Imation Rises to Big Data Storage Cost Challenge

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The Struggle to Manage the Complexity of Modern IT

Ever since Imation acquired Nexsan earlier this year, the provider of storage systems has been steadily moving up in weight class. What was once a product line that was almost exclusively focused on small to midsize business (SMB) customers has gradually been extended into the enterprise. Now, Imation is extending the reach of its Nexsan product lineup into the very high end of the market with a Nexsan E-Series V storage array that provides up to 240 terabytes of capacity in 4U rack while consuming less than one-third the power and one-third the space of rival arrays.

Mason Swenson, senior product manager for Imation, says the company is trying to provide the economics of commodity storage using low-cost-per-gigabyte 7200 SAS hard drives in a storage system in a way that doesn’t require IT organizations to build their own storage systems.

To reduce costs, many high-performance computing (HPC) organizations prefer to adopt a do-it-yourself approach to IT that keeps their costs lower by relying more on their own engineering expertise. With the rise of Big Data, some enterprise IT organizations have taken similar approaches to scaling their IT environment. But Swenson contends that the Nexsan E-Series V brings the same cost efficiencies that Nexsan pioneered in the SMB space to the high end of the enterprise, which means organizations won’t have to create their own storage systems to effectively cope with Big Data.

Storage vendors are salivating at the chance to do anything with Big Data. But it’s those storage costs that are an inhibitor to the development and adoption of Big Data applications. The goal behind the development of the Nexsan E-Series V, says Swenson, is to provide a way to address the storage needs of those applications without breaking the IT storage budget. In addition, Swenson says that Nexsan AutoMaid data-tiering software works dynamically, versus rival systems that provide only the ability to intermittently tier data.

Obviously, a lot of competition exists for Big Data storage dollars. As a spin out of 3M, Imation is making its claim to those dollars. What needs to be determined, is to what degree Imation can transfer an SMB reputation for cost effectiveness into an enterprise IT edge that is capable of unseating much larger storage rivals.