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StorageCraft backup and object storage packaged for schools

As schools shift from textbooks to rich media, StorageCraft packages object storage with backup and recovery software in hard disk drives or all-flash appliances.

StorageCraft is going to school.

The backup vendor has identified education as a prime market for the integration of StorageCraft backup and recovery software with the object storage it acquired from Exablox in 2017.

The vendor is bundling data protection with object storage in an entry-level package, called StorageCraft for Education. Like other vertical markets, schools today find their storage capacity stressed, as more information goes digital.

The package consists of two StorageCraft OneBlox appliances and StorageCraft backup software. One appliance can reside off premises, with replication between the two boxes.

Pricing starts at less than $38,000 for StorageCraft OneBlox 4312 appliances with 96 TB of raw storage capacity. The education bundle is also available on OneBlox 5210 appliances with 38 TB of raw all-flash capacity. The appliances include StorageCraft OneSystem software for managing and monitoring storage across sites.

StorageCraft ShadowProtect software handles the backup and remote replication for data stored on the OneBlox appliances.

The goal is to provide the basic components necessary for creating on-premises primary storage for a large amount of data, along with an off-site backup to protect it. StorageCraft backup also provides scalability. And the storage offers large capacity, while keeping costs down, as schools often lack the IT budgets of enterprises.

"Most of the learning within the educational system is rapidly transitioning from more of a textbook-based approach to a rich-media-based learning approach," said Shridar Subramanian, vice president of marketing and product management at StorageCraft, based in Draper, Utah. "At higher education, rich media is being generated for research projects, as well."

Subramanian succinctly summed up the problem: "Where do you store all of that?"

Most of the learning within the educational system is rapidly transitioning from more of a textbook-based approach to a rich-media-based learning approach. ... Where do you store all of that?
Shridar Subramanianvice president of marketing and product management, StorageCraft

Many turn to the cloud for storing "all of that," but Subramanian said the costs of retrieving data from cloud-based storage are up to 50% higher than owning StorageCraft appliances over a three-year period. Restoring a backup from the cloud versus an off-site appliance could also take longer.

Lee Berkowitz, IT and network manager at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center, chose StorageCraft backup and storage after looking at products from Promise Technology, QNAP and RAID Inc.

"StorageCraft used object storage, was easily and rapidly expandable, and required no rebuilds in case of drive failure," Berkowitz wrote in an email. "The additional fact that the units offered deduplication was a great bonus. We did have an instance when one of our units needed replacement from StorageCraft. In that case, the new unit was activated, with no loss of data or downtime."

The education bundles are part of StorageCraft's strategy to integrate its data management and backup software with Exablox's object storage hardware.

"Our vision is to go after the midsize enterprise segment, as well as the SMB market space, and provide them with an integrated solution that not only manages all their data, but also protects it," Subramanian said. "Thereby, customers don't have to worry about stitching together different pieces of infrastructure or applications."

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