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Cleversafe Chases Cloud Storage

Startup Cleversafe is offering a new take on cloud storage by adding service providers to its Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet).

Last year the Chicago-based vendor began talking about dsNet, which it describes as a storage Internet.’ By borrowing the same principles of packet-switching networks to data storage, the vendor has built a set of storage devices which essentially ‘slice’ data and share it across disparate locations.

“We see dispersed storage as an ideal technology for cloud storage or storage as a service because the systems can scale infinitely,” says Russ Kennedy, Cleversafe’s vice president of product management. “You can simultaneously lose some pieces of the network and still put the data back.”

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.

The different lookalike boxes in a 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. This makes security stronger than in other grids, according to the vendor.

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