Western Digital pushing archive data ideas

Joins Active Archive Alliance ... which might now actually get activated

Subsidiary brand HGST could break out the helium-filled drives as part of the solution

Western Digital corporation, or WDC as we must get used to now, has joined the Active Archive Alliance to help promote the disk archive idea.

Its subsidiary brand, HGST, has an Active Archive System array, which runs acquired Amplidata software and could scale to 4.7PB in a single rack using 8TB He8 helium-filled drives.

WDC now has 10TB drives, meaning the AAS could scale to 5.875PB and if, as we expect, 12TB helium drives come along in 2016, we could see a a 7PB single rack system. Additional racks can be deployed alongside existing ones to scale out the system. WDC claims its AAS has “a total cost of ownership that beats white box economics”.

The non-profit AAA generally aims to promote the notion of archiving software front-ending disk and tape repositories of reference data. WDC says it “will collaborate with companies like FujiFilm and (HPE) to provide its expertise in innovative enterprise archive storage systems and solutions that enable users to derive greater value from data than traditional archive storage.”

FujiFilm makes tape media and HPE makes tape library systems, being an LTO member. Barbara Murphy, the marketing veep for HGST’s Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit at HGST, says: “Active archives need to be highly reliable and cost-effective while supporting new and legacy requirements. With the HGST Active Archive System, we own the entire stack from the drive to the object store, so we bring a unique perspective about cloud-scale architecture to the Active Archive Alliance team.”

What is not promoted by the AAA is the concept of archiving data in the public cloud, although one would think cloud service providers would be a good market for its members.

The AAA lists just existing seven members on its website, all product suppliers: Crossroads (which is a struggling archive business), DDN, Fujifilm, HPE, HGST, SpectraLogic and Quantum. It has been fairly quiet. Now that WDC has joined perhaps it will become a little more active. ®

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