This article is part of our Essential Guide: Data protection technologies changing the market

Igneous enhances unstructured data management product

Specialist Igneous allows customers to backup and archive, search, manage, move and handle large sets of unstructured files that mainstream NAS can find difficult to handle

unstructured data is driving an increasingly important set of workloads, but existing storage suppliers’ file access storage is not fit to deal with backup and retention of that data.

That’s the view of Igneous, which provides a NAS data protection environment that allows customers to access very large volumes of unstructured data in on-premises scale-out NAS hardware or in the cloud.

The company has released enhancements to Igneous that include indexed search via DataDiscover, the addition of archiving as a service to existing backup in DataProtect, plus application programming interface-driven management of data workflows such as internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) pipelines for analytics runs.

The core Igneous product – dubbed Unstructured Data Management – consists of its Databox and Application Service Routers, which are deployed at customer premises. The former is a capacity tier that comes in 284TB capacity devices that can scale out. The latter is a data mover, indexing data and moving it to on-premise storage or (AWS, Azure, Google) clouds.

Igneous provides continuous data visibility; search and classification; backup, archive and disaster recovery of all files and objects; and automated dataset movement based on data lifecycle requirements.

Target workloads are the vast amounts of files created by technology industries, life sciences, IoT data and AI and machine learning operations.

All these produce large numbers of file data. For example, chip makers running tests on solid state storage generate results in file format for each cell tested.

Igneous provides backup and advanced services for unstructured datasets like these in a way that reliance on array supplier data protection and backup software products cannot, said Christian Smith, Igneous vice-president of products.

“Veritas, CommVault and products like that are breaking,” said Smith. “They don’t work at scale.”

“And there is the effect of NDMP, which amounts to vendor-specific replication. It is fine for disaster recovery, but data gets stuck in silos. For example, if you back up with NDMP from NetApp, it has to be recovered to NetApp. You can’t SnapMirror back to Isilon.”

NDMP is a backup protocol that allows data to be routed directly to back up storage without having to traverse the backup server.

Igneous, by contrast, allows data to reside in a single pool accessible by the user across private datacentres or cloud repositories.

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