ProStor's InfiniVault Shoulders Compliance, E-Discovery Burdens

Because IT workers, not lawyers, manage data archives, ProStor automates compliance should legal challenges come calling.
Posted December 20, 2007
By

Drew Robb

Drew Robb


InfiniVault by ProStor Systems of Boulder, CO, is intended as a flexible archive solution that consolidates and automates regulatory compliance. In essence, it is a target storage system on the network where archiving software (such as Enterprise Content Management, email archiving, Hierarchical Storage Management), system utilities and applications can move data using standard CIFS and NFS protocols.

In essence, InfiniVault becomes the custodian of the data archived and keeps an audit trail of all movement of the data and all accesses to the data from that point on.

Archived data is put into an active archive while at the same time multiple copies of the data are written to removable disk cartridges. The data is optionally compressed and encrypted as it written to the cartridges. For files that are of a standard file type, content indexing is done and a searchable database for e-discovery is maintained.

"The data in the active archive is always visible to the application or utilities, but after a lengthy residency period will be minimized to reduce active space consumption," said Randy Kerns, CTO of ProStor. "An online reference to data in the active archive will retrieve either directly or from a cartridge that may online or offline."

Compliance functions such as control of access, immutability through hardware-enforced WORM, encryption, multiple uniquely serialized copies, retention periods with controlled deletion, legal holds, etc. are all handled automatically by InfiniVault for the independent archive that is configured.

However, multiple independent archives may be configured with each having a different set of compliance or business governance regulations. Further, individual folders within those archives can be set to have different default retention periods.

Removable Disks

RDX is a removable disk technology used by ProStor. Commodity mobile hard disks with ramp-loaded heads are used in cartridges as a removable storage device that may be inserted into the ProStor RDX dock or into the removable disk array (RDA) of the InfiniVault. The same cartridges used in the RDX backup devices being sold by major server vendors are used in the InfiniVault. According to Kerns, installation of the entire system including configuration the independent archive with compliance settings takes less than one hour.

"InfiniVault offers RDX technology, hardware enforced WORM, the ability to configure multiple independent archives, and a complete audit trail for provable chain of custody," he said.

Such features can be particularly important to compliance with regulations such as SEC Rule 17a-4(f); the Health Information Protection and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security requirements for record confidentiality; and the record destruction requirements of the Department of Defense (DOD) Design Criteria Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications, Version 2.

"Most of the staff in IT either doesn't have the time or training (or both) to deal with compliance," said Kerns. "Meeting these requirements has become an imperative because of both the financial penalties, but also the civil and criminal liabilities placed on protection of information - both personal and business."

These and many other regulations have gained a great deal of visibility due to the enforcement and litigation that has recently happened, as well as the PR meltdowns occasioned by firm after firm confessing its latest data breach sins. InfiniVault is designed with exactly this climate in mind. The goal of its architects was to make the meeting of compliance requirements a simple and automated task for people who lack a deep understanding of all the ins and outs of the law. By doing so, the intention is to reduce if not eliminate the threat posed by non-compliance.

"Keeping a solution simple and providing the ability to consolidate to one archiving storage system are important considerations for IT," said Kerns. "InfiniVault is meant to provide significant economic value by intelligently managing archive data that is moved from primary storage and to automate the compliance handling so it does add to existing operational requirements."

The InfiniVault product suite is available in three configurations. InfiniVault Model 3 is the low-end box for small businesses and remote offices. It is a tower system with up to 1.6 TB of online and nearline storage and unlimited offline capacity. Pricing starts at $10,995.

The InfiniVault Model 30 is aimed at larger SMBs. This archive appliance is an integrated rack-mount system with up to 11 TB of storage. Pricing starts at $29,995. At the top sits the Model 100, a higher end version for midsized enterprises. It is also a rack-mount system with up to 39 TB storage. Pricing starts at $74,995.

This article was first published on EnterpriseITPlanet.com.






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