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Flexential Archive Storage heats up with Wasabi

Cloud storage has trended up since the coronavirus pandemic hit. Flexential and Wasabi have teamed up on an archival storage platform that takes advantage of the cloud.

A new partnership between Flexential and Wasabi is adding spice to cold storage.

Flexential Archive Storage powered by Wasabi is designed for long-term retention of unstructured data. Wasabi offers what it calls "hot cloud storage" at a flat rate and does not charge egress fees, making it cheaper to pull data back than a typical cloud archiving platform.

The platform launched over the summer and customers are using it for both backup and archive, said Jason Carolan, chief innovation officer at Flexential.

"They just appreciate the simplicity of it," Carolan said.

How Flexential and Wasabi work together

The joint offering means that Wasabi's storage platform will be deployed in Flexential's data centers. A new Plano, Texas, data center will service the southern and central parts of the United States.

Flexential also offers customers the ability to connect directly to the Wasabi vaults in the west, central and eastern regions through the FlexAnywhere network, providing a faster and more reliable connection. Wasabi CEO David Friend said his company will install a vault in the Texas data center by the end of the year.

With a spike in people working at home due to COVID-19, using the public cloud for archiving can provide quick and easy access to data.

Headshot of Wasabi CEO David FriendDavid Friend

"This [pandemic] has driven companies to the cloud faster than they otherwise would have gone," Friend said.

Customers pay for the space reserved and pay no charges for API requests or additional network fees. The cost is one-fifth the price of S3 and it runs faster than Amazon Glacier, Carolan said.

Headshot of Flexential's Jason CarolanJason Carolan

Flexential Archive Storage costs the standard list price plus premium support, bringing the amount to $6.50 per TB, per month. Wasabi typically charges $6 per TB, per month for its cloud storage -- that's "hot storage at cold storage prices," Friend said.

Friend said he thought the cloud storage service would be a way for Flexential to distinguish itself in the data center market and provide more than space and electricity.

While Wasabi's partnership with Flexential is the first of its kind in the United States, Wasabi has a similar setup with NTT in Japan, Friend said.

Carolan cited public cloud platforms and storage vendors as competitors.

"But it's really expensive to buy storage," Carolan said.

Cancer center likes value of Flexential archive

The Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., started using Flexential Archive Storage over the summer. The center uses it for about 200 TB of backups, including clinical, research and business data, said George Steward, technical architect at the center.

Moffitt, which opened in 1986 and has about 7,000 employees, also uses Rubrik for data protection. Data sits on the Rubrik system for 15 days and then moves to Wasabi for archiving. Rubrik, through an automated job, archives the old backups from its local storage and onto Wasabi's object storage in the public cloud.

This [pandemic] has driven companies to the cloud faster than they otherwise would have gone.
David FriendCEO, Wasabi

The center moved off the Dell EMC backup portfolio because of cost and usability issues, Steward said. Wasabi had one of the cheapest offerings and Steward said he also liked how easy it is to use.

As the center looked to modernize its backup infrastructure, it sought the solidity of on premises and the flexibility of the cloud, Moffitt Cancer Center CTO John McFarland said.

Ensuring data protection is crucial, especially now as cyberattacks have hit hard during the pandemic.

"Having immutable protection in our platform is even more critical today than it was a year ago," McFarland said.

In the search for a new system, Moffitt looked at big players and up-and-comers. The center has been a Flexential customer for about 10 years. Flexential Archive Storage provided the same or better uptimes and speed than the competition, McFarland said. And the value stood out.

"You're getting tier 1 storage performance," McFarland said, "for an archival price."

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