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Europe set to get unlimited data storage

A new form of Internet data storage and delivery is being introduced in Europe by California-based software house Scale Eight.

A new form of Internet data storage and delivery is being introduced in Europe by California-based software house Scale Eight.

Marcia Macleod

The disc-based storage system, which Scale Eight calls Internet storage infrastructure, is said to offer unlimited capacity with instant access at less cost than traditional storage methods.

"Scale Eight offers a robust, resilient infrastructure," said William Hurley, manager of Yankee Group's network and broadband access programme. "It is also very easy to scale.

"A corporation could start with, say, 500 Gbytes one day and go up to half a terabyte the next simply by saving the extra information to the system."

Scale Eight runs four storage centres - in San Jose, Washington, London and Tokyo - each with nearly 1,000Tbytes capacity. The company claims it will be able to obtain more bandwidth, as required, from other providers.

"Internet storage has different requirements to other networks," claimed Josh Coates, chief technology officer and founder of Scale Eight.

"It needs more capacity for more users and stored data must be delivered in less than a second; any more than that and the user thinks there is a delay," he added.

Access is provided through Scale Eight's 8RL method for wide area network applications, which is based on authorised URLs, or through a thin-client device that plugs into the local area network. All data is replicated in another datacentre free of charge.

Although ideal for large companies wishing to set up intranets or extranets, the content delivery network Akamai, Web broadcast company Vingage and music distributor Unsurface have all been early customers.

This was first published in March 2001

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