XenData kit takes tape copies of cloud archives

Archiving system supplier XenData has launched an appliance which makes a local tape copy of a public cloud archive to save on geo-replication and egress fees.

XenData’s CX-10 Plus is a networked rackmount box containing an SSD system drive and a 14TB disk drive cache. Its system software sends incoming data out to the public cloud and retains a local synchronized copy of the cloud archive files on LTO tape cartridges.

XenData CX-10 Plus
2-rack unit CX-10 Plus atop a 2-cartridge LTO tape drive chassis

CEO Phil Storey stated: “The CX-10 Plus has two key benefits. Creating a local synchronized copy of every file written to the cloud gives peace of mind. And the Appliance easily pays for itself by minimizing cloud storage fees.”

That’s because having the local tape copy of the archive means customers don’t have to pay public cloud geo-replication fees and, with restores coming from local tape, they don’t have to pay public cloud egress fees either. The CX-10 Plus pricing starts from $11,995, which doesn’t cover the necessary tape appliance – two managed LTO drives or an LTO autoloader.

XenData CX-10 Plus diagram

The system’s data flow starts with one or more users sending it files for archiving. They land on a 14TB disk drive. A multi-threaded archive process then writes the data to the public cloud – AWS S3 (Glacier Flexible Retrieval, Deep Glacier), Azure Blob (Hot, Cool and Archive tiers), Wasabi S3, and Seagate Lyve.

All archive files uploaded to the cloud are retained on the disk cache for a defined retention period, typically a day; the disk is not that big. Every few hours the files are synchronized to LTO creating a mirror copy of the file-folder structure that has been archived to the cloud.

XenData says the CX-10 Plus is optimized for media archives enabling users to play video files directly from the cloud. It integrates with many media applications including Media Asset Management systems.

The CX-10 Plus fits into XenData’s appliance range:

  • X1 – Appliance to manage local LTO tape drives
  • CX-10 Plus – cloud archive appliance with local LTO tape backup 
  • X20-S Archive appliance – to manage 2-drive external LTO tape library
  • X20-S – 2-drive LTO tape library
  • X40-S – 4-drive LTO tape library
  • X40-S Archive appliance – to manage 4-drive external LTO tape library
  • X60-S Archive appliance – to manage up to 10-drive external LTO tape library
  • X100 Archive – manage LTO robotic libraries that scale to 100+ PB

An S3 object storage interface may be added to any XenData LTO Appliance via a software upgrade. This creates a private cloud that competes with public cloud storage services such as AWS Glacier and the Archive Tier of Azure object storage.

XenData was started in 2001 and has a headquarters office in Walnut Creek, California, and an outlying office in Cambridge, UK. The CX-10 Plus will be available in September.