Alliance Storage Technologies announces NETArchive Version 2

Alliance Storage Technologies makes multi-tiered storage, with the secret sauce being an optical storage specialization. The new version has significant capacity increases over the old.

Chris Carr, Alliance Storage Technologies’ CEO

Colorado Springs-based Alliance Storage Technologies has announced Version 2 of its NETArchive platform which – as the name suggests – is its purpose built archiving solution. NETArchive 2.0 has a modular infrastructure which utilizes optical, cloud, and high-performance disk tiers, at a price similar to tape.

The optical storage is a key part of Alliance Storage Technologies’ offering.

“We began as a small reseller of Plasmon and other vendors, mainly selling optical storage solutions,” said Chris Carr, Alliance Storage Technologies’ CEO. “In 2009, when Plasmon ran into financial difficulties, we purchased their assets and took over all their manufacturing – as well as their engineering and manufacturing people. We thus became a much larger company and have continued since then to develop optical archive solutions, except that we now manufacture the equipment.”

While the company makes and sells UDO direct attached libraries, with Sony supplying the drives, their core product for years has been its AMS [Archive Management Software] platform, which archives, manages, optimizes and protects critical content. NetArchive was introduced in July 2016, and is built on top of the AMS platform as a purpose-built archiving solution.

Bill Gallagher, Director of Sales and Marketing

“The AMS platform itself is now almost 15 years old, and it is the foundation of NETArchive, except that we have enhanced software for NETArchive,” Bill Gallagher, Director of Sales and Marketing. “The drive technology is from Sony. While NETArchive as a solution is new, it uses two technologies that have proven themselves. It’s not a proof of concept.”

Gallagher said that NETArchive is designed specifically for archiving, not as an extension of backing things up.

“This is ideal for industries with regulatory requirements, because it’s a true archive where they can meet those requirements,” he said. “Improvements to the optical media now give it a projected lifespan of over 100 years, far more than tape or HDD. There is a lot of automation. It’s a very flexible and configurable automated system, which is fully integrated and holistic, and where the data is set up to be admissible in a court of law.” The data is AES 256 encrypted, which is FIPS 140-2 compliant.

Gallagher also stressed that NETArchive has the 3-2-1 flexibility using two separate media types that many customers now prefer.

“We also can do things that other technologies struggle with, such as protect against ransomware, and you don’t have to buy a backup system to back us up, because it does this internally,” he said.

Many of the enhancements over the initial version deal with capacity increases. The NETArchive system on-premises near-line storage has been increased to 1.6PB in a single rack, double what it was before. Drive speeds have been increased 100 per cent, doubling data migration and recall rates, along with the same 100 per cent increase in media capacities noted already, which reduce cost per GB to the tape range of $.04. System cache can be increased threefold, cutting cost per GB in half, if an option to do this is chosen. Finally, a built-in and complimentary Transparent Archive Migration Facility for existing Archive Appliance users has been added, to facilitate a non-disruptive migration to the NETArchive.

The media cost until recently was as much as a dollar a GB,” Gallagher said. “Cutting it to four cents, with the 100 year guarantee is very compelling from a TCO perspective.”

Alliance Storage Technologies has a primarily channel go-to-market model.

“We do have a few house accounts which require a different level of support,” Gallagher indicated. “We have over 100 partners, although only a couple dozen of these have been active. With this new technology, some of them are getting back on board and revisiting things.”