Quantum Tackles Big Data Metadata With New StorNext Appliance

Quantum's new StorNext M660 metadata appliance stores and manages the metadata related to up to 800 million files stored in other Quantum or non-Quantum arrays, a big leap from the company's M330 appliance which can manage the metadata of up to 100 million files, said Janet Lafleur, senior product marketing manager for file systems and archiving at the San Jose, Calif.-based storage vendor.

"Big data" is data that scales to multiple petabytes of capacity and is created or collected, stored, and collaborative in real time. Big data typically consists of unstructured data, which includes text, audio and video files, photographs, and other data that is not easy to handle using traditional database management tools.

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The M660 is targeting bid data environments such as video editing and seismic data collection, Lafleur said. "Big data includes data sets that are so large that traditional storage infrastructure fails," she said. "This does not just mean large archives. Big data has to be processed quickly and be available to multiple users quickly."

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The StorNext M660 includes dual nodes for high availability. Its software includes licenses for 10 SAN clients, as well as dual gateways for high-speed LAN access, which Lafleur said provides access to data at speeds up to 50 percent faster than traditional NAS when using Quantum's Distributed LAN Client. The second node of the M660 also includes Quantum's Distributed Data Mover software for increasing archiving speed, she said.

Customers of the M660 can use the appliance for high-speed, scalable file sharing and collaboration in such businesses as video development, Lafleur said.

The M660 can also be used as part of a tiered archiving system with policies to automatically migrate files not accessed for a long time to tape. "It makes files seem as if they are online even if they are stored in tape," she said.

The M660 is list-priced at $120,000, which includes two nodes, all the necessary software and the ability to handle the metadata of 400 million files.

Indirect sales channels play a major part in Quantum's metadata appliance sales given that most big data is used in specific verticals, Lafleur said.