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InMage packages CDP, storage and compute into 'Magic Box'

Dave Raffo

InMage Systems today launched an integrated appliance with its continuous data protection software, compute and storage on one box for backup and disaster recovery.

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The InMage 4000 Series includes the vendor's Scout and ScoutCloud continuous data protection (CDP) technologies, which capture byte-level data changes in real time and allow customers to recover data at any point.

Code named "Magic Box," the 4000 includes four models ranging from eight CPU cores, 64 GB of RAM and 9 TB of usable storage, to 16 cores, 384 GB of RAM and 57.2 TB of usable capacity before deduplication and compression.

The boxes include flash storage along with Serial-Attached SCSI drives, and InMage's software provides thin provisioning, dynamic striping, inline deduplication and compression, bare metal recovery, and individual email recovery for Exchange.

Appliances can be pooled to support up to 48 CPU cores, 1.1 TB of memory and 120 TB of usable capacity before data reduction. Companies can replicate data between boxes at different locations or to the cloud.

InMage Chief Technology Officer Rajeev Atluri said he expects the 4000 to be used by enterprises for disaster recovery (DR) and by service providers who want to offer data protection services. "Service providers don't have to assemble storage, servers, networking and virtualization, and then overlay data protection on top of it."

He said the 4000 Series is different from integrated backup appliances on the market because it includes more compute processing in the box, and organizations can fail over between boxes for DR.

"We're not just a backup appliance," he said. "You can run your entire DR on Magic Box. The integrated appliances out there now have one head and you're attaching storage. We have a head on one node and the second node is performing compute. You can grow storage or compute independently."

Pricing starts at $8,000 and runs to around $200,000 for the largest appliance.

The "Magic Box" name came from the IT team at Our Kids, a Miami, Fla.-based provider of child welfare services for foster and adopted children. The organization deals with sensitive personal records, making data protection crucial.

Our Kids was among the first to purchase a 4000 Series appliance, although it hasn't put it in production yet. Our Kids Network Manager Jose Gonzalez said it will replace off-site tape in the organization's DR plan. Our Kids currently uses Symantec Backup Exec to back up to disk, and then sends data off to tape.

"We're putting all our production data on the box," Gonzalez said. "It will eventually replace off-site tape, but we have to keep our data for seven years. We are not going to bring tapes back and put them into InMage, so we'll keep tape for now, but we will stop backing up to tape from the day we get the box."

Our Kids Chief Information Officer Pat Smith said alternative DR products would have required purchasing and managing several products. "We're a small shop. One of the deciding factors for me was that we don't have to add the training expense to become experts of multiple levels of software. And we have a single interface to manage."


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