Silicon Mechanics Supplies zStax Unified Storage Appliance to Global Legal Discovery

Performance and reliability at a fraction of the cost of legacy tiered storage

Silicon Mechanics, Inc. announces that it has supplied its zStax unified storage appliance, powered by NexentaStor, to Global Legal Discovery, an Atlanta, Georgia-based firm that provides electronic discovery (eDiscovery) services. Silicon Mechanics configured a unified storage appliance specifically tailored to meet Global Legal's needs, using a software-defined storage model, at a fraction of the cost of legacy tiered storage.

The unified storage appliance, called zStax StorCore, offers tiered storage, with high-performance and archive tiers running on the same platform. The base system includes support for numerous protocols, including Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI), Common Internet File System (CIFS), and Network File System (NFS).

The zStax StorCore is built on industry-standard hardware, and powered by NexentaStor, an enterprise-level software-defined storage platform based on open-source ZFS technology. In addition, unlike legacy storage systems, zStax users can move data and replicate it for disaster recovery at no additional cost.

Global Legal implemented the platform with 3.3 terabytes of storage, which it has since increased to more than 200 TB, at huge cost savings over most legacy hardware storage products. "We were looking for a storage infrastructure that could handle our rapidly expanding volume of data, while still guaranteeing performance and reliability," said Jonathan Gudger, program manager for Global Legal. "This tiering approach dramatically lowers our total cost of ownership."

As a Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance partner, Silicon Mechanics deployed Seagate Enterprise SSDs as well as Seagate Enterprise Performance 15K drives to build out the tiered infrastructure, and will continue to rely on Seagate technology to ensure cutting-edge performance in future.

Steve Scherer, solutions manager for Silicon Mechanics, explains that the software-defined storage architecture is a radical departure that decouples software from its underlying hardware. With the traditional storage model, legacy vendors develop storage software and deploy it on proprietary hardware. "By decoupling the storage software from the hardware, we can deploy enterprise-grade software on industry-standard hardware," Scherer said. "The end user is not locked into any particular hardware platform. It's a new paradigm, and it's all based on open standards." For the full story, go to