Storage Soup

Sep 1 2011   9:12PM GMT

Imation removes ProStor, buys InfiniVault assets

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

RDX removable disk pioneer ProStor Systems officially dissolved this week when Imation picked up ProStor’s remaining intellectual property. That consists of mostly ProStor’s InfiniVault data management technology, which  Imation plans to build a tiered storage strategy around.

Tandberg acquired the RDX business from ProStor in May, and Imation scooped up the InfiniVault Management System software this week. ProStor’s InfiniVault systems included the software with RDX removable disk drives and cartridges.

Imation licensed RDX technology from ProStor and now licenses it from Tandberg, so it will continue the InfiniVault line and look to expand it. At least that’s the plan now, according to Imation VP of marketing and product management Ian Williams.

Imation is also hiring about 15 ProStor engineering, sales, marketing and support employees.

Williams said he expects to have more to say about the InfiniVault roadmap in a few months, but he expects it to become a major piece of what he calls Imation’s secure and scalable storage line. Imation’s other storage product are tape/optical drives and audio-video home systems.

“We’re transferring from a media-centric company to a company that provides tiered storage across multiple media types,” Williams said. “This is a solid platform for us to build on.”

InfiniVault systems see data on RDX drives as a NAS file system. The software adds retention, WORM, encryption, deduplication, compression, indexing, and digital fingerprinting features. Williams said having these capabilities on removable drives makes for a valuable alternative to using the cloud for DR and quick restores.

“Portable storage is the next stop for customers who want tiered storage,” Williams said. “RDX is the most effective way of doing that outside of the cloud. If you have multi-terabytes of data, the cloud is a great way for incremental archives and offsite retrieval, but with bare metal restores you need something faster with more bandwidth. That’s where RDX fits in.”

Williams said the deal gives Imation tiering IP much sooner than if it tried to build it internally. He said Imation did not try to buy the RDX end of ProStor because it already has access to the technology as a licensee.

Now Imation’s challenge is to do what ProStor failed to do – turn InfiniVault into a successful business.

“It’s a matter of focus,” he said. “ProStor was an RDX company for years, and that takes focus and funding to do. It’s hard to be an RDX company and a tiered storage company.”

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