Your occasional storage digest, featuring mainframes, HAMR and a data protection deluge

Your occasional storage digest this week features boatloads of data protection news from Atempo, Clumio, Cobalt Iron, Datrium, Druva, Infrascale and Overland-Tandberg. 

Also we cover mainframe data extraction and HAMR disk platters.

Model9 gets data off mainframes

Startup Model9 is developing cloud data management for mainframes and has raised $9m in A-round funding led by Intel Capital.

It has a zOS agent with a virtual tape library interface that takes in mainframe data and can pump it out to AWS, Azure, GCP and the IBM Cloud, or Dell EMC ECS, Hitachi Vantara HCP, Infinidat and NetApp StorageGRID storage. Amazon’s EBS, EFS and S3 interfaces are supported.

Model9 diagram.

Anthony Lin, a VP at Intel Capital, said: “We identified Model9 as having a first-mover edge with a software-only solution to extract and load mainframe data from the mainframe to any cloud or to any on-prem’ storage through a standard TCP/IP protocol. This ability opens up a variety of DR, Archive and Storage use cases, scaling to thousands of companies from the financial and public sectors, among others. 

“Furthermore, Model9’s solution enables conversion of mainframe-compatible file formats to object storage, thus allowing the company’s customers to utilize the latest business analytics, big data and AI solutions to gain insights from previously untapped data sets.”

SDK HAMRs aluminium

Japanese storage media manufacturer Showa Denko (SDK) has developed Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) disk platters, using Aluminium and not glass. HAMR uses heat to overcome the room-temperature high resistance (coercivity) of specific magnetic media formulations to changing their magnetic polarity.

A competing MAMR (Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording) uses microwaves to do the same job. Western Digital is introducing MAMR aluminium platter drives in the relatively near future while Seagate intends to produce HAMR glass-based platters. Toshiba has a MAMR inclination, as far as we know.

Western Digital and Seagate produce their own platters while Toshiba buys them in, with SDK as a supplier.

SDK’s HAMR platter uses thin films of Fe-Pt magnetic alloy with new magnetic layers and temperature control in its production. Its claimed to have magnetic coercivity several times as high as the existing most-advanced HD media, while achieving low noise due to very small crystal grain size and optimized grain size distribution control.

This announcement opens up the possibility of Toshiba introducing HAMR technology, were it to develop or obtain HAMR read/write heads.


Data protector/archiver and migrator Atempo has joined the Active Archive Alliance. An active archive is said to be that provides online access to archived data and that includes data stored on SSDs, HDDs, tape or in the public cloud.

Atempo CEO Luc d’Urso provided a canned quote: “Our vendor-agnostic Miria platform for archiving [needs] moves data intelligently and rapidly between different locations. Our current and future machine learning and artificial intelligence innovations will serve to boost Miria’s power and scope.”

Active Archive Alliance members and sponsors include Atempo, Fujifilm, Iron Mountain, Harmony Healthcare IT, Komprise, MediQuant, Quantum, Qumulo, QStar Technologies, Spectra Logic, StrongBox Data Solutions and Western Digital.

SaaS backup startup Clumio said its Enterprise Backup as a Service has gained “VMware Partner Ready for VMware Cloud on AWS” validation. It has tested and verified interoperability for Clumio Backup as a Service with VMware Cloud on AWS.

Data protector Cobalt Iron has extended its Compass enterprise SaaS network-attached storage (NAS) backup with a proxy Compass NAS Agent. It’s claimed to be better than the existing and supported NDMP (Network Data Management Protocol) for backing up NAS filers. The new agent has a parallel workflow – faster than NDMP’s sequential process.

Hyperconverged storage supplier Datrium is focusing on cloud-based disaster recovery and has extended its channel program to new regions and added a new Datrium Select tier. The other tiers are Preferred and Authorised. Invitation-only Select Tier partners receive the highest level of training and certification in DR with VMware Cloud on AWS.

LucidLink is partnering video management software supplier Milestone Systems to offer immediate and concurrent access to video surveillance in the cloud. LucidLink’s Filespaces product provides instant access to large data sets over long distances, streaming it into on-site caches as it is needed. The cloud supplier is Wasabi.

Data protector Overland-Tandberg is partnering with the U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) to provide data protection, storage, and archive technology solutions to USBC members. They say the partnership “will help Black-owned businesses survive challenging data loss incidents including system failures, weather disasters, or cybersecurity.” 

The University of Florida is using Qumulo’s scale out filers to store data for researchers in bioinformatics, genomics, DNA sequencing and cancer. The University of Florida IT Department was using an Isilon system in 2014.

Seagate has opened one of its Lyve Labs in Tel Aviv. Local companies can use the lab to find out how they can use Seagate drives to store their data. One offering is a Lyve Drive Shuttle which can move data physically in shuttles instead of uploading across a network. This can be more cost-effective and faster at scale. Another Lyve Labs center is located in Longmont, Colorado, United States. Additional Lyve Labs centers are being planned globally


Data protector Druva has appointed Bernd Wachtler, ex-Veritas, as partner director for its DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) region. There is also a new channel program called Druva Compass with expanded enablement resources, an accreditation curriculum, streamlined sales process, and opportunities for recurring margins.

Cloud-based backup and DR service supplier Infrascale has appointed Russell Reeder as its CEO. He led successful exits at content-on-demand and digital publishing platform LibreDigital (which sold to RR Donnelly), and cloud hosting business MediaTemple, (which sold to GoDaddy).

It has also appointed Brian Kuhn as COO, Robert Peterson as CFO, Carolyn Kress as Chief People Officer, Lindsay Haun as VP Global Customer Success, and Adam Berger as VP Global IT and Cloud Operations. Infrascale founder and former CEO Ken Shaw will continue as an advisor to the company.