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PowerFile Pushes DVD Archiving

Could CD and DVD technologies be the answer to users' long-term archiving needs? Startup PowerFile thinks so, and it is touting CD- and DVD-based libraries as an alternative to traditional tape storage. (See PowerFile Unveils App, PowerFile Picks Xyratex, and StorageQuest, Powerfile Partner Up.)

"It's a new way to approach the market," explains Jonathan Buckley, PowerFile's vice president of marketing. "We're leveraging technologies from the consumer market." He did not reveal which suppliers are providing the CDs and DVDs.

The vendor, which started life back in 1999, initially targeted the high-end video management and desktop media space, although it has shifted its focus more and more towards storage in recent years.

Essentially, PowerFile offers libraries filled with industry standard DVDs and CDs. These libraries, which it calls Permanent Storage Appliances, sit behind a server running archiving software from the likes of C2C. Instead of archiving to a virtual tape library (VTL), users can instead store their data on the DVD and CDs via the server. "It acts as a caching front-end for the whole system," says Buckley.

The idea, according to the exec, is that users can bypass tape. "Any magnetic media is not really a permanent means to store," says Buckley. CDs can store data for up to 300 years and DVDs can handle data for up to 50 years.

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