Caringo Does CAS for Less

Caringo came out of stealth mode Tuesday with an impressive pedigree and plans to offer content addressable storage (CAS) for as little as $2,000.

Caringo was named for founders Paul Carpentier, Jonathan Ring and Mark Goros, who serve as the startup’s CTO, president and CEO, respectively. Carpentier was the chief architect of FilePool, which was sold to EMC in 2001 and became the basis for EMC’s fast-growing Centera CAS offering.

Caringo says its flagship product, CAStor, will take CAS technology to the next level, offering “scalable, high-performance fixed content storage software while reducing complexity, vendor lock-in and runaway costs.”

“The shortcomings of first-generation CAS are very apparent to storage managers,” Carpentier said in a statement. “CAStor is the outcome of the challenge we accepted, which was to develop an architecture so strong it would support an unlimited variety of applications at the performance and scalability levels required today and tomorrow, while delivering full fault resilience and data integrity, yet keeping it as simple as possible.”

“One of the most compelling aspects of Caringo’s approach is that it has the ease of management, low cost and scalability associated with digital archiving storage solutions, [but] it is also designed to meet the needs of high-performance applications,” says Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Tony Asaro.

Users will have to wait to find out if CAStor lives up to the hype; the product isn’t slated to ship until the end of June.

Caringo says CAStor is hardware agnostic and self-managing, and its “massively scalable parallel cluster architecture accommodates data growth as needed — even across heterogeneous, evolving hardware.” It offers auditable, guaranteed data integrity, the startup says.

A standard http interface avoids the need for proprietary APIs and allows access from any platform. The product includes built-in disaster recovery, backup and continuous data availability with no single point of failure or bottlenecks, Caringo says.

The software is sold on a bootable USB flash drive that plugs into the user’s choice of X86 hardware with a gigabyte or more of RAM, one or more hard drives and Gigabit Ethernet. Scalability is achieved by booting another node at any point in time.

Pricing for CAStor is $500 a disk, so for a one terabyte solution, two 500GB drives would be $1,000 for the Caringo product, plus a commodity server for another $1,000 or so, for a CAS solution/node for around $2,000.

Caringo says its Zero File System creates a single huge, flat address space without hierarchies. Each file is assigned a unique ID for its entire lifetime. Content Integrity Seal (part of the compliance option) allows transparent upgrading of hashing algorithms during operation without changing identifiers or reloading data. This protects against content attacks and integrity breaches.

Caringo says it is also receiving interest from OEMs and vertical solution providers for custom solutions for data-intensive environments such as healthcare, financial services, telecommunications and broadcasting.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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