Thursday, 17 November 2016 20:29

Acronis Storage: ‘Notary’ with Blockchain and Acronis ‘CloudRAID’ to Software-Defined Storage

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Acronis has released Acronis Storage, the "world’s first software-defined storage product with blockchain-based data authentication and universal file, block and object support".

Noting that "the world around us is becoming increasingly digital and the creation and value of data has expanded to include all parts of business and personal lives", Acronis says this puts "extreme pressure on service providers who find themselves responsible for the integrity, safety and authenticity of customers’ data stored on their servers".

So, how is Acronis addressing these issues? With its new Acronis Storage solution

Billed as a "fast, universal, safe, easy, scale-out, cost-efficient, proven software-defined storage solution", it also includes "Acronis CloudRAID and Acronis Notary with blockchain immutable validation, Acronis Storage unites block, file, and object workloads using commodity hardware".

Lee Welch, general manager of Cloud and Software Services at Ingram Micro Australia, said: “With so many businesses so heavily reliant on electronic records, the importance of easily accessible data recovery can’t be overstated – and with Blockchain now in place as part of Acronis’ storage solutions, our channel partners have even more attractive options to offer clients.”

Doug Endersbee, chief executive, Oz Hosting, noted that: “When it comes to data safety, prevention is always better than cure. With the addition of blockchain, we feel we’ve taken a very significant step in our ongoing commitment to maintain and improve our data security.”

Naturally, Acronis says this presents "an excellent business growth opportunity to Service Providers".

We are told that the software-defined storage market size is expected to grow from "US$4.72 billion in 2016 to US$22.56 billion in 2021, expanding at a CAGR of 36.7%", according to the Software-Defined Storage Market by Component report from MarketsAndMarkets.com.

Acronis also says that "such market growth is driven by the advantages of software-defined storage solutions over traditional storage systems and the need for cost optimisation and easy management".

Proudly boasting its solution is ‘#1, fast, and innovative,’ the new offering is "based on Acronis Hybrid Cloud Architecture and together with Acronis Backup, Disaster Recovery, Acronis Files Cloud, and Monitoring, Acronis Storage completes the product set available to Service Providers enabling them to meet the needs of their customers in the most efficient way".

Earlier this year, Acronis announced a long-term partnership with the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One racing team.

Both organisations report that "leading-edge engineering is a huge component of success".

As such, there’s no surprise that the dynamic duo of Acronis and Scuderia Toro Rosso "focus on leadership, high performance, and technology excellence, drawing success from vision, drive, teamwork and operational excellence. These shared characteristics can be summarised in the aforementioned three concepts: #1, Fast, and Innovative".

Franz Tost, the Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal, said the: “Digital world is all around us. Just like many of our partners, Scuderia Toro Rosso fully depends on data. Our success on the track depends on data availability, making data protection a critical element in our business. We are proud to use Acronis technology to store and protect our most valuable asset – data.”

Acronis and Scuderia Toro Rosso say they will "celebrate the launch of Acronis Storage together with partners and customers at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, during the United States Grand Prix this weekend".

"Toro Rosso is part of the most technologically advanced and data intensive sport, and Acronis has the technology to store and protect valuable data. The partnership between the two companies is a perfect example of technological collaboration, innovation, and understanding the needs of today’s always-on digital world."

So, what does Acronis list as the top Acronis Storage features?

  • Acronis Storage is fast. It delivers high speed performance through SSD caching, auto load balancing, auto data distribution, and parallel replication. Internal tests, for example, showed that Acronis Storage is five times faster than Ceph.
  • Acronis Storage is universal. Acronis Storage provides a universal solution for all data storage needs at CeBIT Australia, 23 – 25 May 2017 hot and cold, and currently supports block and object data and will support files in the next update. It provides a complete set of industry standard storage connectivity and APIs including Amazon S3 and iSCSI.
  • Acronis Storage is safe. It provides configurable levels of redundancy for stored data through Acronis CloudRAID and allows data authenticity verification through blockchain-based immutable logging and watermarking.
  • Acronis Storage is efficient. Acronis Storage enables Service Providers to control the TCO of their storage infrastructure and increase storage capacity from GB to PB without hurting the budget. For example, compared to Ceph, Acronis Storage delivers up to 55% lower TCO. It is achieved through lower hardware resource usage, adjustable redundancy, smart automation, better resource management, and, powerful centralised web-based management console.
  • Acronis Storage is proven. With five years on the market powering Acronis’ own global cloud infrastructure, Acronis Storage has undergone rigorous testing in the real world. The 2nd Generation software is currently powering a global network of 12 datacentres, protecting over 50PB of data for more than 125,000 devices.
  • Acronis CloudRAID leverages erasure-coding technology to reconstruct protected data from data chunks and parity information stored elsewhere in the storage cluster. It means that each added storage node makes Acronis Storage more resilient to hardware failures due to faster recovery times.
  • Acronis Notary with blockchain is the world’s first integration of blockchain into software-defined storage and data protection solutions. Acronis Notary with blockchain generates a time-stamped hash, or fingerprint, of protected data and stores it in Ethereum, a public blockchain-based distributed computing platform. By comparing two fingerprints of the same data, Acronis Storage is able to verify immutability, authenticity, and integrity of stored data.

Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum Foundation's chief scientist, said: “Acronis is the first data protection company to adopt the blockchain as a data notarisation platform. We are delighted to work with Acronis and look forward to developing the Ethereum ecosystem for the benefit of all users,” said 

Acronis says its Storage product is "suitable for all Service Providers, business and organisations who have the need to manage their data storage capacity without any downtime. With five minutes to install and 14 clicks to configure, it can be installed and managed even by those without any system administration experience. It has a modern touchscreen-friendly web console and comes with a comprehensive manual and troubleshooting guide".

Sebastian Nölting, chief executive of Rausch Netzwerktechnik (RNT), a global distributor of datacentre server and storage solutions, said: “I’m very excited by Acronis Storage following our testing in the last few weeks. The capabilities of the product and Acronis’ forward thinking vision are going to make them a game changer in the storage market.”

Alex Miroshnichenko, chief executive of FlashGrid, a company specialising in developing open storage software for Oracle cloud customers, said: “A software-define storage solution that supports both cold and hot data, and different workloads, will be welcomed by the service providers' community. And blockchain-based watermarking of data is a big plus.”

Finally, Serguei Beloussov, the founder and chief executive of Acronis, said: “This year Acronis released the most complete set of data protection products based on our new hybrid cloud architecture. Just like the rest of our products, Acronis Storage is #1 in its class. Acronis Storage allows Service Providers to take control over their data and we are committed to helping them grow their business by providing the world’s best and fastest data protection solutions.”

Acronis Storage

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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