Avere Extends NAS Onto Amazon’s Cheap Glacier

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Freeze your data in Amazon’s cheap cold storage – and still get it back when you want it

Avere, whose “edge filer” products optimise local NAS storage, has added a connector that allows it to move data on and off Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) and the ever-so-cheap Glacier cloud backup service.

The new FlashCloud addition to Avere’s FXT  product presents the data from all these sources in a single global name space, with current and recent data readily to hand on the edge filer, and all the other data available without the user having to interface directly with the cloud services. The product has been announced at Amazon’s AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas.

FlashCloud future?

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“We are re-inventing storage,” said Ron Bianchin, CEO of Avere. “We are integrating public and private object storage with legacy NAS into a single cost-effective pool. It’s the ultimate cloud on-ramp.”

The new feature combines with Avere’s existing FlashMove and FlashMirror features, so companies can move live data around to find the best place for it, and still have access, said Bianchini.

“Now you imagine that instead of buying capacity in-house, you can simply buy capacity from Amazon,”  Bianchini told TechWeek in London last week. “We are currently working with customers who have massive amounts of data who never expected to use the cloud for this much storage.”

The new feature is a logical step in Avere’s progress, he said. Having allowed customers to off-site their data using the NXT, Avere is now letting some of that data go to the S3 cloud or even to Glacier – which most observes believe to be constructed from tape drives.

“The metadata stays in-house,” he told us. “You can think of it as a catalogue of what is in the freezer. If you want it you just press thaw.” Data takes a while to come back from Glacier, but without FlashCloud, there is no NFS/CIFS front end to the data, so it cannot be found and brought back easily, he said.

“We think it is a pretty interesting way to support Glacier,” said Bianchin. Putting a petabyte of data into Glacier with this front end can represent a 73 percent cheaper option than using storage from NetApp or EMC – and unlike other low-cost options, it doesn’t lock you in because the data can be restore with FlashMove when needed, he said.

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