Infrastructure // Storage
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Jon Toigo
Jon Toigo
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Iron Mountain Moves Into Cloud Services

Its Virtual File Store emphasizes security, but its proposal lacks details.

A venerable name in data assets storage and preservation, Iron Mountain has been moving into digital services, beginning with electronic vaulting of backups. Iron Mountain's proposal to our request for information provides insight into its expansion into cloud services with Virtual File Store.

VFS requires the deployment of a server that "looks like" network-attached storage in each of DIY Marketing's facilities, which in turn provides a client-side connection to Iron Mountain data centers where customer data gets hosted. The vendor, however, didn't disclose the number of data centers it operates or their locations. And it provided scant details on the storage architecture within its data centers, saying only that it uses "industry-standard hardware."

The VFS server integrates with Microsoft's Active Directory and avails itself of Microsoft file system security. All data is encrypted in transport to and from Iron Mountain and while stored on disk at its facilities. All services, from thin provisioning to data deduplication, are supported by Iron Mountain's offering, but there's no indication whether these services are provided (or excluded from use) at the customer's request or used as a function of the underlying storage infrastructure employed.

The proposal provides no information about pricing except to say that it's based on "the specific number of locations and the amount of data that is being protected with the Virtual File Store solution." Iron Mountain's service is billed monthly, but there's no indication in its response to the RFI of how much its storage as a service would cost compared with the alternative of on-premises storage.

Despite an emphasis on security, which includes routine penetration testing, there's little in Iron Mountain's proposal to suggest that there's much "cloudiness" in its approach. With an on-premises appliance required, it's a straightforward offer to host backups and other rarely accessed files using conventional storage methods.

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