Permabit, which once had lofty hopes
of being a standalone storage systems vendor to be reckoned with, has toned
down its approach.
Finding it tough to crack into the daunting market shares of incumbents EMC
(Quote), IBM (Quote), and HP (Quote), Permabit
has scaled back, shedding its hardware offering to sell software that
houses, guards and retrieves information for long periods of time.
The company this week unveiled the Permabit Dynamic Information Grid (DIG),
a marriage of grid storage technology and the company’s Dynamic Information
Services (DIS) software.
DIS, known as Permeon
in its previous incarnation, boasts features that make it an efficient
centerpiece for grid of storage arrays, according to Jim Geronaitis, vice
president of marketing and product marketing for Permabit.
Such features include: a node-based design that eliminates the need for
major data migration; a new information discovery service module that allows
users to find and retrieve information based on search technology from FAST
Search and Transfer; reporting and management analytics; capacity
utilization and chargeback; automated load balancing; automated
de-duplication of information; and automatic data redistribution and
The main difference in Permabit’s hardware/software system approach is
that the Cambridge, Mass., company has removed the distasteful fuss of major
Permabit partner Avnet Applied Computing Systems (ACS) takes the DIS
software, bundles it on generic hardware and sells it as DIG for Permabit.
“We’re taking off-the-shelf hardware, building it in a grid configuration
and putting our software on it to manage the grid and provide the services
required for compliance and litigation support in long-term archiving,”
The executive said Permabit stands a good chance in the archiving and
compliance software market in tempting customers with a grid approach
because hardware requires a forklift upgrade every three or four years.
“We don’t have to do a forklift upgrade,” Geronaitis said. “We can add new
technology into our compliance storage without having to affect the content
addresses or audit trail.
“If you take a hardware approach, like an EMC Centera, when your three years
comes up, you have to physically remove all of that information off of the
system and put it on a new system. Everyone of those steps is an audit
nightmare because you have to be able to prove, in the case of litigation or
compliance, that that information never changed.”
By its distributed, independent nature, the storage grid lets companies
automatically redistribute storage resources and move to more advanced
storage technology down the road.
Geronaitis said Permabit believes the market opportunities for its storage
grid are great, so much so that the company next month will begin offering
the DIS to original equipment manufacturers (OEM).