Industry Terms

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StrongLink’s Autonomous Engines are powered by metadata which can aggregate and normalize different metadata types into an actionable framework. The system has no limit to the number of metadata types or schemas. StrongLink can then drive workflows, storage optimization and much more. The four classes of metadata that StrongLink aggregates include:

  • Filesystem metadata, such as file name, Atime, Mtime, file size, MIME type, etc.
  • Rich file header metadata – This is typically additional metadata included in various image file formats, or others.
  • User-created metadata – StrongLink allows authorized users to create simple tags, or multi-value metadata forms. These may be created dynamically, without restarting the StrongLink database, or the need for any database expertise.
  • External metadata – This may include metadata that is imported or exchanged from/with other databases, or MAMs.

In computing, virtualization refers to the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, including virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and computer network resources. StrongLink virtualizes multiple storage platforms and file systems into Global Namespace. Users see a persistent view of their folders and files regardless of where the files physically reside.

A Global Namespace is a heterogeneous, enterprise-wide abstraction of all file information, accessible via standard network protocols such as SMB, NFS, etc. A Global Namespace has the unique ability to aggregate disparate and remote network-based file systems, providing a consolidated view that can greatly reduce complexities of localized file management and administration.

This becomes of particular importance as multiple network based file systems proliferate within an organization—the challenge becomes one of effective file management.

Unstructured data refers to information and files that is not housed into a traditional or relational database. Unstructured data accounts for 80% of enterprise data, including video, audio, word documents, presentations, web pages, emails, and more. StrongLink is designed to simplify management any kind of unstructured data across any storage type.

Copy data management describes the management of information other than what is stored in primary systems. Copy data can be used for data protection purposes, such as snapshots or backups, or to seed test and development environments for ongoing application development. Other uses include testing upgrades of existing applications and using the data for mining or analytics. Chris Evan – TechTarget

Storage tiering is the practice of allocating data to different storage mediums to match performance with cost, resulting in a lower overall total cost of ownership (TCO). Storage managers often manage three tiers of data. Tier 1 is the highest performance tier and holds data that is often needed immediately, such as transactional financial data. Think of this as the important documents sitting atop your desk at work. Tier 2 is data that requires less immediate or frequent access than Tier 1, yet is still vital to stakeholders, such as last month’s financial data. Think of this data as the folders in the drawers of your desk. Tier 3 data is used as the archive. This data may need to be accessed occasionally, but must be protected and stored for long periods of time. Think of this data as the data in your filing cabinet. This tier of data is oftentimes composed of old financial records, video, photos, spreadsheets, email, and PDFs.

Byte= 8 binary digits = one character
Kilobyte = 1000 bytes = several word documents
Megabyte = 1000 kilobytes = several music files
Gigabyte = 1000 megabytes = several full-length HD films
Terabyte = 1000 gigabytes = 100+ full-length HD films
Petabyte = 1000 terabytes = 80 million filing cabinets full of text
Exabyte = 1000 petabytes = All words ever spoken by mankind (5 Exabytes)
Zettabyte = 1000 exabytes = One million city block size data-centers full of terabyte hard drives
Yottabyte = 1000 zettabytes = All information, images, video, and content every created or posted on the entire world wide web

In a shared storage environment, multiple users or applications can simultaneously access data from a storage device. This means that two separate workstations could access files from a share (or folder) on a network drive.

Short for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, RAID refers to a storage technique that combines multiple disk drives in order to meet a specific level of redundancy or performance required. Different levels of RAID are required to meet protection needs. Data is mirrored on multiple disks within the array such that if one disk fails, data is recoverable from the redundant copy. While necessary for data protection, this can make disk storage very expensive and reduces the amount of usable capacity in disk storage systems due to redundant data copies within a server or disk array.

NFS is a file-system protocol that allows a client (such as a server) to access files from a storage device over a network. It’s a common way for data to be transferred in Linux and VMware environments. StrongBox uses NFS (or another standard connectivity protocol, Common Internet File System) as the way to connect seamlessly to a customer’s network.

Network-attached storage (NAS) simply refers to a storage device that is connected to other devices over a network. NAS offers a shared environment for multiple end users to access files.

HSM (Hierarchical Storage Management) software is used to move data between between high-cost and low-cost storage media, such as from disk to tape. HSM software typically use stubs or symlinks as references to the actual files, which can add fragility to large storage infrastructures.

Linear Tape Open (LTO) is a tape data storage technology that employs open-standards, with no proprietary formatting. Now in its eighth generation, LTO 8 offers in native capacity up to 12 TB capacity and transfer rates up to 360MB per second. LTO has seen widespread adoption for archiving, backup, and large-volume data storage.

LTFS is an industry standard for organizing data on LTO (linear tape open) media. IBM invented LTFS in 2010. Today, it is essentially a file system that enables data on tape to be indexed for file-based access. With LTFS, tape behaves much like a USB drive. One of the pitfalls IT managers try to avoid is “vendor lock-in,” meaning that data cannot be read or accessed unless using a particular vendor’s proprietary software.

Fixed content is data that does not change after it is initially created, such as video, photos, PDFs, and old emails.Industry reports expect that up to 80% of enterprise data is unstructured. StrongBox helps companies manage this data, saving organizations time and money.

Fibre Channel (FC) is a high-performance network technology used to connect computer data storage. FC is the standard for connecting tape libraries to servers and other network devices. StrongBox can connect to an external tape library using Fibre Channel for optimum data transfer rates.

Most companies have a disaster recovery (DR) strategy. This might include making multiple copies of data and storing one copy offsite. In the event of a system failure or catastrophic event (like flood or fires), businesses rely on the DR copy of data.

CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a standard connectivity protocol for computers/users to share files across networks. CIFS is viewed as a complement to existing internet application protocols like HTTP. CIFS, widely used in Windows environments. CIFS is a variant of SMB.

Server Message Block (SMB) operates as an application-layer network protocol mainly used for providing shared access to files, printers, and serial ports and miscellaneous communications between nodes on a network. Most usage of SMB involves computers running Microsoft Windows.

Cloud storage has gained popularity as it promises universal data access and “hardware-free” storage. Cloud providers sell capacity, often charging access and monthly service fees. When data is stored “in the cloud,” it essentially means that it can be accessed from anywhere, with any device. However, cloud storage is not ideal for large-volume, long-term preservation. The reason is that the files are large, and the cost and time required to deliver and retrieve the data over even the largest of internet connections is not feasible. And, some companies do not want their proprietary data being stored on someone else’s platform. The cloud is simply not ideal for all customer data, especially large, long-term datasets.

An archive consists of protected copies of data retained for the long term to meet compliance, retention mandates, and other future business needs. The data in an archive is “fixed” content and does not change once stored. The amount of data businesses have to archive is rapidly growing.

An active archive is a combined solution that enables seamless automated migration of data across, flash, disk, tape, and cloud, providing users an effortless means to store and manage all of their data.

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