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Start-up unveils SAN-to-cloud optimizer appliance

Cirtas' appliance caches locally, stores data remotely

September 20, 2010 08:39 AM ET

Computerworld - Start-up Cirtas Systems unveiled its first product today, an appliance that caches high-priority data locally and stores secondary data in the cloud using WAN optimization technology.

Cirtas' 2U (3.5-in-high) appliance, the Bluejet Cloud Storage Controller, acts as a local cache that uses a combination of DRAM, solid-state drives and 7,200-rpm hard disk drives. The multiple tiers of storage enable users to set up policies for storing data based on priority. The appliance offers up to 3.5TB of internal capacity.

The Bluejet appliance also compresses and de-duplicates data before replicating it off-site via either Iron Mountain's Archive Services or Amazon's S3 cloud storage service, depending on data storage and restoration requirements.

Cirtas' Bluejet Cloud Storage Controller
Cirtas' Bluejet Cloud Storage Controller

"The appliance connects to the customer's SAN and appears like another array, but it allows the enterprise to use [cloud storage] instead of accumulating data on-site," said Dan Decasper, co-founder and CEO of Cirtas. "We will announce other [cloud service] providers in coming releases."

The Bluejet appliance offers data-compression ratios of 2:1 to 3:1, depending on the data type, and a data de-duplication ratio as high as 50:1 for backup, Decasper said.

One advantage to using the Bluejet appliance for disaster recovery, Decasper said, is that a user company does not need connectivity between a primary data center and a secondary off-site data center. Instead, if a primary site goes down, the company can open a link to the cloud service provider, which has connectivity to the secondary disaster recovery site.

"So for disaster recovery to work, you don't need an expensive leased line between primary and secondary sites," Decasper said.

Cirtas is targeting midmarket enterprise companies with its new appliance, or companies with annual revenues between $200 million and $10 billion.

The Blujet appliance comes with several service support plans -- a next-day service plan, or a 24/7 premium plan.

The appliance is available immediately and will have a starting retail price of $69,995.

"Cirtas Bluejet makes migrating data to the cloud fast and painless, and perfectly complements our portfolio of cloud storage and information management services," Jaimin Patel, director of developer programs for Iron Mountain, said in a statement. "Together, Cirtas and Iron Mountain offer enterprise customers an integrated cloud solution that is easy to implement and manage while ensuring stored information is accessible and secure."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at Twitter @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed Mearian RSS. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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