Archivas Seeks Archiving Action

Startup's CAS upgrade could land OEM deal

June 11, 2005

3 Min Read
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Archivas Inc. is beefing up its search, performance, and availability features to try and elbow its way into the emerging Content Addressed Storage (CAS) space.

Archivas next week will rollout Archivas Cluster (ArC) 1.5, the first major upgrade of its archiving product first launched in April 2004 (see Archivas Arrivas). Marketing VP Asim Zaheer says ArC now can search file contents, write data faster, and tolerate three simultaneous failures.

While Archivas is one of the players looking to cash in on the emerging CAS market, Zaheer says he doesnt consider ArC a CAS system. “We compete with CAS, but CAS is a unique implementation that we don’t do,” he says. “CAS is proprietary; we’re open.”

Regardless of how it characterizes its product, Archivas is clearly going after EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), which coined the CAS acronym for its Centera system in 2002 and is helping it become a catch-all term for fixed content (see EMC Has Eyes for Huge Archives). Zaheer is quick to point out Archivas can now index and search across file names, meta data, and file contents, while EMC searches only meta data; and Archivas lets customers store enough copies of archive objects to handle three failures, while Centera can only tolerate one failure.

Still, a startup with 10 customers isn’t going to dethrone EMC in CAS without help. Archivas’s new features are also aimed at luring major partners. One source familiar with the company says several Tier 1 OEMs are “looking hard” at Archivas. Zaheer won’t discuss potential OEM deals, but says Archivas hopes to land reseller partners. OEM candidates include Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), major storage vendors that lack CAS products to compete with EMC, and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ). A new offering from Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) and a system from Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) are planned for later this year.The archiving space is full of wheeling and dealing these days. Disk-backup startup Nexsan Technologies Inc. is working on a CAS system with software it picked up by acquiring EverTrust in March, and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) spent $58 million on archiving software startup DataCenter Technologies in April (see Nexsan Targets CAS Startup and Veritas Archives Another Startup). Veritas hasn’t said much about its plans for DCT’s technology, but it's more likely to use the technology in its backup software than ship a dedicated CAS system.

Startup Permabit Inc. is looking for an OEM deal after its partner StorageTek launched its own IntelliStore CAS system this week (see StorageTek Taps Permabit's CAS Act). Sun will probably have to whittle its roster of archiving systems from three -- the Sun Compliance and Content Management Solution, its upcoming Honeycomb CAS product, and the IntelliStore system it will pick up after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of StorageTek (see Sun, AXS-One Offer Compliance Appliance, Sun Pushes Into NAS , and Sun to Acquire StorageTek for $4.1B).

One measure of CAS’s growing popularity –- among vendors, at least -- is that EMC, HP, Sun, and Permabit this week launched an online CAS community portal to broaden market awareness.

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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