330 comes via an optional module which is priced according to the amount of managed capacity, Klein said.

The StorNext M330 is the center of a new family of products aimed at helping manager big data, with future modules including archiving appliances and other pluggable building blocks, he said.