February 21, 2007

Cleversafe announces dispersed storage provider foundation partner program

Sharon Smith writes "Cleversafe announces dispersed storage provider foundation partner program
Leading hosting providers join to build a test global Storage Internet

CHICAGO, Feb. 20, 2007 – Cleversafe, Inc., open source sponsor and lead developer of the world’s first Dispersed Storage™ software, today announced it has launched the Cleversafe Dispersed Storage Provider (DSP) Foundation Partner Program, bringing together multiple hosting and access providers to build a test global Storage Internet™. Although not for commercial use, this test grid is a step toward the availability of commercial Dispersed Storage services.

Members of the Cleversafe DSP Foundation Partner Program will each contribute storage servers and bandwidth to build a test grid of Dispersed Storage providers around the world. In addition, program members will be directly involved in the testing, management and optimization of the test Storage Internet.

“The Internet began and grew when Internet Service Providers began to interconnect TCP/IP connections,” said Chris Gladwin, CEO and president of Cleversafe. “This test Storage Internet will emulate that model by interconnecting storage resources from companies responsible for bringing the Internet to the world.”

Current storage backup and archiving approaches rely on multiple copies, replication and synchronization technologies, which compromise security, add complexity and increase costs. Cleversafe’s Dispersed Storage software divides data into “slices” using simple linear algebra equations called information dispersal algorithms (IDAs™) and disperses these, via secure Internet connections, to multiple storage locations. Each individual slice contains too little information to be useful but any majority of the slices can be used to perfectly recreate all the original data.

“The Cleversafe Dispersed Storage grid will provide our 22,000 small and medium business customers with a far better method for storing data than we have today,” said Douglas J. Erwin, chairman and CEO of The Planet Internet Services, the world’s largest privately held dedicated hosting company and a premier on demand IT infrastructure provider. “For the first time, our customers will have massively complex and scalable storage that can easily be hosted on lower-cost servers in our six geographically dispersed data centers. With this disruptive new storage technology, our customers gain the storage, security and business benefits typically available only to their largest competitors.”

“ViUX Hosting is interested in the Cleversafe DSP Foundation Partner Program because of the security, reliability and cost-effectiveness of this particular storage approach, in contrast to the current tape and disk-based storage systems that we now use to backup our servers,” said Jonathan Smith, president of ViUX Systems, Inc., provider of Web hosting and interactive Internet solutions. “ViUX Hosting’s participation in the Cleversafe DSP Foundation Partner Program provides us with a great opportunity to lower the costs associated with backing up our servers, while increasing the security and reliability of those backups and simultaneously increasing our revenue by providing Distributed Storage services to our customers.”

Goals of the Cleversafe DSP Foundation Partner Program include testing grid stability and scalability, identifying initial target applications and uses for Dispersed Storage, and determining capacity, data integrity and bandwidth measures for a global Dispersed Storage grid. In addition, the Foundation Partners aim to comprise the go-to-market group of DSPs, upon commercial launch.

“Creating a global Storage Internet will bring added security to dispersed storage because a customer’s data will not be confined to a specific country or region on the globe,” said John Howl, CEO of Harbour MSP, a leading quality Australian-based full service managed service provider with multiple service levels, security management and value added services. “Copy-based methods of data storage cannot compete with the reliability, privacy and security of Dispersed Storage.”

Eleven hosting providers across North America, South America, Africa and Australia have joined the Cleversafe DSP Foundation Partner Program to date, including EasyStreet Online Services, FiberLink, Harbour MSP, Hostway, Intercity, OnShore, Pocket iNet, PointClick, Softlayer, The Planet Internet Services and ViUX. Hosting and access providers who want to learn more about the program should email Greg Rudin, VP, Marketing & Business Development for Cleversafe, at grudin@cleversafe.com.

About Cleversafe
Cleversafe, Inc. is the developer of Cleversafe Dispersed Storage software, which uses Information Dispersal Algorithms (IDAs) to separate data into 11 unrecognizable DataSlices™ and distribute them, via secure Internet connections, to multiple storage locations throughout the world. With dispersed storage, transmission and storage of data is inherently private and secure. No single entire copy of the data is in one location, and only six of the 11 slices need to be available in order to perfectly retrieve the data.
Data on the grid remains private and secure in the face of natural catastrophes, or failures of hardware, connection, facility, or IT management. Moreover, the individual data slices do not carry enough information for an unauthorized viewer to determine the original content.

Test versions of the Cleversafe Dispersed Storage software, which allows developers to build their own dispersed storage grid, are freely available under the GPL open source license. For more information or to participate in this open source project, please go to http://www.cleversafe.org.

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