Cleversafe’s new hardware

Cleversafe new dsNet(tm) Rack (from
Cleversafe new dsNet(tm) Rack (from

Yesterday, Cleversafe announced new Slicestor(r) 2100 and 2200 hardware using 2TB SATA drives. The standard 2100 1U package supports 8TB of raw data and the 2200 new 2U package supports 24TB of data. In addition, a new Accesser(r) 2100 supports 8GB of ECC RAM, and 2 GigE or 10GbE ports for data access.

In addition to the new server hardware, Cleversafe also announced an integrated rack with up to 18 Slicestor 2200s, 2 Accessors 2100s, 1 Omnience (management node), 48-port ethernet switch, and PDUs. This new rack configuration comes pre-cabled and can easily be installed to support an immediate 432TB raw capacity. It’s expected that customers with multiple sites could order 1 or more racks to support a quick installation of Cleversafe storage services.

Cleversafe currently offers iSCSI block services, direct object storage interface and file services interfaces (over iSCSI).  They are finding some success in the media and entertainment space as well as federal and state government data centers.

The federal and state government agencies seem especially interested in Cleversafe for its data security capabilities.  They offer cloud data security via their SecureSlice(tm) technology which encrypts data slices and uses key masking to obscure the key.  With SecureSlice, the only way to decrypt the data is to have enough slices to reconstitute the data.

Also the new Accesser and Slicestor server hardware now uses a drive on motherboard flash unit to hold operating system/Cleversafe software. This allows data drives to only hold customer data and reduces Accesser power requirements while also improving both Slicestor and Accesser reliability.

In a previous post we discussed EMC’s Atmos’s GeoProtect capabilities and although they are not quite at the sophistication of Cleversafe, EMC does offer a sort of data dispersion across sites/racks.  However, it appears that GeoProtect is currently limited to two distinct configurations.  In contrast, Cleversafe allows the user to select the number of Slicestor’s to store data and the threshold required to reconstitute the data.  Doing this allows the user to almost dial up or down the availability and reliability they want for their data.

Cleversafe performs well enough to saturate a single Accesser GigE iSCSI link.  Accessers maintain a sort of preferred routing table which indicates which Slicestors currently have the best performance. By accessing the quickest Slicestors first to reconstitute data, performance can be optimized.  Specifically, for the typical multi-site Cleversafe implementation, knowing current Slicestor to Accesser performance can improve data reconstitution performance considerably.

Full disclosure, I have done work for Cleversafe in the past.