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Ocarina Shrinks Data, Storage Needs

The explosion of data and storage, and the requirement that information be stored in an economical manner that allows for easy retrieval and recovery has fueled a boom in tools and tactics to compress, de-dupe, and generally reduce the amount that is being dumped on disk drives, tapes, and other types of storage systems.

Data reduction startup Ocarina Networks , which emerged from stealth mode earlier this year, has expanded its ECO System storage optimization offering with a host of new features and the ability to shrink a wider range of file types in order to appeal to more companies and industries. It promises to deliver a 10-to-1 reduction in the data footprint of files.

"We shrink things more than any other competing technology," boasted Carter George, vice president of products and technology, to Byte and Switch, "and we do it with your existing storage technology and processes. We work on the files you already have and on the technology you already have."

Ocarina takes a three-step ECO process to compress files. Carter says most files like email, photos, videos, music, and every document created in Microsoft Office are already compressed when they're saved, and it's hard to shrink files that have already been compressed. So Ocarina identifies a file type and decompresses it to its original raw format in a process it calls "Extract," which is done in the background and can be managed through policies. It then "Correlates" and checks to see if the data is duplicated so it can eliminate copies, such as a photo that is stored, then used in a PowerPoint presentation, and later used in a company white paper. Then it "Optimizes," using a content-aware compressor and more than 100 algorithms to shrink around 500 files types, and writes the de-duped and compressed data back to disk.

The compression appliance was originally targeted at online photo-sharing sites, but now includes a batch of new file types to serve the media and entertainment, oil and gas, and medical image archive markets. New features include one-step file migration and optimization, time-sequenced file versioning and viewing, and virtual global namespaces.

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