ViON Creates an Archive-as-a-Service Offering Built on Quantum

Cloud services offer enticing options for long-term retention of growing data volumes. But many government agencies and other public sector organizations are hesitant to move citizen information and other highly regulated data to offsite clouds. Adhering to strict data privacy rules is critical.

The costs of public cloud services can be an additional issue. While cloud services offer appealing pay-as-you-go plans for archiving, organizations might need to upgrade their network for a public cloud connection. And if they need to restore data from the cloud, they might incur additional fees.

Enterprise solution provider ViON, which has been serving government agencies for 40 years, understands both the advantages of the cloud model and the unique needs of public sector organizations. In 2019, the company’s leadership team decided to expand its cloud-like “as-a-service” offerings in conjunction with the launch of ViON Enterprise Cloud, a hybrid multi-cloud management solution. The team wanted to create services for archiving as well as hyperconverged platforms and object storage.

For the archiving service and other offerings, ViON management decided to try a new approach that could accelerate customer time to value. “We can provide anything as a service,” says Michael Lamb, product manager, solution infrastructure, at ViON. “But designing completely custom solutions can require a really long lead time. We wanted to create pre-defined, pre-architected, and pre-priced solutions that would shorten the design process and speed deployment for our customers.”

Building an Archive-as-a-Service Offering with Quantum StorNext and Tape
The ViON team was intrigued with what Quantum could contribute to an archive-as-a-service offering. “We discovered that by using Quantum tape libraries powered by the Quantum StorNext File System, we could provide a public cloud–like archiving experience, but on premises—and at a lower cost than public clouds,” says Lamb.

Unlike a public-cloud archiving solution, the newly created ViON solution keeps data close at hand. “For government agencies, the ability to retain control of archived data while also reducing costs is a powerful combination,” says Lamb.

Working together, teams from ViON and Quantum established the best sizing for the base solution, which uses the Quantum StorNext File System to provide either a file or object interface to store data, and Quantum tape storage as the low-cost, long-term storage technology. ViON adds the right mix of professional services to help deploy and support the offering.

Accelerating Customer Time to Value
“We have dramatically reduced design and deployment time by building our ViON Archive as-a-Service offering on Quantum,” says Lamb. “Instead of spending a month or more on architecting, we can provide a pre-configured, proven solution right out of the box.”

Simplifying Budgeting with Low, Predictable Monthly Costs
The new offering enables organizations to reduce costs compared with cloud services. “Our customers have a low, predetermined monthly fee per gigabyte used—nothing extra,” says Lamb. There are no network upgrades required or extra fees to restore data.

Maintaining the Flexibility for Delivering Customized Solutions
Building on the Quantum platform gives ViON the flexibility to tailor the archiving service for specific customer requirements. “Because we’ve started with well-tested Quantum technology as our foundation, we can still provide a customized archive solution in far less time than before,” says Lamb.