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Infinidat goes hybrid, adds cyber detection

Infinidat introduces a cloud OS, expanding its storage capabilities to the hybrid cloud, and adds cyber detection for advanced data protection to primary storage.

Infinidat has expanded customers' options by launching its OS in the cloud while adding detection to its cybersecurity.

Infinidat's OS for its primary storage arrays, InfiniBox and InfiniBox SSA II, now supports hybrid cloud storage through the InfuzeOS Cloud Edition. The OS will first be available on AWS by the end of May. The vendor has also enhanced its software for data protection, InfiniSafe, by adding a cyber detection feature to help detect undetonated ransomware.

This is a marketing shift for Infinidat, changing the focus from its hardware to software, according to Mike Matchett, an analyst at Small World Big Data, an IT analyst firm.

"The InfiniBox had a lot of their IP in it, 10 years ago," Matchett said.

While it had specifics such as cabling and certain configurations, it was still off-the-shelf hardware, he said. There were no application-specific integrated circuit or storage modules; the only custom-made part was the rack itself, which isn't a concern porting InfiniBox to the cloud.

Going hybrid

Infinidat is expanding its software-defined storage capabilities to hybrid cloud for its customers to increase operational efficiency. The InfuzeOS Cloud Edition will come with the same data services and automation as the on-premises OS.

Infinidat is not the first company to port its data services to the cloud, Matchett said. NetApp OnTap has been doing this for some time, and Dell unveiled that it was running its file and block services in the public cloud.

You can have the exact same [storage services] running, just in the cloud as opposed to a data center.
Mike MatchettAnalyst, Small World Big Data

"You can have the exact same [storage services] running, just in the cloud as opposed to a data center," Matchett said.

But moving to hybrid does not occur without tradeoffs, he said. The InfiniBox has an active-active-active controller configuration, ensuring triple redundancy for 100% availability. The InfiniBox also uses a large memory cache to reduce latency.

"Theoretically, on a bare-metal cloud, they're going to set it up just like it's running on site -- same memory and disk drives," Matchett said. "But you don't know how the cloud is wired together, network-wise."

The cloud version might not be the best choice for mission-critical workloads, according to Dave Raffo, an analyst at The Futurum Group. For data requiring high performance and availability, InfiniBox and InfiniBox SSA II remain the recommended storage offerings. The hybrid extension serves use cases such as disaster recovery, backup, test/dev and burst storage.

InfuzeOS Cloud Edition provides a cloud-only version of Infinidat in AWS, Raffo said. However, customers are more likely to use it as an expansion of Infinidat on premises. Users can replicate data such as snapshots to multiple AWS availability zones, for instance.

"[InfuzeOS Cloud Edition] isn't only for data protection, but that is a big part of it," Raffo said.

Detection for data protection

The data protection software, InfiniSafe, provides immutable snapshots and logical air-gapping. Cyber detection will be introduced to InfiniSafe in the second half of this year. It will use machine learning to detect cyberthreats with up to 99.5% confidence, according to the vendor.

"Cyber detection is becoming table stakes faster than anything else in enterprise storage," Matchett said.

As storage arrays become more data-aware, relying on third-party offerings to scan the data is not the fastest way to discover threats, he said. Cyber detection is something vendors are looking to add to primary storage now. IBM has added it recently to its FlashSystem, and Dell added detection features to its PowerProtect last year.

"[Infinidat cyber detection] goes beyond the immutable snapshots and air gaps," Raffo said.

The software enables users to detect anomalies and locate the most recent clean version to quickly restore from, he said. Infinidat guarantees a one-minute restore to primary storage after finding a clean copy.

Infinidat differentiates itself with flexible policy options, Matchett said. Infinidat customers deal in high capacities, and users won't want to pull an entire petabyte of data for a daily scan. Users can set up the scanning by volume or user.

Scanning for anomalies on the primary storage InfiniBox can potentially affect performance, according to Krista Macomber, an analyst at The Futurum Group. But the vendor offers ways to mitigate this.

"Data can be asynchronously replicated to an offload array for scanning, or it can be scanned in an InfiniSafe fenced forensic environment," Macomber said.

Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware and private clouds. He previously worked at

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