Quantum Africa, the local operation of the world's leading provider of backup, recovery and archive solutions, has released the latest version of its scalable StorNext data management software.

Unprecedented growth in unstructured data, rich file formats resulting from advancements in digital technologies, and extended life expectancy of digital assets can strain existing storage infrastructures.
StorNext 4.0 provides enhanced high-speed data sharing and management capabilities to combat these challenges. Ideal for media and entertainment, life sciences and other high-performance computing environments, StorNext 4.0 builds on Quantum's technology in delivering workflow and tiered storage solutions for greater efficiency and reduced management overhead. The new features include integrated file system deduplication, a flexible replication engine and distributed data tiering, as well as timecode-based partial file retrieval and a Web services-based management console.
StorNext provides advanced data deduplication natively in the file system for nearline data and multi-site environments. This new capability is ideally suited for high data growth enterprises where a massive amount of data is continually processed, stored and accessed.
Quantum's patented variable-length deduplication technology finds redundant data blocks across files and stores only unique data. Previously applied only to Quantum's backup solutions, this technology is leveraged in StorNext 4.0 to enable even greater cost savings and better storage management.
StorNext's replication feature provides many options for protecting and managing data across distributed environments. StorNext customers can now protect against unforeseen disasters by replicating critical data to another remote location. Data from a single site or multiple branch offices can be consolidated or protected, enabling continued operations if the source location becomes unavailable.
Customers can also adopt a data distribution strategy to achieve 24×7 global workflow, reducing project timelines and cost. In addition, with its deduplication functionality, StorNext 4.0 can replicate only unique data, thereby significantly reducing network bandwidth requirements.
"With such high volumes of data generated daily from DNA sequencing, and the need to access hundreds of terabytes of data at any given time, StorNext offers the scalability and support we need," says Geraint Morgan, director of Information Systems at Baylor College of Medicine's Human Genome Sequencing Center. "Over the next year, we expect storage requirements of over two petabytes, and we hope to leverage StorNext's new deduplication advancements and enterprise replication features to accommodate this growth."
Customers with high throughput requirements for tiering can also take advantage of the new distributed data tiering support in StorNext 4.0 through the addition of "Distributed Data Mover" (DDM) functionality.
DDM acts as the conduit for passing data to and from the storage tiers. By adding more DDMs to a StorNext solution, system performance dramatically scales for archives that become more active. DDMs enable reads and writes of file copies for data preservation and retrieval while still providing fast access to data via the copy on primary disk.
The additional new features in StorNext 4.0 include timecode-based Partial File Retrieval (PFR): it streamlines workflow in media asset management applications so that segments of large media files rather than the entire file, which can be retrieved and utilised based on timecode parameters. It also offers a Web services-based management console which improves integration and streamlines management and monitoring through an XML-based graphical user interface (GUI).
StorNext comprises two core software components: StorNext File System and StorNext Storage Manager. The StorNext File System enables companies to share files easily and preserve investments by giving applications running on Unix, Linux, Windows and/or Macintosh operating systems concurrent access to a common file store.
Its open architecture makes StorNext highly scalable and allows data sharing by both SAN (storage area network)- and LAN (local area network)-based clients.
StorNext is also storage vendor-agnostic, enabling users to leverage any mix of disk and tape. StorNext Storage Manager provides automated movement of data between different storage tiers based on user-defined policies and file access requirements. Combined with DDM, StorNext Storage Manager is ideal for large-scale storage environments. In addition, because it integrates with the virtualisation capabilities of the StorNext File System, Storage Manager makes files accessible to client applications regardless of whether they are stored on-site or off-site.
"Globally, we have over 50 000 StorNext File System licences, hundreds of petabytes of data under management, and a customer base that includes many of the world's top media and high-performance computing organisations," says Ryan Johnson, country manager for Quantum Africa. "This situation also pertains in South Africa, where Quantum is the undoubted backup leader.
"With the growing proliferation of massive data files, we are leveraging Quantum's expertise in shared workflow and tiered storage in StorNext 4.0 to provide our installed base and other customers with an efficient and more cost-effective way to meet their high-speed data sharing, management and protection needs."