I love telling the StorNext 5 story. It’s satisfying to see a customer sit up straighter in their chair when the light bulb goes off, when they grasp what StorNext can do for them. To see them lean forward when they figure out how StorNext can address their challenges managing high-performance workflows, at scale, within budget. Without dropping a packet. Without dropping a frame. This week we rolled out a new and compelling set of StorNext 5 Scale-out Storage pages on our Quantum dot com website. If you already know and love StorNext 5, I hope you will think we did it justice. If you are wondering what StorNext 5 is, I hope the new pages answer your questions—clearly and cogently.
ACRI-ST, a space agency partner of the European Commission and the European Space Agency, provides satellite mission solutions, including simulations and environmental forecast prototyping, and operates environmental data centers that provide vital decision-making support to public agencies and local authorities. To manage and preserve the massive amount of valuable sensor data collected by Sentinel-3, ACRI-ST chose a Quantum StorNext 5 scale-out storage system. StorNext is a proven, cost-effective choice for these types of hard data management challenges that require scale, speed, and sharing.
My Fed colleagues tell me that their favorite morning news station for the D.C. beltway commute is Federal News Radio (1500 on your AM dial). So I was thrilled when I was invited to talk to Tom Temin on the “Federal Drive” morning news show about Cybersecurity and Network Forensics. With the latest Home Depot breach still fresh in the news, we talked about the growing awareness that breaches are going to happen, and the importance of putting robust incident response plans in place—in advance.
Recent very public incidents involving residents and police have sparked a conversation of the value of equipping police with on-body video surveillance—not for security monitoring, but to provide law enforcement and citizens with a single source of truth. Cambridge University recently completed a study of the police department in Rialto, California—a city of about 100,000—where they saw an 89% reduction in the number of complaints against officers in a year-long trial using body cameras. Without accurate video evidence taken at the point of an incident, it becomes almost impossible to know what really happened. And in the absence of visual proof, assumptions run wild and events can spiral out of control.
Working with our federal customers and sales team to solve complex storage challenges, it’s become clear to me that government agencies are under pressure to modernize their storage infrastructure. No more silos. No more stovepipes. Yes to collaboration. Agencies face a bevy of challenges: massive data growth, shrinking budgets, increased user expectations—as well as technology advances in sensors, analytics, mobile, and cloud—all of which stress traditional IT. To modernize storage infrastructure (and to do it effectively) involves a spectrum of different tools and techniques: e.g. converging backup & archive—consolidating data centers—taking advantage of new cloud technologies—and mixing tiers of flash, disk, object, cloud, and tape to enable collaboration, within budget, at scale.
Keeping intelligence flowing to those who need it quickly and easily is a cornerstone for success in the military, and was the focus of attention during this year’s U.S. Army Enterprise Challenge 2014 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. For the past few years the U.S. Army has conducted Enterprise Challenge, an annual exercise that allows agencies within the Department of Defense and their international partners to demonstrate new and existing technologies. It’s a place where vendor engineers can bring their sensors and ground systems and see if they work together in real world collaborative environments. This year the Army team sought out the assistance of Quantum because of the company’s vast experience in streaming media workflows.
A former FBI director is famous for saying that there are two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be. One of the rewards of working on scale-out storage for mission critical environments is that you get to work on solutions that make a difference—to national security, to financial markets, to our economy. Today we are pleased to announce Quantum’s partnership with FireEye in the area of network forensics—a critical component of any modern organization’s security operations.
Recent news reports have shined a big bright light on some very public cybersecurity breaches. And more organizations are asking: Could this happen to me? Am I doing enough to protect my business from a breach? Have I already been hacked—and I just don’t know it yet? There is a growing sense that a cyber attack is inevitable—a sense that traditional signature-based defenses are insufficient. As a result, organizations are increasingly adopting next-generation security solutions— that will help them to detect, investigate, and resolve the inevitable cyber attack.
I was a very minor player in the space race. Not the race between global super powers in the 50s and 60s, but the race in the 90s to put the first high-resolution commercial imaging satellite into orbit. It was an exciting time. Private companies consisting of just a couple hundred people had the audacious vision that they could build satellites, launch them, construct a network of ground stations, and collect sufficient imagery to create a detailed, searchable database of the globe. It was easy to believe that putting the planet online could change the world, touching an enormous range of human endeavors spanning agriculture, defense, human rights, mineral extraction, disaster response, urban planning and construction.
Today’s warfighters and explorers continue to depend on this critical information in ways the early explorers could not have dreamed. This week at the GEOINT 2013* conference companies are showing off the latest in 3D mapping, satellite imagery and remote sensing, and drones to capture full-motion video. However, without the tools to capture rich data, process it, preserve it, and collaborate with it, we would not get the full value from these sophisticated geospatial technologies. This week at GEOINT 2013* we’re having a lot of conversations about the proliferation of vital data, and Quantum’s role in a range of mission workflows to foster collaboration. The talk on the show floor at GEOINT 2013* revolves around how the geospatial community can share expertise to address a challenge that has plagued cartography from day one: How to get an accurate map in the hands of the users that have the critical need in a timely way.
Data stewardship has always mattered. We humans have been recording valuable data for thousands of years—all we have to do is look at the Lascaux cave paintings in southwestern France for images that are believed to be over 17,000 years old. And sometimes, we have even invested in beautiful monuments to store our data repositories and to symbolize the knowledge within. Observing, capturing, and preserving information about this planet are behaviors that seem to be wired into our DNA. The Radcliffe Camera at the Bodleian Library at Oxford is one such beautiful monument to data stewardship. This image of the Bodleian—which I discovered through Fodor’s 20 Most Stunning Libraries—makes me stop and marvel, not only at the curves of the dome and the lines of the columns, but at the determination of the architects and builders who spent over 100 years constructing this beauty, to store and protect a wealth of knowledge for centuries to come.
Astronomers searching for life outside of our solar system speak of The Goldilocks Zone – the region around a star where conditions are suitable for sustaining life: not too close and hot, and not too distant and cold. Initially these “just right” conditions appeared to be almost impossibly rare, but researchers over the years have found organisms that can exist in more conditions than previously imagined. It turns out that the Goldilocks Zone is wider than we thought, increasing the possibility of finding other planets capable of sustaining life. Today a similar recognition is happening in data centers. While IT has long thought of data storage as “hot” and requiring immediate access in flash memory or primary disk, or “cold” and suitable for backup and archive to tape, there weren’t many choices for a “warm” tier of data that required a more nuanced cost/latency balance. The expanding range of choices such as public and private cloud, object storage and LTFS tape has in effect created a wider Goldilocks Zone for data centers. The refreshed thinking about the capabilities of both established and emerging technologies for these different tiers of storage has been getting a lot of attention lately.
Since we announced our next generation StorNext 5 Appliances three weeks ago, we’ve been getting requests for more background about how we’ve achieved such significant increases in performance, scalability and flexibility. To dive deeper into how we built StorNext 5 from the ground up, I’ve tapped Skip Levens, director of technical marketing, to detail some of its core design features.