One of the players in Canada’s booming fuel cell industry said it is managing to save content and keep employee inboxes and hard drives smaller with an offline storage management product.

Hydrogenics, which has a total of

about 275 employees, of whom about 140 are located at company headquarters in Toronto. Aaron Hardwick, the company’s IT manager, said with the growth in the fuel cell sector, it’s important for an employee’s computer to keep up and not amass double digit gigabytes of information.

“This (new software) simplifies the maintenance of the architecture,”. He said he has seen data recovery time veer close to 10 — 15 seconds, but on average it’s roughly one minute.

Hydrogenics installed DataMigrator (an application of QiNetex) to automatically migrate data to off-line storage. Any file that is over 100MB and has not been used in over 45 days is migrated automatically to another disk, off the database. Hardwick explained that he doesn’t like employees to have four gigs of e-mail in their laptops and, therefore, supports this new software.

CommVault Systems, a provider of unified data management solutions, recently launched the second generation QiNetix Unified Data Management software suite. The software allows a customer’s IT department to place data on the optimum storage medium, matching cost, access and recoverability to service level requirements. Dan Mahoney, CommVault’s country manager, described the software is basically a virtual cleaning person, that polishes a user’s e-mail inbox, and computer, by storing data off their hard drive, but still accessible.

“It’s an absolute given that data is expanding,” Mahoney said. “As soon as data created (or received) until the customer doesn’t need it anymore. We are going to manage it for the customer.”

Where CommVault differs from the competition is that their software is built on a common technology platform eliminating the need for users to maintain multiple back-end repositories, Mahoney said. CommVault believes this helps customers recover data faster.

In the U.S., the Storage Networking Industry Association estimates that the cost of managing storage using today methodologies for managing the data center is on the order of US$1-US$2 per megabyte.

“DataMigrator cut the size of one our MS Exchange databases from 10GB to 5GB. That cut defrag time from two hours to one hour. When you’re talking about maintenance downtime, saving an hour is important,” said Hardwick.

Mahoney referenced the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act — an act aimed at combating financial fraud and protecting investors — as an example of why companies need to be able to re-produce all e-mails and information.

“”You need to be able to produce any e-mail that you wrote in the last 6-months,” he said. “This is why we have created this.”

CommVault has over 2,000 customers with QiNetix products installed at more than 2,800 sites. The second generation includes e-mail archiving, storage resource management and service level management. From a single console, the suite components share a Common Technology Engine (CTE) that includes automated policy management and common job and event managers on the front-end and distributed metadata indexes, media management, and copy management on the back-end.

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