Q uantum’s StorNext® has long been a staple product for Mac users, proven by the fact that an estimated 80% of Quantum’s media and entertainment StorNext customers use Apple workstations. With so many Mac users, we constantly strive to deliver features that will enhance their experience. One of the latest, Mac Offline File Status and Retrieve, was launched as part of StorNext 6. This new feature makes archival and retrieval operations easier and more efficient by providing users with the ability to browse the archive without the potential of accidental retrievals initiated by the Finder. To learn more about this capability, I talked with Jordan Winkelman, Quantum’s resident Mac expert and solutions architect. Below are excerpts from our discussion.
Rebecca: Jordan, how did you become an expert on Macs?
Jordan: I started managing a Mac based computer lab at the age of 16 working for a company called Mac University, which did computer training with a desktop publishing focus and small business consulting. When I turned 18, my boss gave me a polo shirt and promoted me to a consultant. Then I went to college and got a degree in computer science. After that I began working for advertising companies like Leo Burnett, Laga (now called Brandimage), and Schawk, where I managed the network and storage infrastructure at one of the largest photo studios in the country at the time. In addition, I worked for a company called VSA Partners, one of the largest creative agencies in Chicago with nearly 400 designers, where one of my responsibilities was managing the agency’s StorNext ecosystem.
Rebecca: And now you’re working here at Quantum as a solutions architect focused on products like StorNext 6. Can you tell us about one of its new features, Mac Offline File Status and Retrieve?
Jordan: Mac Offline File Status and Retrieve is a fantastic feature. It makes managing large archives with StorNext much easier for Mac users. Before, in some cases, we were seeing problems with the managed file system and retrieval process, such as the inability to tell if a file was truncated and the finder preview feature initiating accidental retrieves. It could be really frustrating for the user. Now we have a solution that prevents these unintended file recalls from happening. StorNext 6 includes a contextual menu with four commands: archive, retrieve, refresh, and truncate. Annotated file icons clearly show the online and offline files. Previously, a user would have to go to a Linux or Windows workstation to view their files to make sure they didn’t accidentally retrieve all of their data. In some cases, they would have to have a media asset manager for retrieval. The Mac Remote Archive feature is integrated with Apple Finder, so now it’s much easier to initiate, retrieve, and access archives—saving users time while increasing their productivity.
Rebecca: Can you give us a real-life example of how this feature will help Mac users?
Jordan: One of our customers supports around 2,000 people on a StorNext NAS system with Lattus™ as backup storage. With the Mac Remote Archive feature in StorNext 6, the customer no longer needs to go to IT to retrieve their data. The users are now happier—and the IT department is happier—so it’s a win-win.
Visit our web page for more information about the Mac Remote Archive feature included with StorNext 6. Also, stay tuned for the next post in our blog series, A Deep Dive on StorNext 6. If you’d like to talk with a storage specialist about how the Mac Remote Archive feature or any other StorNext 6 features can benefit your specific workflow, contact us here.