New entrant Copan promises energy savings

Copan has developed from the ground up what it calls Enterprise MAID

A new entrant into the data storage market in New Zealand projects energy and cooling savings of up to 85% for most customers.

Copan Systems was a 2002 start-up based on research from the University of Colorado. It was funded by venture capitalists, who make up the board.

The research focused on alternative storage media enabling disk to be priced similarly to tape.

Eddie Palmer, Copan vice president for South Asia and ANZ, says the company deals only with persistent data, which is defined as transactional data that within 30 days becomes written once, read occasionally.

“The area we play in includes back-up, replication and archive,” he says.

Datacraft has the exclusive agency for New Zealand, where Copan has yet to sign its first customer. However, its overseas clients include CNN, Yahoo and Facebook, in the media space, and NASA, the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security in government. The technology is also used by the Australian Federal Police.

It’s based on MAID (massive array of idle disks) but Copan has developed from the ground up what it calls Enterprise MAID. With traditional MAID, disk are spun up 50% of the time but with Copan’s version, only 25% of the time.

That’s where the energy efficiency comes in. Palmer says that for 1 Petabyte of data, the Copan system uses 25.44 kilowatts of power, compared to 225 kilowatts for traditional, all-spinning disk. Another comparison is 67 BTUs versus 365 BTUs. Capex is US$3-5 per gigabyte versus $12-17 per gigabyte.

He says the Copan drives are dense, and one cabinet can accommodate 896 Terabytes.

“It takes EMC six cabinets to achieve the same amount.”

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