How it works

We really wanted to keep the Infinidisc Cloud Archive simple, straight forward and easy to use. We did not want to ask our customers to change the way they operated, nor did we want to impact any existing workflows by using Infinidisc.

The Infinidisc solution is comprised of three significant components: the Infinidisc Vault, the Infinidisc Appliance, and the network between them.  Determining the  size and scope of each of these is critical to building a capable archive environment.

The Infinidisc Vault
Envision your Infinidisc Archive as a safety deposit box for your data.  The Infinidisc Archive is located at our secure data center where you can send an unlimited amount of data via the Internet to your private vault.. We take care of the rest.  where will  take care of writing your data to multiple locations.  It is a safe location, housed in a secure, world class data center.  Easy access to your private vault is either through your web browser or FTP, a file movement utility available on literally any platform you can imagine.  Your data is never written to media with any other customer's data, it is your and yours alone.  You can access your vault from anywhere in the world.  The size of your vault is determined by the amount of data you want to put in this safe location, so you can move it off primary storage and out of your backup cycle.  You can start small and grow your vault at any time.  By properly grooming your data, you can reduce your spending on primary storage (and floor space and administrator time and power and cooling...), and you can reduce your backup window, because once archived, there is no longer a need to back it up.

Your vault is a great place to simplify your compliance storage requirements.  You can organize your vault in any way you see fit to make retrieving data as intuitive and easy as possible.  You can store old project files, old finance records, call logs, experiment data, anything you need to keep around for a long time, but need to find it quick if you need it in the future.

Unlike most cloud storage services, the Infinidisc Vault uses tape as the ultimate storage platform, and while it first lands on disk, we quickly start the process of staging you data off to tape.  By using tape, our goal is completely mask the use of tape, expose the price advantages offered by tape, and remove every aspect of managing tape from your concern.

The Infinidisc Appliance. 
Not everyone is comfortable using FTP or a browser for managing their data.  There is nothing automatic about them.  You need to manage the process of logging into your Infinidisc Vault, selecting the files you want to move, watching and waiting for it to complete to confirm your data has made it to the vault, and then start the process all over for the next file you want to archive.  For users not willing to accept FTP or a web browser as their interface to the vault, we offer an appliance that manages much of the archiving process so you can focus on more important aspects of your job.  Once data lands on an Infinidisc Appliance, everything else in automatic.

The appliance is a network attached server that connects to your local network.  It is built from an open distribution of Linux, making it familiar, a server just like many others in your environment.  As an appliance, no Linux administration skills are required, with an intuitive web interface providing all administration options.  Once the Infinidisc Appliance is installed and powered on, it will automatically acquire an IP address via DHCP, with fixed addressing available for networks without DHCP.  The Infinidisc Archive appliance provides access via traditional protocols, including SMB, CIFS, NFS, and FTP.  All major operating systems use one or more of these protocols to make accessing Infinidisc quick and easy.

Once data is stored on the appliance, everything happens automatically.  Based on schedules set by the administrator, everything is copied to your vault, where it is staged on disk, automatically copied to two tapes, one copy stays available for automatic retrieval, one copy moved off site for disaster recovery.  Given enough available bandwidth to move new data to the vault, your appliance never gets full and is self protecting.

We have provided a number of configuration options for the appliance:

Basic Configuration includes changing the administrator password, setting bandwidth controls, migration control, purge controls, and access security. Our engineers will assist you in the configuration during the installation process. 

Bandwidth Control allows the administrator to set to bandwidth allocations at proper levels to complete daily new data migration requirements. 

Migration Control sets the frequency of the appliance checks for new data. By default the appliance will check once per day, however more frequents settings can be applied such as hourly, twice daily, weekly etc. Once set, the Infinidisc Appliance will search for new data and begin the migration process to your vault. This is a completely transparent process and will continue until all new data has been copied to your remote vault.

Never Full Purge Control.  Even though a copy of your data has been sent to your remote vault, files remain resident on the Infinidisc Appliance until it reaches a capacity threshold or water mark. The default setting is 80% full capacity. This setting can be set higher or lower depending upon your needs. Once the purge water mark is reached, the appliance will begin to purge the oldest data first and will continue this process until the appliance has reached its set purge level.  This doesn't mean your data is no longer available.  All files and directories stay the same, regardless of where the data is located.  If data is local, the appliance accesses it locally.  If the data has been purged locally, it is accessed remotely, form disk or tape, completely transparent to the user.  By the way, the only time users know data is being stored on tape is when accessing data on tape, it can take up to a minute for data to begin staging back to the appliance.

Access Security. Every customer is different and has different access controls that need to be implemented. Some customers leave the appliance fully open to all users, restrict user access complete for strict machine to machine access, others need Active Directory integration or multiple combinations.  Our engineers can help with every aspect of configuring your appliance to fit your unique needs.

The Infinidisc Appliance is a cache.  The cache keeps a certain amount of locally available data, so that accessing and working with this data is a fast and easy as possible.  The appliance can be sized to almost any requirement, and any enterprise appliance can be scaled by simply adding iSCSI expansion capacity.  Our current customers have as much as 180 TB of local cache storage in the appliance.

The Infinidisc Network
The connection between the appliance and the vault is required to provide enough bandwidth to move new data to the vault.  If enough bandwidth is not available, the solution will get choked and migration/purge cycles will not be able to complete, eventually the appliance will get full, and the system will automatically stop accepting new data until sufficient free space is available to continue operation.  This makes determining the amount of bandwidth allocated to remote archiving a very important component of sizing your solution.  This, by the way, is not different than any other cloud-based storage solution.

We make dedicated bandwidth available at our data center to customers that have specific requirements understood.  To properly balance your appliance, vault and bandwidth ensures long term archiving success.  Keep in mind, we can't control bandwidth at YOUR data center, but we will assure your dedicated bandwidth is available at our end.  Bandwidth charges are set based on megabit per second per month requirements, and their is no limit to how much dedicated bandwidth that can be purchased at our end.

more information

Our goal is to make archiving available and affordable.  Our pricing for the vault, the appliance, and dedicated bandwidth is open and available for you to review on our pricing page.  We recognize that it is more often easier to just buy more primary storage and stick everything on disk.  But when you get tired of buying more disk , when you start running out of floor space, when you can no longer meet your backup requirements because you have too much local capacity and too little local resources, we hope you will consider making archiving a critical part of your overall storage management thinking.

 

At A Glance

Solutions
Services
Why Archive
F.A.Q
How It Works
Security and Encryption
For Resellers
SAS70