This week in storage, featuring Nexsan and GitHub’s Arctic rolls

This week’s data storage news roundup covers some new Nexsan arrays, and GitHub adventures in an Arctic coal mine.

Nexsan’s gen 3 Unity arrays

StorCentric’s Nexsan business unit has launched its third-generation Unity 3300 and 7900 enterprise class unified file and storage arrays. The features include ‘Unbreakable Backup’ to protect against ransomware, and Data Migration and Cloud Connector Modules to move data within tiered storage and hybrid cloud infrastructures.

These are hybrid flash/disk and all-flash arrays, delivering capacity increases in HDD and SSD configurations and up to 50 per cent performance increase over gen 2 Unity.  

Mihir Shah, StorCentric CEO, provided an announcement quote: “We are not only delivering the industry’s most powerful solution for mixed workloads in this new third generation of Unity, but we are also enabling customers to meet the challenges presented by today’s ever-present data security and protection risks.”

The Unbreakable Backup feature employs a Nexsan Assureon archive data vault from which uncorrupted data can be restored. Nexsan’s Cloud Connector module connects to 18 public clouds, including Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage.

The Data Migration capability replicates files from any legacy system with ingest into Unity via fine-grained filtering and continuous incremental updates.

Unity Third Generation 3300 and 7900 are described in a data sheet and spec sheet, and are generally available.

GitHub’s Arctic Rolls

GitHub has archived its repository of open source code in a former coal mine in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. The data is stored on modern day movie-style film reels.

AWA vault entrance

The Arctic World Archive lAWA) in Longyearbyen is a joint venture between the Norwegian state coal mining company Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani (SNSK) and Piql, a Norwegian archive technology business. SNSK has the hole in the ground and PiqI makes the film reel cartridges that go into it. 

Piql film processing

The film stock is claimed to have a 500 year-plus life and is ‘self-describing’. In other words it should survive technology replacements, unlike punched cards, paper tape and various digital tape formats.

A Piql document says: “[its] film is a photo-sensitive, chemically stable and secure medium with proven longevity of hundreds of years.”

“The data is stored offline and will not be affect-ed in case of an electricity shortage or if exposed to electromagnetic pulses. For extra security against digital obsolescence, the storage medium has been designed to be a self-contained medium where instructions is written in human readable text onto the film explaining how to recover the information.“

PiqI says: “The source code for the retrieval software is stored on the film at the beginning of the reel in both human readable and digital form. File format specifications for preservation formats will be also written on the film in both human readable and digital form. In this way, only a camera/scanner and a computer of the future will be needed to restore the information in the future.”

Piql film reel and cartridge (left) and reader and writer machines (right).

Data is recorded digitally in frames on the film, with error corrections and checksums, using a PiqI writer machine. The film reel is stored in a cartridge, verified and then sent up to the AWA or a customer site. Restoration involves passing the film through a reader/scanner

AWA customers include the Vatican Library, the National Museum of Norway, the European Space Agency, the Museum of the Person, Alinari and several global corporations.


Acronis, the data protection vendor, is buying DeviceLock, a maker of endpoint device, port control and data leak prevention software for enterprises and government institutions. DeviceLock will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Data lifecycle manager Aparavi‘s ‘The Aparavi Platform’ is  available exclusively on the Microsoft Azure marketplace. The Microsoft and Aparavi partnership includes a joint marketing initiative with Microsoft cloud solution providers.

The Cohesity Data Platform has been certified to run on Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers globally.

Data protector and manager Commvault has launched an enhanced Partner Advantage program, with simpler win, growth, and performance rebates and more flexibility across program tiers. 

TrustRadius has given cloud, data centre and endpoint data protector Druva some 2020 Top Rated Awards for disaster recovery and endpoint backup. Druva said the company has also received more than 50 awards in G2’s Summer Reports 2020, including the No.1 SaaS Backup solution.

Iguazio has signed up with SFL Scientific, a data science consulting firm, to sell joint offerings to enterprises looking to apply AI to real life applications. The partners say customers can incorporate AI and MLOps automation to endless applications such as predictive maintenance, real time recommendations, KYC (know your client) and fraud prevention.

Google Cloud has announced the general availability of its Bare Metal Solution, using NetApp arrays, Virginia, Los Angeles, London, Frankfurt, and Sydney. Customers get physical, dedicated systems with a cloud-like approach for support, service levels, monthly billing, and on-demand flexibility.

Kingston Technology is buying out Phison’s interest in their joint Kingston Solutions, Inc. venture. Phison will continue to focus on technology and R&D and will give Kingston support and service.

DRAM and NAND fabber Micron has announced a DDR5 DRAM enablement program to provide early access to DDR5 technical resources, products and ecosystem partners. Cadence, Montage, Rambus, Renesas and Synopsys are in the program. DDR5 DRAM offers more than twice the bandwidth of today’s DDR4 memory..

NetApp has completed its acquisition of Spot, a broker providing cloud cost controls.

The UK’s University of Reading has implemented Nutanix Files, after deciding not to upgrade its legacy NAS systems.

Rackspace Technology has filed an S1 statement proposing an IPO.

Secondary data manager data protector Rubrik has backed the UK’s Francis Crick Institute as a customer. The institute is Europe’s largest biomedical research facility and uses Rubrik software for cyber-resiliency.

HCI supplier Scale Computing has a launched the Business Resilience Solution bringing server virtualization, end-user computing, data protection and threat mitigation into a single package. This includes Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and remote-work infrastructure with built-in disaster recovery services, plus Acronis ransomware protection and data backup.

The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) has published the SATA Revision 3.5 Specification with features that promote greater integration of SATA devices and products with other industry I/O standards. These include Device Transmit Emphasis for Gen 3 PHY, Defined Ordered NCQ Commands and Command Duration Limit Features.

Toshiba has announced the AIC JBOD Model J4078-01 rack-friendly storage chassis. This is 810 mm long, has 78 drive slots, and fits into any existing rack. According to to Tosh chassis for more than 60 drives are typically very long – sometimes more than one metre – and are unable to fit into existing racks. 

Toshiba’s 78-driv JBOD.

A Forrester Consulting study on behalf of Virtana has revealed  organisations that embrace hybrid cloud migration projects can yield a 145 per cent return on investment within three years. Organisations who use Virtana’s software in the private cloud may save more than $250,000 in problem resolution and a further $670,000 driving agility with global capacity management.


Data protector Arcserve has appointed Ivan Pittaluga as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). He was previously VP of data protection and governance for Veritas Technologies, with a NetBackup focus.

Former NetApp exec Henri Richard has joined Excelero, aNVME-oF storage software supplier, a board advisor.

Rubrik has announced the promotion of Martin Brown to VP of EMEA and the hiring of Jan Ursi as senior director – EMEA channels and technology Partners. Ursi joins after a brief stint at UiPath, and a longer haul at Nutanix.