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Quantum tunes up StorNext for 'big data' files

Quantum gives StorNext a new underlying database, an Archive Vault tier and faster performance to better handle 'big data' files.

Quantum Corp., is updating its StorNext file management and archiving software to better handle "big data" files. According to Quantum, the product is designed to handle large numbers of files as well as large single files generated by industries that deal with lots of data, including media and entertainment, oil and gas exploration, video surveillance and life sciences.

StorNext 4.3 uses a restructured database built on MySQL and can take advantage of the Active Vault feature that Quantum added to its Scaler i6000 tape libraries last year.

Janet LaFleur, StorNext's senior product management manager, said 4.3 is “designed for customers with big data files to manage the velocity, volume and variety of the data they’re hitting."

Quantum claims its restructured database can scale to 1 billion files while creating and truncating files faster than previous versions.

LaFleur said version 4.3 truncates files up to one-and-a-half times faster than earlier versions. It also creates new files up to 20% faster and archives files under 1 MB 40% faster. The new group project storage management feature allows administrators to set directory quotas per project, instead of per user or group. This feature is aimed at projects involving multiple workgroups.

“What we are seeing is that projects are getting bigger and a lot more complex with a lot more users interacting and providing content towards the final project,” LaFleur said.

LaFleur said version 4.3 will be available Aug. 1.

Active Vault is designed for what Quantum refers to as WORR – write once read rarely – data. It creates a storage tier inside the tape library but outside the reach of the library's robot arm. Retrieval is semi-automated, which means operator assistance is required.

StorNext employs user-defined policies to recommend tapes for the Active Vault, and the software then tracks their location and monitors data integrity. When the actively-archived data is required, an operator moves the tape from the Active Vault to the shelves of the library.

The idea is to keep the data off of primary storage while making it easier to retrieve than off-site tapes.

A new archive on ingest feature allows administrators to send data from camera, sensors and other video sources directly to tape to avoid slowing down high-performing disks.

“It’s a good idea because a lot of data has already been processed,” said Randy Kerns, senior strategist for the Evaluator Group analyst firm. "Let’s not consume valuable primary space, but [instead] put it off to archive immediately.”

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