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Seagate Storage Cloud to launch in SA

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Seagate Technology will launch a long-term, unlimited capacity cloud-based data storage service in South Africa early next year (2016) – the first time it is offering this service outside of the US.
Seagate Cloud Systems & Solutions CEO Mike Palmer says the service will be delivered in association with the company’s long-time local business partner, Sithabile Technology Services (STS).
Palmer adds that the service represents a direct local investment by Seagate in partnership with Sithabile of more than R13-million.
“We have enjoyed a relationship of unsurpassed success with Sithabile since it was first established in 2004 as a black-empowered, specialised storage management company,” says Palmer. “Based on this success and Sithabile’s technical and engineering skills we had no hesitation in selecting South Africa as the first country outside of the US to offer the cloud storage service,” he says.
Richard Tatham, GM of Sithabile Cloud Services, a specialist division of STS that will deliver and support the Seagate service, says the new offering represents a logical extension to Sithabile’s existing portfolio of storage infrastructure solutions and services, including data storage, backup, recovery and archiving.
Tatham points out that Seagate Storage Cloud has been purpose-built by the world’s leading storage specialists to address the long-term storage needs of organisations that want to achieve new levels of data integrity, durability, security and accessibility to information that falls outside of day-to-day, on-line or near-line usage.
“The ability to transfer historical data from primary or secondary storage resources such as production servers or tape or disk back-up devices has become a critical imperative in the management of resources and cost in today’s explosive growth of data,” says Tatham.
He points out that the Seagate Storage Cloud service enables customers to achieve this based on a straight-forward, uncomplicated pay-on-demand pricing model.
Marius Roux, senior solutions engineer at Sithabile Technology Services, says Seagate Storage Cloud offers several unique benefits and many major advantages over similar cloud-based storage services.
“With the service having been designed specifically for archival management of data, it becomes an ideal repository for unstructured data. This class of data, which can account for up to 50% of all data generated, is now widely referred to as ‘dark data’ – a direct reference to the potentially sinister consequences of  not knowing exactly what the data is all about, what information is contained in the files and how long it should be retained for.
“Unstructured data is not only a massive governance and compliance risk but its retention comes at a great cost in terms of holding it at various storage levels within the organisation – either in mainstream systems or even conventional backup storage resources,” says Roux.
He adds that, unlike similar cloud-based offerings from major vendors, the Seagate Storage Cloud is hosted locally in South Africa at the Teraco data centre in Isando, Johannesburg.
“This is a unique feature for a cloud-based solution and one that extends the extremely high risk management and compliance standards that are met by the service,” he says.
Roux adds that severe broadband limitations that are an inherent characteristic of cloud computing in South Africa are addressed by Sithabile in terms of its service ethic and capabilities.
“Knowing that many customers are dealing with up to several hundred terabytes of unstructured data that needs be transferred to the cloud, the use of valuable bandwidth for this purpose can be daunting. We have addressed this by offering a ‘seeding’ and retrieval service that is built into the unrivalled value offered by the pay-as-you-go pricing model,” says Roux.