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Cache-A Ships Power-Cache Archive Server

COW Library : Archiving and Back-Up : Debra Kaufman : Cache-A Ships Power-Cache Archive Server
CreativeCOW presents Cache-A Ships Power-Cache Archive Server -- Archiving and Back-Up Feature


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At NAB 2011, Cache-A Corporation was honored with a Creative COW Blue Ribbon award for Best Archiving System, for its Pro-Cache 5 solution. The company has topped its previous efforts with a very high-performance solution, the Power-Cache Archive Server, with its latest version 2.1 software features. The new Power-Cache includes a very fast disk array and speedy networking integrated with Cache-A's typical appliance functionality. It also offers a separate SSD drive for its operating system and greater flexibility for staging content, making duplicate tape copies and working with Cache-A Library and Expansion units.

Mark Ostlund, Cache-A Corporation Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Mark Ostlund, Cache-A Corporation Vice President of Sales and Marketing
"We have customers that are generating in excess of three or four terabytes a day," says Mark Ostlund, Cache-A Corporation Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "That's about what a Pro-Cache can handle, so they get multiple Pro-Caches and share a common database between them. Or you can step up and go with something that has higher performance in terms of its IO capacity and number of drives it can deal with simultaneously."

The new Power-Cache fits that description perfectly. A one-rack-unit, the Power-Cache controls up to four LTO-5 drives with up to two concurrently at full speed. "Customers wanted something that could handle that kind of data rate," says Ostlund. "They also wanted a smaller form factor, something that was rack-mountable, as well as the ability to have more drives."

"What people don't realize is that data tape is faster than disk," he adds. "A single LTO-5 drives is 140 megabytes per second, whereas most high-end hard disks are between 80 and 120 megabytes per second. These [LTO drives] really scream and they require a pretty powerful IO performance to be able to keep them going at tape speed."

For archiving large projects, the Cache-A Library24 and Library48 Automation Appliances work with the Power-Cache (and Pro-Cache) to automate archival workflows. When driven by the Power-Cache Archive Server, Library24 can accommodate up to two internal tape drives and Library48 can handle up to four tape drives. Library24 provides near-line archival capacity of up to 36 Terabytes, with 72 Terabytes in the Library48 model.

The latest version software offers the ability to queue jobs from multiple users or events, which was a feature that many customers had asked for. The software now also enables direct mounting of Apple file shares, thus improving performance for Mac users. New status reporting provides more information about file transfer progress and new network configuration controls offer the ability to set up and view the status of each Ethernet port. Also new are a new RAID manager, SSD OS capabilities, multiple tape drives support and reporting functionality.

Ostlund also points out that Power-Cache's 10-Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure is another differentiating factor. "That's a lot of performance," he says. "We have a 10-gigE card with 10 gigE plug-ins and each one is 10 gigabits, which gets you a lot of throughput. Four LTO-5 drives are 560 megabytes per second throughput, and the Power-Cache can handle that."


Power-Cache rear view
Power-Cache's ability to control up to 4 tape drives concurrently (up to 2 at full speed) is enabled in part by the 10GB Ethernet connections (SFP+) ready to integrate into the fastest network backbones.


The Power-Cache has been getting a lot of attention from the high-bandwidth customers who wanted such a solution. But Ostlund notes his surprise when some customers purchased the Power-Cache with a library sporting a single LTO-5 drive. "I asked them, why not just get a Pro-Cache," he says. "And their answer was that they want to be ready for the future. They're planning on going to 10-gigE in the future. They anticipate their data rates going up when they go into 2K and 4K formats."

Planning for the future is a necessity in today's highly competitive market. Anticipating that by offering much greater throughput is a smart move. Today's 4K is tomorrow's 8K, and, as the appetite for data delivery grows, Cache-A Corporation will be well positioned. My guess is that they're already working on a bigger, badder version of Power-Cache.



Cache-A's new Power-Cache model delivers 8TB of RAID, accessed as network attached storage (NAS).









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