Thursday’s Disruptive Tech Showcase: RainStor Tackles The Tough Challenges Of Information Preservation

Published on July 1, 2010 by R "Ray" Wang



Organizations Facing The Big Data Problem Must Solve The TCO Of Data Retention
The explosion in data volumes from terabytes to petabytes (i.e. 1 quadrillion bytes) drives many organizations to identify cost effective solutions for the retention and on demand retrieval of historical data.  More importantly, organizations must meet a plethora of changing business and compliance requirements.  RainStor’s solution focuses in on the retention of read-only or inactive structured data.  The solution delivers the “Three R’s” of fundamental data management capabilities for its customers by:

  • Reduction. Effective storage requires secure but accessible data reduction that can encapsulate data without loss in content or structure.  RainStor can take structured data sources such as log files, database, and event data and compress to a 40:1 ratio into containers of discrete files.  This means up to a 97% savings in storage costs.  On top of the compression, RainStor de-duplicates data values and detects patterns so values only need to be stored once.  This means information is stored in a tree structure while still maintaining a full representation of the original records.  The result – in repetitive transactions such as call data logs and stock transactions, storage costs drop by geometric proportions (see Figure 1).
  • Retention. Compliance rules create unnecessary complexity in managing retention and purge parameters.  Data in the RainStor solution follows existing policies and remains “as-is” or immutable.  The system preserves the original structure of the stored records.  Users gain control in managing compliance rules and can even store the data in an unstructured data solution such as EMC Centera.  The solution utilizes commodity storage systems and doesn’t require specialized DBA skills.  Organizations can keep their SAN, NAS, DAS, CAS, or even go with cloud storage options.
  • Retrieval. Existing systems remain challenged in preserving schema evolution and often lose context after upgrades from release to release.  In RainStor, the system stores schema and tables to be able to search back in a point in time.  By addressing schema evolution, any changes to new fields, tables, and columns are preserved and present the exact representation of the data regardless of query style.  As an extension repository, RainStor does not store in relational format and can instead point to a SQL statement.  Furthermore, organizations can retrieve data through SQL and BI tools such as ODBC/JDBC at RDBMS performance levels or better

Figure 1.  RainStor Applies Data De-duplication To Reduce Storage Costs

Source: RainStor
RainStor Delivers Its Solutions Via An OEM Partner Model

Gloucester, UK based RainStor has its US based offices in San Francisco, CA.  RainStor does not sell the solution directly to consumers.  The solution is now embedded in more than 75 deployments at Global 2000 brands through independent software vendors (ISV), systems integrators (SI), and managed service providers (MSP) such as Adaptive Mobile, EMC, Group 2000, HP, Informatica, and On-Point Technology.  The solution powers key solutions such as:

  • Application and warehouse archiving. Partners use RainStor to manage the information life cycle by keeping more data for longer without bogging down transactional systems.
  • Application retirement. Legacy data can be stored in an alternative repository for legacy migration or SaaS deployments.
  • SaaS data escrows. SaaS vendors can guarantee data in an outage or in a potential end of business scenario.
  • Log and security event retention.  De-duplication technology reduces massive storage retention costs and improves retrieval performance.

Published Informatica Telco Case Study Shows A 211% ROI In Four Years
An Informatica telco customer encountering a massive operations downsizing faced the challenge of reducing costs while keeping data online and accessible.  Challenged with mainframe maintenance costs of $250,000 annually, the organization built a read-only archive from mainframe to RainStor at only 5% of the original size.  The telco achieved a $430,000 annual reduction with 20x admin savings going from 2 FTE’s to 0.1 FTE’s  (i.e. IT $250k, Staff $180k).  The result – payback in 16.1 months and $1.2M in savings over 4 years.
The Bottom Line For Buyers (Users) – Seek Information Preservation Cost Savings To Fund Innovation
While RainStor does not directly sell its solutions to customers, this disruptive technology should be part of every cloud stack, historical storage system, and archiving solution.  The solution even supports inMemory systems by using memory address pointers in nodal storage to avoid row or column based storage.  Use cases such as smart grids and cold data storage can also provide significant savings.  Users should demand that their ISV’s, SI’s, and MSP’s OEM RainStor.  Cost savings in equipment, software, and labor provide a significant cost savings basis that will deliver the seed funding for much needed innovation projects.
Your POV
Do you face data retention challenges?  Have your costs gone through the roof for information management?  Have you tried RainStor?  As a prospect or customer, what limitations do you see?   Add your comments to the discussion or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.
Please let us know if you need help with your overall apps strategy. Here’s how we can help:

  • Planning an Information Management agenda
  • Assessing SaaS and cloud
  • Evaluating Cloud integration strategies
  • Assisting with legacy ERP migration
  • Planning upgrades and migration
  • Performing vendor selection
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support

Related resources and links
RainStor4 Data Sheet
20100529 Merv’s Market Strategies For IT Suppliers – Merv Adrian “RainStor Ramp Rolls On”
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Disclosure
Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us.  RainStor is currently not a retainer client of Altimeter Group and also not a client of Insider Associates, LLC.  For the full disclosure policy please refer here.
Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

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