HDS Pushes Iceland Archive

Teams with Data Islandia for outsourced archiving service

December 8, 2007

4 Min Read
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Could Iceland be the next big thing in archiving? HDS seems to think so. It's signed a partnership with Icelandic firm Data slandia to offer what it claims is the world's most environmentally friendly archiving service.

Although better known for geysers, fishing, and its bizarre volcanic landscape, the remote North Atlantic island is the ideal location for U.S. and U.K. firm to outsource their archived data, according to Sol Squire, Data Íslandia's chief business development officer. "We have a geographic mid-point between the U.S. and Europe, sharing a common business day," he says. "It's very different to how someone would deal with someone in India or China."

Located around 180 miles from Greenland and 600 miles from mainland Europe, Iceland is just five hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast and in the same time zone as the U.K.

HDS's services wing will now start selling Iceland as an archiving destination, touting the island's "green" power infrastructure and cheap energy and telecommunications as incentives for firms to send their data to the edge of the Arctic circle.

Although he would not divulge any customer names, Squire confirmed that Data Íslandia is already archiving data for a number of Nordic governments, five "major multinational" firms, and NGOs in both the U.S. and the U.K, which is currently in the throes of its own data security scandal.Data Íslandia and HDS have developed a device they call a "data scooter" to transfer users' disks to a site just outside Iceland's capital, Reykjavik. This is essentially a secure box which can contain up to 18 Tbytes of SATA disk, according to Squire.

"The scooter is loaded up, we fly back with it, and it gets ingested into our data structure," says Squire, explaining that disks are encrypted by the customers before the journey begins.

Once ingested into the Data Íslandia data center, customers can manage this data via the Internet, using an interface built on Hitachi's Content Archiving Platform (HCAP) software to delete, index, and search their data.

Data Íslandia will now add Hitachi's Universal Storage Platform V (USP V) hardware to its 53-Pbyte archive. Squire confirmed that the firm will also be using HDS's recently announced power-saving disks.

Like many storage vendors, Data Íslandia and HDS are also playing the green card in an attempt to lure customers onto the service."Their major data center facilities are powered entirely by renewable energy -- their data management policies are honed to minimize environmental footprint," explained the HDS CTO Hu Yoshida in a recent blog entry, highlighting the fact that Data Íslandia's data center is powered by geothermal and hydroelectric energy.

"Iceland is completely zero carbon emission with regard to electrical transmission," adds Squire, describing the vendor's data center just outside the country's capital Reykjavik as "the greenest managed archive in the world."

Increasingly, vendors are pushing green technologies as a key selling point for their storage systems and services, although this has met with something of a mixed reaction from users.

As for the financial benefits of sending disks to Iceland, Squire claims that Data Íslandia's archiving services are cheaper than those already offered in the U.S. and the U.K., where firms like Iron Mountain <="" a=""> have already established a strong presence.

<="" a="">"We have a price for green energy that's typically more competitive than what you would find in Europe or North America," says Squire, but he was unwilling to reveal Data Íslandia's pricing structure.At least one analyst nonetheless thinks that the vendor is a viable option for U.S. firms drowning in data. "This idea is a good one, as nearly as I can tell," wrote Jon Toigo of Toigo Partners International in a blog, describing Iceland as the potential "Swiss bank of data."

<="" a="">"I see the notion of a skillfully managed archive service as a godsend to larger companies (and maybe even some smaller ones) who lack the coin to buy a bunch of new hardware and software [and] hire and train new cadres of IT personnel to manage and police it," Toigo states.

<="" a="">Would you pay extra for a green archiving service? Why not tell us about it on the latest Storage Poll.

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  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM)

  • Toigo Partners International0

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