Press Releases 2021
SVA and PoINT: New Partnership for Optimal Data Management
Wiesbaden/Siegen. The new partnership between PoINT Software & Systems and SVA System Vertrieb Alexander GmbH gives companies access to innovative storage solutions for efficient and legally compliant data management. Thus, SVA expands its offering in the area of business continuity, among others.
The system house SVA offers comprehensive and flexible IT solutions at 25 locations throughout Germany. In the field of intelligent data and information management, SVA has now complemented its portfolio with PoINT's software solutions. "The new partnership with SVA is a special benefit for the customers", comments Sebastian Klee, CMO at PoINT Software & Systems, "because this way the companies benefit from the decades of experience and the comprehensive know-how of two experts for their IT".
With PoINT software products, SVA experts develop individual storage solutions tailored to the respective company, which seamlessly fit into the entire IT infrastructure. PoINT products enable optimization and efficient use of storage systems. At the same time, PoINT software supports companies in implementing compliance and archiving requirements. Maximum flexibility is provided by vendor independence and scalability.
In the future, customers will be able to meet the challenges of data growth with PoINT's software products and a overall solution from SVA.
SVA System Vertrieb Alexander GmbH is one of the leading German system integrators with more than 2,000 employees at 25 locations in Germany. We combine high-quality IT products with project know-how and flexibility to provide optimal solutions for our customers. Industry-independent core topics are data center infrastructure – such as storage, server and network solutions and virtualization technologies – as well as business continuity, IT service management and SAP. Our experts also combine more than twenty years of IT infrastructure experience with know-how for modern requirements such as IT Security, Big Data Analytics & IoT, End User Computing, Cloud and Agile IT & Software Development.
Broadcaster BRF archives media data securely and transparently with PoINT
Siegen. The Belgian Broadcasting Corporation of the German-speaking Community (Belgischer Rundfunk, BRF) is working with PoINT to digitize old recordings. The PoINT Storage Manager securely and cost-effectively archives media files on tape, guaranteeing fast and transparent access to data.
BRF aims to gradually digitize older recordings stored on various analog tape-based media. This is resulting in the creation of audio and video files in a range of formats and sizes, from a few megabytes to hundreds of gigabytes. It quickly became clear that it was impossible to archive all of this data on hard-disk drives alone; instead, BRF needed a more cost-effective solution.
The company therefore decided to archive on digital tape with the help of PoINT Storage Manager. PoINT's software integrates an LTO-8 tape library seamlessly into BRF’s existing storage infrastructure to serve as an archive storage system. Using a two-tier, hierarchical approach to storage management, the PoINT Storage Manager automatically archives data to tape. Editors use the primary storage format's file system to access archived content, meaning that they can quickly and transparently access old audio and video recordings and use them in new reports.
“PoINT's software meets all of our requirements, and it was the most cost-effective option,” said Marc Schiffler, head of production and technology. “The data is saved in a non-proprietary format, and the system is fully transparent for the applications used to access the files. It does exactly what we need while still being easy to use.”
Tape-based archive storage is reliably scalable, so BRF stands ready to deal with the constantly rising volume of data in its archive. Archiving on tape improves data protection and ensures that files are available even if other tiers of the storage infrastructure experience outages.
About Belgischer Rundfunk:
The abbreviation BRF stands for Europe's smallest public service broadcaster. With around 70 employees the Belgian Broadcasting Corporation of the German-speaking Community is based in Eupen and has studios in Brussels and St. Vith. It offers three radio channels, one television channel and an internet portal. The Belgian Broadcasting is the public service broadcaster of the German-speaking Community of Belgium and thus has a corresponding mission to accomplish. It sees itself as a medium that primarily has to inform: for and about the German-speaking Community, about Belgium, the Euregio, but also about international events.
PostFinance AG achieves additional data protection with PoINT Archival Gateway
Siegen. The Swiss financial institution PostFinance AG is protecting valuable object-based data by automatically replicating it using the PoINT Archival Gateway. The PoINT Archival Gateway makes it possible to integrate tape as a cost-effective S3 storage class. With this high-performance and highly scalable storage solution, the financial institution achieves additional data protection. Even better, all of this was accomplished without having to restructure the existing storage infrastructure.
PostFinance AG needed a way to better protect the constantly rising volumes of data on its object storage systems. Specifically, it needed an independent copy of the data, to guard against malware and human error. Such a system needed to be as cost-efficient as possible, however.
In the end, PostFinance AG settled on automatic data replication with the PoINT Archival Gateway. This high-performance software-based object storage system saves large volumes of data on tape, enabling seamless integration of this cost-effective storage medium (which is available even when offline) via a standard S3 interface.
PostFinance AG has a Quantum i6 tape library at each of two independent locations. The PoINT Archival Gateway receives copies of the data from the existing hard-disk based object storage system and saves them redundantly to both tape libraries. If access to the backup copies is needed, it is done via the S3 API. And the tape libraries’ storage capacity can easily be scaled up as needed.
Andreas Christen, of the Technology & Information Center Infrastructure Data department, is very satisfied with how PoINT’s software is now being used: “With the PoINT Archival Gateway, we are replicating our archive data on tape, improving our data security. In the first three months, we backed up around 20 million objects in this way. Thanks to the standard interface, we can easily integrate the PoINT Archival Gateway into our existing storage infrastructure. By using tape as an additional S3 storage class, we have been able to massively improve our security design.”
The PoINT Archival Gateway now acts as a reliable data security solution for PostFinance AG. Now that it replicates object data to an offline storage medium, the company's data is more secure than ever. There was no need to restructure its existing storage architecture, and the solution’s standard interface means employee workflows proceed in just the same way as before.
About PostFinance AG:
PostFinance is one of Switzerland’s leading financial institutions, acting as a reliable partner for over 3 million people, both private and business customers, who want to manage their finances independently.
Object Matrix and PoINT Software & Systems Partner for Efficient Data Tiering
January 2020, Siegen, Germany and Cardiff, Wales: Object Matrix and PoINT Software & Systems have partnered to enable efficient lifecycle management with MatrixStore.
The combination of MatrixStore, the object storage solution for the media industry, with PoINTs Storage Manager enables media companies to manage their storage, ensuring that capacity is used as efficiently as possible. PoINT Storage Manager easily identifies inactive data which can be automatically migrated to MatrixStore, reducing the load on expensive primary storage. At the same time, customers maintain fast and easy access to their entire archive.
The MatrixStore object storage platform is extremely secure, tightly integrated to many media platforms, cost effective for low and high volumes of media and comes with no hidden costs or additional charges to access your data. The company’s cloud offering, MatrixStore Cloud, offers the benefits and functionality experienced by organisations using frequent access tiers of public cloud storage at pricing levels that are comparable with archive tiers but without the egress fees or un-predictable costs.
Sebastian Klee, CMO, PoINT Software & Systems, commented: “The combination of the established products MatrixStore and PoINT Storage Manager offers a seamlessly coordinated cross-industry solution for modern workflows. Users benefit from the flexible and transparent access possibilities of PoINT Storage Manager, coupled with the integrated security mechanisms of MatrixStore.”
Jonathan Morgan, CEO, Object Matrix, said: “Integrating with PoINT Storage Manager gives our users greater control over their entire archive, enabling files to be archived and tiered efficiently. Ultimately, this means they can easily optimise storage resources and maximise the cost efficiencies that come with storing more content in MatrixStore.”
Press Releases 2020
Replicate files and objects in S3 buckets: PoINT Data Replicator
Siegen. PoINT Software & Systems GmbH has added a new product to its portfolio: the PoINT Data Replicator. This new solution lets users replicate both files and objects in an S3 object or cloud storage system.
Public cloud storage systems and on-premises object storage products have been popular choices for businesses and other organizations for many years. Among other reasons, this is because they are scalable, reliable and easy to integrate using an S3 interface.
With the PoINT Data Replicator, PoINT Software & Systems is responding to questions about data security that are raised by the use of these kinds of systems. First, the company’s new software solution makes it possible to replicate data stored within file systems (e.g. NAS drives) in a cloud or object storage solution. Second, the PoINT Data Replicator helps users protect their data once it is stored on the S3 system.
The software’s file-to-object functionality replicates file systems in an S3 bucket, using the file path as an object key so that standard S3 browsers display the original directory structure once replication is complete.
Hybrid- and multi-cloud solutions have become increasingly popular options for protecting data in cloud and object storage. Responsible firms make sure not to rely on any one supplier or product. To protect themselves, they save data to more than one type of S3 storage system (whether off- or on-premises). The new PoINT Data Replicator performs this task using its S3-to-S3 object replication function.
The object replication function replicates S3 objects, including their metadata, between any S3-enabled source and destination buckets.
The replication process is supported by a database which ensures that every time the job repeats, only new files and objects are replicated. The solution also has extensive logging tools in order to meet auditing requirements and other needs.
Use tape as an additional S3 storage class
Cloud and object stores require additional security, something tape-based S3 object stores are particularly well suited to provide. The PoINT Archival Gateway is one product that can help here. Since tapes are both secure and cost-effective, tape storage systems capable of saving objects in their native format via an S3 interface are the ideal solution for securing cloud and object stores. The PoINT Data Replicator takes care of replicating backup data to an S3-capable tape system.
This results in a replica of the original data being saved to a separate, secure, cost-effective storage system. The replicated data can be accessed directly at any time thanks to the S3 API. This makes it possible to switch cloud providers without having to go through the costly process of restoring data from the cloud.
PoINT Storage Manager 6.5 features new archive file system
Siegen. Version 6.5 of the PoINT Storage Manager is available now. Among other things, this new version of the software enables Linux-based systems to be seamlessly integrated into a tiered storage architecture and object-based storage to be configured for the capacity tier. Users now also have access to a redesigned archive file system that takes file permissions and other factors into account, opening up brand-new options for file archiving. Finally, the new release offers support for IBM Jaguar drives and certification for using the latest versions of the Cloudian HyperStore and Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) object storage systems as archive destinations.
Version 6.5 of the PoINT Storage Manager, released in August 2020, has significantly expanded the functionality of this long-established product, providing improvements and additions at all levels of the software.
Businesses are being pushed to respond to the growing volume of unstructured data and the increasingly strict standards for long-term storage. They are required to move data from costly primary storage systems to more cost-effective secondary storage, while also meeting any and all relevant regulatory requirements. The PoINT Storage Manager offers a solution to this challenge by automatically transferring data within the storage hierarchy according to prespecified rules, ensuring that data is securely archived using WORM protection, versioning and retention management.
Version 6.5 of the PoINT Storage Manager integrates NFS-based primary storage better than ever, making it possible to easily integrate even Linux-based systems into a tiered storage architecture.
As well as file-based storage systems such as NAS, users can now also use object-based systems for tiered storage, including at the capacity tier.
With standard for archiving higher than ever, PoINT Storage Manager meets the challenge with a redesigned feature: a WORM-enabled archive file system that accounts for file permissions.
Aside from LTO drives, the new version also supports tape libraries, now including IBM 3592-series drives. With this innovation, PoINT is particularly targeting data center operators who have high standards for data storage, security and availability. Meanwhile, the latest versions of the Cloudian HyperStore and Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) object storage systems are also officially certified.
“Version 6.5 of the PoINT Storage Manager incorporates a wide range of requests from our customers,” said Sebastian Klee, head of Marketing & Sales at PoINT Software & System GmbH. “This significantly expands the range of possible applications for our HSM/ILM and archiving software. Since its initial release in 2007, we have continued to add all kinds of new functionality. The result is a mature solution used by hundreds of customers all around the world.”
PoINT Software & Systems Joins the Active Archive Alliance
Boulder, Colorado. The Active Archive Alliance announced today that PoINT Software & Systems has joined the organization, which collaboratively provides end-users with technical expertise and guidance to design and implement modern solutions for data growth challenges and lifecycle management. PoINT Software & Systems joins a growing number of industry-leading storage and IT vendors that support the use of active archive solutions for harvesting and maintaining the value of archival data.
“Exponential data growth is driving fundamental change in computing, storage, and analytics and spurring increased interest in active archive solutions,” said Peter Faulhaber, chairman of the Active Archive Alliance and President and CEO of FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc. “PoINT Software & Systems expands the Alliance membership’s breadth of innovative active archive solutions for intelligent data management. We are pleased to welcome them to the Active Archive Alliance.”
Organizations around the world are creating and accumulating data at unprecedented rates. An active archive manages data for rapid search, retrieval, and analytics – both efficiently and cost-effectively. It leverages an intelligent data management layer that enables online access to data throughout its lifecycle regardless of which tier it resides in the storage hierarchy. Active archive solutions span all pools of storage, including hard disks, flash, magnetic tapes, optical media, object store and cloud storage.
PoINT Software & Systems specializes in the development and distribution of software products for storage, management and long-term archiving of data using all available storage technologies. “PoINT’s storage and data management software provides an exceptionally efficient way to reduce costs without productive restrictions while fulfilling requirements for long-term compliant storage,” said Sebastian Klee, CMO at PoINT Software & Systems. “Our products allow efficient usage of storage systems and help to reduce costs and issues caused by data growth. PoINT products have been proven in more than two million installations worldwide.
About Active Archive Alliance
The Active Archive Alliance serves as a vendor-neutral, trusted source for providing end-users with technical expertise and guidance to design and implement modern active archive strategies that solve data growth challenges through intelligent data management. Active archives enable reliable, online and cost-effective access to data throughout its life and are compatible with flash, disk, tape, or cloud as well as file, block or object storage systems. They help move data to the appropriate storage tiers to minimize cost while maintaining ease of user accessibility. Members and sponsors include Fujifilm, Spectra Logic, Atempo, Harmony Healthcare IT, IBM, Iron Mountain, MediQuant, PoINT Software & Systems, QStar Technologies, Quantum, Qumulo, StrongBox Data Solutions and Western Digital.
PoINT Archival Gateway supports IBM Jaguar drives
PoINT Software & Systems GmbH has released Version 2.1 of its software solution PoINT Archival Gateway for tape-based S3 object storage. This new version provides support for IBM TS3500 and TS4500 libraries, covering both LTO drives and IBM 3592 series models. It is aimed in particular at data center operators, who have high standards in terms of data storage, security and availability.
Given the enormous rate of growth of unstructured business data, and the increasing need to protect against ransomware (in particular with an air-gap solution), tape technology is becoming increasingly important. Moreover, tape media can store and archive large volumes of data much more cheaply than hard drive-based systems. As a scalable, high-performance S3-based object storage system, PoINT Archival Gateway ensures that these large volumes of data can be reliably saved to tape libraries.
PoINT Archival Gateway provides an S3-compatible interface to other applications, so hard drive-based object storage systems like NetApp StorageGRID and Cloudian HyperStore can also replicate or transfer data to tape with the help of PoINT’s software. The solution can also be used to back up or replicate productive cloud data.
One key advantage of the PoINT Archival Gateway is its native support for integrating tape libraries and drives. This approach enables extremely high throughput rates, rising above one petabyte per day. Thanks to flexible erasure coding settings, data can also be saved redundantly to multiple tapes or even separate libraries, improving your resilience further still.
PoINT offers new options for accessing relocated and archived data
Siegen. PoINT has integrated new ways of accessing relocated and archived data into its product PoINT Storage Manager. In doing so, it is expanding the range of possible applications for the HSM and archiving solution. Users now have more options for implementing tiering and archiving concepts.
Businesses are being pushed to respond to the growing volume of unstructured data and the increasingly strict demands for long-term storage. They are required to move data from costly primary storage systems to more cost-effective secondary storage, while also meeting any and all relevant regulatory requirements. The PoINT Storage Manager offers a solution to this challenge by automatically transferring data within the storage hierarchy according to prespecified rules, ensuring that data is securely archived using WORM protection, versioning and retention management.
The decisive factor, however, is not how data is transferred or archived, but specifically how users then access this data once again. PoINT’s product already allows transparent links – so-called “stubbing” – provided that the primary storage system supports it. Now, the new version of the PoINT Storage Manager supports a new method that works for almost all NAS systems: symbolic links. Together with web links (URL or HTML files) and browser-based access, administrators can use the method that suits their storage infrastructure best.
The PoINT Storage Manager offers file-based tiering and archiving with transparent access methods. Unlike the proprietary block-based tiering solutions offered by some storage system suppliers, the file-based approach is independent of individual storage systems and technologies, avoiding vendor lock-in. File tiering also preserves the integrity of files, since they are effectively handled as a single data unit together with their metadata. By using transparent file tiering like that offered by the PoINT Storage Manager, businesses can also run applications like backup programs and migrate data without having to first move relocated data back to primary storage. This is another decisive benefit of the file-based approach offered by the PoINT Storage Manager.
ReiseBank AG optimizes and future-proofs its storage systems with PoINT
Siegen. ReiseBank AG is automatically archiving “cold” data with the PoINT Storage Manager, reducing the amount of inactive data stored on its network drives. With the help of PoINT software, the market leader in the travel money business has been able to reduce its backup and recovery times significantly and create a future-proof storage infrastructure.
Large amounts of inactive data were taking up valuable storage space on ReiseBank AG’s network drives, making backup and recovery times much longer than they needed to be. To solve this problem, the credit institute started looking for a software solution that would automatically archive data that was only rarely accessed, moving it away from the company’s highperformance primary storage systems. The transfer process needed to run in the background based on a set of predefined rules. Meanwhile, users needed to retain seamless, transparent access to archived data so their usual workflows could continue unchanged.
Following a test phase supported and guided by the PoINT team, the company settled on a two-tier storage architecture using the PoINT Storage Manager Enterprise Edition. This software reliably and automatically moves inactive data to more cost-effective secondary storage systems. It supports storage media from any vendor, so existing resources can remain in use instead of being replaced. The PoINT Storage Manager allows access to archived files via so-called “stubs” within the primary storage system’s user interface. This means that the usual workflows remain unchanged for end users in other departments.
The primary storage has its load reduced by removing cold data, making a significant difference in terms of backup costs and time requirements. “We are especially relaxed about rising data volumes now,” said Hans Hohenwarter, head of system operations at ReiseBank AG. “The PoINT Storage Manager has us well equipped for the future and we can counter the rising costs, too.”
ReiseBank AG has found a genuine long-term solution for data and storage management thanks to the PoINT software’s flexible configuration and ease of expansion as data volumes continue to rise.
About ReiseBank AG
ReiseBank AG is a market leader in travel funds and one of the top precious metal traders in Germany. The company has 91 branches, primarily located at large airports and railway stations. As a 100% subsidiary of DZ BANK AG, it provides foreign currency and precious metals to around 800 institutes of the Genossenschaftliche FinanzGruppe cooperative and its customers via institutional trading and mail order services. With its experience operating its own stationary and mobile ATM's, it also provides a full cash management service operating ATM's for third-party banks.
Press Releases 2019
High-performance S3 object storage on tape: PoINT Archival Gateway - Compact Edition
Siegen. PoINT has added a significant number of new functions to its product the PoINT Archival Gateway and now offers a Compact Edition of its tape-based S3 object storage system for small and medium-sized installations. With the Compact Edition, PoINT is particularly targeting businesses looking for a cost-effective solution for tape-based storage and management of data volumes in the single-digit petabyte range.
The PoINT Archival Gateway is a scalable, high-performance S3-based object storage software system. It stores and manages large quantities of data on tape libraries. Tape technology in particular is playing an increasingly important role among businesses, in light of the enormous rise in volumes of unstructured data, increasing demands on archival systems and the need to protect (air-gap) systems against ransomware. Tape-based media are also far more cost-effective than hard drive-based systems for storing and archiving large quantities of data.
In order for companies to seamlessly integrate tape libraries into their storage infrastructure, it is advisable for them to use software based on S3 object storage principles. The standardised S3 API is being supported by more and more applications, and its underlying HTTP protocol is also particularly effective in light of the particular properties of tape, such as long load times. This is the approach PoINT has realised with the PoINT Archival Gateway.
The solution for big data storage
This scalable solution supports installations with up to eight tape libraries holding several thousand slots for storing hundreds of petabytes. Now, the Compact Edition offers an alternative for small to medium-sized installations. The functionality of the Compact Edition is identical to that of its larger version. The Compact Edition can be installed on one server and optionally set up to run redundantly on a second. The Compact Edition is a particularly cost-effective solution for customers with storage requirements in the single-digit petabyte range.
Customers using hard drive-based object storage systems such as NetApp StorageGRID or Cloudian HyperStore can use the PoINT Archival Gateway to copy their data to tape.
PoINT also offers an emulator version of the PoINT Archival Gateway for Proofs of Concept and testing purposes. It can be used to test how to integrate tape-based S3 object storage without physically configuring a tape library.
PoINT Storage Manager 6.4: More archiving flexibility for users
Siegen. Version 6.4 of the PoINT Storage Manager is available now. The focus for this latest release is the “User Controlled Archiving” function, which allows users to customise which data to archive and when. This makes it easier to maintain compliance and securely archive data.
Previously, the PoINT Storage Manager software had only given administrators the right to specify criteria and rules for automatically archiving data. This newly integrated function, “User Controlled Archiving”, is now also available to users as a Windows Explorer add-in. This makes archiving data just as easy as creating a copy of it, and eliminates the need to open another application or enter data in a separate interface.
The administrator specifies which users have the appropriate permissions to individually archive data and also determines which commands are available. This means that control over the archiving system as a whole is still centralised.
“User Controlled Archiving significantly expands the range of applications for our established software solution, the PoINT Storage Manager,” said Thomas Thalmann, CEO at PoINT Software & Systems GmbH. “Many of our customers have been asking for this new feature, which is now here for version 6.4.”
SIXT revs up with the PoINT Storage Manager
Siegen. The mobility service provider SIXT SE is using the PoINT Storage Manager to relieve the load on its primary storage system by moving seldom-used data to more cost-effective secondary storage. In doing so, the company is avoiding having to expand its primary storage and can make optimal use of its infrastructure.
Home directories containing countless Excel, Word, PowerPoint, email, video and image files were located on primary NetApp MetroCluster systems at SIXT. In response, the company realised a hierarchical storage management (HSM) system to transfer inactive data from high-performance tier 1 storage clusters (NetApp FAS) to more cost-effective secondary storage (NetApp E-Series). However, users needed to retain read access to all of this data without having to first move it back to primary storage. SIXT found the right solution to this challenge in the Enterprise Edition of the PoINT Storage Manager from PoINT Storage & Systems GmbH. The PoINT Storage Manager monitors how often users access data located on the primary storage level (tier 1). If a file is accessed only rarely – and if all of SIXT’s other defined criteria are met – the software automatically transfers it to the next storage tier, which is more cost-effective. Users can still access files via primary storage as usual, thanks to so-called “stubs” which allow
users to read data even after it is moved without having to transfer it back to the high-performance storage system.
As a result, SIXT is able to minimise the storage space required on its primary system and reduce management work by automating the associated processes. Meanwhile, PoINT ensures that SIXT’s storage infrastructure remains flexible, as it remains compatible with all available storage technology, regardless of the manufacturer.
“The PoINT Storage Manager makes data available for users to read even beyond the confines of the data centre,” said Stefan Kerber, Head of Data Centre Management at SIXT. “The software reliably meets our needs, so we are very satisfied with it. Aside from the intuitive installation and the actual functionality, we particularly appreciate PoINT Software & Systems’ short lines of communication.”
PoINT presents high-performance S3 gateway for archiving and big data storage
Siegen. The PoINT Archival Gateway, a new software solution from PoINT Software & Systems GmbH, combines high performance, scalability and high availability of data. It receives data via an S3 interface which it then archives on storage systems such as tape or optical libraries. Integrated erasure coding ensures that data is distributed redundantly, improving the system’s reliability and performance. The PoINT Archival Gateway will be available in Q2 2019.
The PoINT Archival Gateway can write and read over one petabyte of data per day. This high level of performance makes the software ideal for applications wherever large volumes of data are stored. The software’s S3 interfaces also mean that businesses can integrate cloud-ready applications without having to make any adaptations to it. The PoINT Archival Gateway’s S3 HTTP service supports thousands of parallel client connections, enabling maximum throughput rates. A clear, comprehensible administrative interface makes configuration completely intuitive and provides a quick overview of the system’s capacity, object count and performance at all times.
WORM functionality and integrated retention management ensure that data is protected against manipulation or unintended deletion, making it easy for businesses to meet their compliance obligations. Users can also implement a 3-2-1 backup strategy without any extra work, as the software supports tape and optical storage media so that offline storage is also as easy as can be.
“With digitisation on the rise and data volumes increasing enormously, the PoINT Archival Gateway represents a scalable, high-performance solution that helps businesses to quickly and securely store their data, archiving it in compliance with the relevant regulations and legislation,” said Thomas Thalmann, CEO at PoINT Software & Systems GmbH.
Max Planck Institute relieves load on primary storage with PoINT
Siegen. The Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research (MPI) has freed up terabytes’ worth of measurement data by adopting the PoINT Storage Manager, benefiting in a number of ways as a result. The institute has been able to reduce costs and backup times while also enabling audit-compliant archiving of its research data.
For many years, the MPI stored its data on hard drive-based systems. This included measurement data with file sizes measured in gigabytes or terabytes which is only rarely accessed. As a result, the MPI sought out a solution which would free its primary storage of this seldom-used data. MPI’s IT staff found the right solution to their storage challenge in the PoINT Storage Manager software. “Following a test phase in which we tested the software under every scenario we could think of, we were convinced by its ease of use thanks to its clear, intuitive interface – not to mention its wide range of functionality. Other plus points included the PoINT Storage Manager’s clear and easy-to-understand archiving and HSM rules, which can be modified and expanded as required. Moreover, the PoINT product allows us to quickly and elegantly restore data,” said Prof. Dr. Mario Looso, Head of the IT and Bioinformatics Facility at the MPI.
Since the PoINT Storage Manager was introduced, the software has archived MPI’s research data for the long term while providing transparent read access. This is made possible by so-called “stubs”, which allow users to read archived data without having to transfer it back to the primary storage system. This function allows the PoINT Storage Manager to free up inactive data, enabling full backups within the MPI’s desired time window.
“We see this mature software as a long-term, future-proof solution which gives us flexibility despite rising volumes of data,” said Prof. Dr. Mario Looso, summing up the results. We are very pleased with both the product and the service we received. PoINT meets all of our requirements in full.”
Press Releases 2018
PoINT Storage Manager 6.3: Web interface and archive storage analysis
Key benefits of the new version are more flexible working and a clear overview of storage capacity
Siegen. Version 6.3 of the PoINT Storage Manager, available now, enables access to data from any location, on any platform, using a graphical web interface. The software also offers archive storage analysis, which allows administrators to clearly see at any time how much capacity is being used on each storage medium and how often data is accessed.
The PoINT Storage Manager therefore helps businesses to use their storage systems more efficiently within a tiered storage architecture. To do so, it uses a prespecified ruleset to transfer inactive data from expensive primary storage (the performance tier) to more cost-effective storage tiers (the capacity or archive tier). The new version of the data & storage management software includes a web interface which is compatible with all operating systems, platforms and devices. After logging in, the user can use this interface to access the data managed by the PoINT Storage Manager. They can therefore view archived files (including different versions of the files) from any location.
The second key new feature for the PoINT Storage Manager is its archive storage analysis functionality, which allows administrators to see at any time how much of each storage system’s overall capacity is being used and how often data is accessed. This overview also provides the number and age distribution of archived files. Using this information, admins can quickly
assess when it will be necessary to invest in additional storage hardware. They can also use the statistical functionality to see which file types make up
what proportion of the overall data volumes. They can also see an overview of file access history to understand what data users are reading and writing (and how much of it). This setup can be used as a basis to further optimise data transfer rules.
Local authority of Hof frees its primary storage system of “cold data” with PoINT
Siegen. In order to make more efficient use of its available storage space, the town of Hof has adopted the PoINT Storage Manager. This software has enabled the Bavarian local authority to automatically transfer inactive data off its primary storage system. With regard to operating, maintenance and investment costs, the implementation amortized itself within the first year.
An analysis revealed that around 70% of the data on the Hof local authority’s file servers was inactive, meaning that it was no longer being used by employees. “Users create and save data, but generally don’t delete it. So we started looking for a software solution that would automatically move older data to a cheaper storage system after – in our case – two years,” said Dieter Knöchel, Head of Data Processing, Communication and Networks at the Hof local authority. During his search, he stumbled across the PoINT Storage Manager, a software solution that automatically distinguishes between “hot” and “cold” data, transferring the latter type within a multi-tier storage structure based on the rules it is given.
In the case of the Hof local authority, this structure involves a two-tier architecture comprising primary and secondary storage. Access to data on the secondary system is preserved, as the PoINT Storage Manager retains a stub on the primary system.
“As a result, the PoINT Storage Manager does exactly what we want, transparently moving more than two-thirds of the total data off our primary storage units. No alternative came close, since the biggest advantage with PoINT Software is that the user doesn’t even notice all of this,” said Gerd Schmidt, Head of Technology at the Hof local authority.
Given the outstanding results this solution has produced, the Hof local authority is now considering expanding its use of PoINT products.
“We take a relaxed view of the rising volume of data”
Siegen. EUROIMMUN AG, a laboratory diagnostic system manufacturer, relieves the load on its primary storage system with the PoINT Storage Manager software permanently and automatically. Inactive data volumes are moved to secondary storage in line with the company’s own ruleset – while users retain fully transparent access.
If the primary storage system is overloaded, the consequences are not just high costs also backups take much longer. EUROIMMUN AG found a solution to this problem: within a two-tiered storage architecture (HSM) the PoINT Storage Manager software, which transfers inactive data to more cost-effective secondary storage based on the company’s own rules. What sets this solution apart is that the data remains transparent and accessible. “For our users by the stubbing process nothing changes,” says Niklas Wiegmann, IT system administrator for computing, hardware and networking at EUROIMMUN AG. “Since adopting the PoINT Storage Manager, we no longer need to worry about transferring and archiving data.” The system manufacturer now also has no concerns about the rising volume of data at the company, even given the many terabytes of data it already holds. Thanks to PoINT’s solution, the EUROIMMUN AG has plenty of free space and keeps backup times low. Implementing the software required no major special arrangements: integrating the PoINT Storage Manager is a quick and easy process.
PoINT Storage Manager 6.2 improves availability of data
Siegen. PoINT Software & Systems GmbH has announced the release of version 6.2 of the PoINT Storage Manager. This new release of the data and storage management software stands out in particular for its improved stability, ensuring greater availability of relocated and archived data. Version 6.2 is available now.
The PoINT Storage Manager allows users to use their available storage capacity more efficiently within a tiered storage architecture. To this end, the software transfers inactive data from costly primary storage (the Performance Tier) to more cost-effective storage systems (the Capacity or Archive tiers), where it is then archived. The solution’s new functionality, enabling automatic failover on the next level of storage, offers improved stability: if the primary storage system fails, the automatic failover system preserves read access to data with the replication device.
The PoINT Storage Manager 6.2 also includes a PoINT Secondary Access Server (PSAS). This is a kind of second PoINT Storage Manager server which is used if the primary PoINT Storage Manager server fails. The PoINT Secondary Access Server then enables read access to archived files, preserving users’ access to data. This new function currently operates in combination with NetApp FAS systems; support for additional primary storage systems will follow in due course.
“In business-critical environments,” said Thomas Thalmann, Managing Director at PoINT Software & Systems GmbH, “it is essential to guarantee data availability and accessibility, no matter where it is stored. The new functionality within PoINT Storage Manager 6.2 ensures significantly improved availability for relocated or archived data, even when servers or storage systems fail.”
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Press Releases 2017
EU GDPR? PoINT Storage Manager 6.1!
Siegen. Businesses that are not yet ready for the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulations (EU GDPR) can now relax: version 6.1 of the PoINT Storage Manager is here and will help you to implement the regulations coming into force on May 25, 2018.
In line with the upcoming regulations, companies holding European citizens’ personal data must delete such data on request. PoINT Storage Manager 6.1 enables not just logical but also physical deletion. “This makes it possible to delete files in a targeted manner where required. On the other hand, if the files need to be kept, they must be suitably protected. PoINT’s software offers this protection via retention management and WORM functionality, fulfilling compliance requirements and preventing unintended changes or manipulation,” said Thomas Thalmann, CEO of PoINT Software & Systems GmbH.
The functionality of the PoINT Storage Manager helps businesses not just meet data protection regulations but also optimize their use of storage.
As well as the functions named above, version 6.1 also supports a wider range of storage systems, which now includes SUSE Enterprise Storage, IBM COS and Sony ODA.
Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster optimizes its storage environment
Siegen. Commercial data volumes are rising by the day – but adding storage capacity costs money. This was exactly the issue facing the agricultural publisher Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster. In order to break out of this vicious cycle, the media firm implemented a new data storage plan: instead of expanding its existing storage environment, it implemented a multi-tiered storage architecture based on intelligent data and storage management. The solution automatically differentiates between active and inactive data – and stores it according to its intended use in tiers of differencing performance levels. Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster chose the PoINT Storage Manager from PoINT Software & Systems GmbH to realize this concept, while the implementation partner for the project was ICSmedia GmbH, which had supported the publishing house with IT services for many years.
Around 15 terabytes of highly available data is located on Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster’s file servers; it had previously been distributed across two mirrored NetApp storage systems. The constantly rising data volumes required more and more storage space. Expanding the mirrored cluster storage system initially appeared to be the only way out – but it was an expensive option. Looking for an alternative, the company received a decisive tip-off from ICSmedia GmbH: "We recommended that Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster examine how its existing data was being used. Was all of it really in active use? And did it actually need to be kept in mirrored primary storage?" said Johann Miske, the relevant sales associate at ICSmedia GmbH, as he explained the process.
Over the course of this further analysis, it became clear that primary storage alone was not in fact necessary. "With the PoINT Storage Manager, we could therefore provide a suitable solution enabling rules-based storage on a capacity-oriented NetApp FAS SATA shelf without changing how employees accessed the data. This allowed the optimization of existing storage systems."
That really caught everyone’s interest! Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster placed the solution under the microscope with a detailed three-month test phase. "With the PoINT Storage Manager, we realized a range of scenarios in which our data was distributed according to this storage plan," said Thorsten Schmidt, vice-head of IT at Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster, adding, "The storage process remains transparent at all times, meaning data is always directly accessible." After just a few weeks, the data and storage management software was therefore awarded the contract. Since then, Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster has been able to make significantly more efficient use of its existing capacity and save the investments in storage which it had originally planned to make.
Inactive data is moved to the lower storage tier according to a rules-driven process. Specifically, the management software includes a setting which automatically moves data older than three months from primary to secondary storage. All of this was achieved with a relatively low investment cost: "Adopting the PoINT Storage Manager costs us significantly less, including over the long term, than purchasing more mirrored primary storage," said Thorsten Schmidt, summarizing the results.
In implementing the new storage solution, the agricultural publisher is also sowing the seeds for the future. If the existing volumes prove no longer to be sufficient at some point down the line, the company can move its data to ICSmedia’s data center, where it will be available in the cloud.
About Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster:
Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster is one of the 100 largest media companies in Germany, with approximately 600 employees located both in the country and abroad. The firm publishes magazines, books and new media for the agricultural and rural sectors; with a total of 30 specialist and general-interest titles, it is the leading specialist agrarian publisher in Europe.
About ICSmedia GmbH:
ICSmedia GmbH, a member of the DTS Group, is an established IT service provider focusing on the fields of data centers, security and technology. The company maintains three of its own data centers in Germany and has many years of technical know-how as well as extensive expertise in security.
On the safe side - PoINT Storage Manager Version 6.0 with retention management meets archiving standards
Siegen. PoINT Software & Systems GmbH has released version 6.0 of its data and storage management software. The new release focuses in particular on retention management functions which allow users to securely store and manage their data. The PoINT Storage Manager therefore helps users to implement all aspects of compliance guidelines.
PoINT Storage Manager allows users to make use of their storage systems within a tiered storage architecture, saving resources. Inactive data are rule-based moved from expensive primary storage to more cost-effective secondary storage within a lower tier. Thanks to the retention management features added in version 6.0, in combination with WORM functionality, the software meets all compliance standards for archiving. The archiving rules are configured within a storage vault, where users can define retention periods for specific folders or subjects. This provides them with the flexibility needed to meet the needs and specifications of individual workflows. Once the retention period expires – at the end of the file’s life cycle, in other words – the file can be marked by an administrator for deletion.
In addition to the software’s retention management functions, Version 6.0 of PoINT Storage Manager allows IT administrators to mark and delete archived data with previously deleted links (so-called “stubs”) in performance tier. This can be done rule-based at pre-defined intervals. The functionality for versioning of archived data has also been expanded, allowing users to specify how many versions of an archived file should be saved.