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Cleversafe Releases Dispersed Storage Products

A year after announcing its "dispersed storage" technology, Cleversafe this week unveiled the first commercial products designed to implement it.

Comprising a series of router-shaped boxes, Cleversafe's storage gear comes in three parts: A LAN-attached Accesser takes in data or images and disassembles it into slices, which are then compressed, encrypted, and stored across multiple endpoints called Slicestors. A Manager unit monitors the components and provides reports.

All these look-alike boxes in a Cleversafe Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet) operate on a few key tenets. The first is that the same packet-switching principles underlying Internet operations will work for storage. Hence, the dsNet slices data into multiple slices, which are then distributed throughout the network. If one system in the dsNet goes down, the data can still be regenerated from the remaining parts -- making security stronger than in other kinds of grids.

Because a dsNet doesn't require all nodes to be up and running to restore dispersed data, Cleversafe says it obviates the need and cost of replicating data.

A second principle involves the use of iSCSI, with the Cleversafe Accesser deploying the SCSI protocol to appear to LAN users as a locally attached disk drive.

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