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Prostor Adds Flexible Options To Infinivault Release 2

ProStor Infinivault is a Write Once Read Many (WORM) drive used to permanently store electronic data while ensuring that it is unaltered once written. The InfiniVault assures write once through hardware enforcement. With release 2 of their product, ProStor has added remote replication to store many copies of the data and relaxed the write only enforcement allowing policy based management and capacity reclamation.

Remote replication aids in disaster recovery procedures by automating data replication between InfiniVaults. When a file is written to an in InfiniVault, four copies can be written simultaneously. One to the WORM RDX, ProStor's removable disk drives,  for on-line access. Two more copies can be written to separate RDX drives for local or off-site storage, and a fourth copy can be transferred vis CIFS to a InfiniVault over the network. The transfer, unfortunately is over CIFS, a rather inefficient network protocol due to block size limits and  a chatty command channel and the transfer is not encrypted meaning if you want to secure the data, you have to provide your own network encryption like an IPSec VPN. Representatives from ProStor said they decided to focus on simplicity and robustness in the InfiniVault rather than add potentially unnecessary features. Most companies have a VPN between sites that traverse the Internet, but private lines often don't and network encryption would be a nice feature.

WORM drives, once they are used up, can't be reused. That is a potential waste of money particularly of data has to be stored for a shorter time span than the life of the drive. Through policies defined by external applications, files can be removed from the archive. That sounds like storage, right? The InfinVault, when it writes a file to an RDX drive, it also write out metadata to a catalog including which RDX drive it was written to and takes a secure hash of the file. The secure hash is used to verify the file wasn't changed after it was written. The catalog is available on the appliance and can locate any file stored. If the RDX drive is removed, the drive ID tells you which one to retrieve and insert into the InfiniVault.

Finally, ProStor added capacity reclamation  to the InfiniVault which allows data whose retention policies have expired to be deleted and free up the space for re-use. Similar to read/write, this mode alters the disk image. If you are looking for storage for compliance requirements where data integrity is paramount, you need to check with your lawyers on the legal requirements of data retention before using the read/write and capacity reclamation features. However, the new features do add flexibility that is more palatable to a wider audience.