Rainstorage keeps on-the-move files accessible
Rainfinity's RainStorage appliance is designed for a very specific purpose: moving data. It allows the admin to transfer files from one server or NAS to another while maintaining both availability and ownership/permissions.
Based on the HP ProLiant DL380 G3 server, this 2U unit operates as a Layer 2 switch with both NAS appliances or servers connected to it while it redirects traffic. Clients can transparently access files that are being moved, allowing for storage tuning, server consolidation, repurposing of data, replication, data migration, and remote caching, all without the need for taking storage offline, even temporarily.
Setting up the RainStorage is simple, and it does what it's intended to do well. I created files on one of my test NAS devices, and then moved the files to another device. Availability was maintained throughout the copying process, and access times were indistinguishable from times when the files weren’t being moved.
The RainStorage has both a nicely crafted Web GUI and a command-line interface to facilitate the scripting of moves. It supports NFS (Network File System) Versions 2 and 3, CIFS (Common Internet File System), and all NetApp appliances running Data Ontap and WAFL (Write Anywhere File Layout). It’s compatible with NAS management tools including: DataFabric Manager, SnapManager, SnapMirror, SnapRestore, and FilerView.
The RainStorage appliance is priced at $80,000 with the ability to move an unlimited amount of data; a tiered pricing scheme, based on the size of the data sets, is coming soon. The price is high, but the ability to automate moving data while maintaining availability will be worth it for administrators who need to move large amounts of data around or maintain around-the-clock availability.
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