Seagate, Skyera partner for flash-accelerated backup, restores

Garry Kranz

All-flash startup Skyera is collaborating with Seagate to create a system that uses solid-state

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drives to accelerate backups and restores of data stored off-site or in the cloud.

Skyera CEO Radoslav Danilak said the backup product offloads data reduction to flash storage. Shifting compression and deduplication from application servers to flash enables restoration of up to 8 TB per hour, Danilak said.

The system consists of Skyera's skyHawk flash arrays, Seagate's EVault cloud storage software, and Seagate's Xyratex ClusterStor high-performance computing storage arrays. EVault agents installed on application servers locate new or changed blocks and replicate changed files to a secondary site or cloud storage. The flash accelerates the data reduction and restoration process.

"It enables us to sell our flash storage and it enables Seagate to sell more Xyratex storage systems," Danilak said.

Skyera in April began shipping its skyHawk flash array priced at $2.99 per gigabyte. The system mounts consumer-grade MLC NAND flash memory on storage blades to provide up to 44 TB of usable capacity. Skyera's second array, skyEagle, is expected to be available later this year, with reported capacity up to 500 TB and priced at 99 cents per GB.

The Milpitas, California-based Skyera launched in 2013 by a team of former executives of solid-state drive controller vendor SandForce. Danilov was one of SandForce's founders.

Seagate acquired the SandForce technology in May when it bought the flash assets of LSI Corp., which had acquired SandForce in 2011. Seagate acquired hard-drive testing and storage enclosure vendor Xtratex in 2013.

Danilak alluded to "interpersonal relationships" with Seagate decision-makers as a key to the partnership with Skyera. He hinted that the two companies may have other ventures in the works, although he declined to elaborate. Seagate did not respond to interview requests.

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