There are many business who locally store gigabytes and terabytes of
digital content. For them, storage is a constant concern, akin to the
storage needs of a growing family in a one bedroom apartment. Space.
Space. Space. Is Always a Premium.
Think about the real estate company which stores images and
videos of its homes. What about the law firm with terabytes of data
(PDFs, Word documents, video evidence, audio evidence and photos…)
that they must keep for years, while adding more storage from new
cases. Even better, think of the thousands of video production shops.
They often store all the video of their clients, taking up a LOT of
Jeff Ready, co-founder of Scale Computing,
is trying to offer enterprise-class storage solutions to small
businesses. His goal is to reduce costs by 75% or more compared to
traditional enterprise storage solutions.
Scale Computing’s TrueCluster technology combines commodity hardware
with a clustered file system commonly found only in the world’s largest
supercomputers. The result: IT managers, with little or no technical
expertise, can scale storage like kids build a wall of Legos – simply
plugging in another brick (node), with no reconfiguration,
administration or compromising network speed. All of this provided
cheaper than both cloud services and competitive enterprise storage
products. In 2009, the entry price to the IBM XIV solution was close to
$900,000; Scale’s entry price is approximately $9,000!
I asked Jeff a few questions, to help us better understand the world of digital storage – economical data storage.
Are there different vertical industries of business that use more storage than others?
Yes, certainly there are. Document intensive businesses, such as
those in the medical, legal, and construction fields are verticals
where we’ve seen a tremendous amount of storage needs on a per-employee
basis. Likewise, businesses which deal with different kinds of media,
such as television & radio stations, video editing shops, and
photographers use a lot of storage. Finally, the move to digital video
cameras for surveillance purposes (and away from VCRs and analog
cameras for the same purpose) drives a lot of storage use in retail and
other industries where visual security is a concern.
Are there any different types of businesses (size? Revenue?) that use more storage than others?
Generally speaking, your very-small 1-5 person businesses don’t use
a lot of network storage. This is not always the case, particularly in
the video editing / photography areas as described above, where a very
small business may have tremendous storage needs. Likewise, with video
surveillance, it’s really more about the number of cameras and the
length of time you want to store the video. If you have a fairly large
retail storefront with 10 cameras, you have a large storage need even
though you may only need a handful of employees. All that said, as a
broad rule of thumb, we see people looking to network storage solution
starting at 20 or so employees.
Is storage overall a concern for all businesses or just a certain type?