Data Islandia is using Hitachi Data Systems archive products in the world's first offshore, online data vault, which the company claims is the greenest in the world.

The facility will use the HDS' Content Archive Platform as the core digital indexing and archival platform. The software part of this is based on Archivas technology. HDS acquired Archivas earlier this year.

The actual bulk data to be archived will be stored on HDS' Universal Storage Platform V. The USP-V virtualises attached storage arrays, be they HDS or third-party ones, into a single and thinly-provisioned pool of storage.

The CAP product offers native content archiving, settable policies for data lifecycle management and compliance, and petabyte scalability. It also provides the ability to migrate seamlessly across generations of storage technologies using the virtualisation capabilities of the USP-V.

So why partner with HDS? "Our services are exceptionally scalable and cost-effective with an operational stability that is ideal for decades-long retention policies," said Sol Squire, Data Islandia's MD. "Hitachi's technology advances for the high-volume enterprise market, along with its strategic vision and anticipation of future legal and governance imperatives, make it the ideal technology partner."

Data Islandia has its Icelandic datacentres powered entirely by renewable energy sources; Iceland being rich in both geothermal and hydro-electric power. Also, the facilities can use passive cooling, taking advantage of Iceland's year-round cool climate.

"Data Islandia ... contributes positively to the environment by making use of the world's most environmentally friendly data archival service," said HDS' CTO, Hu Yoshida.

The facility is also highly secure, the term data escrow being used to indicate the high security arrangements.

Digital toxic waste

The company quoted analyst research that more than 70 percent of corporately-stored digital information is more than six months old. The basic idea is that old and little-accessed data should be taken out of corporate data centres altogether, freeing up datacentre resources.

It will still be accessible online, but located hundreds or thousands of miles away in Iceland.

Squire said: "Organisations are focused on making their data centres more efficient, but virtualising six-month old information, which is effectively digital toxic waste, is a very poor use of resources. Instead, they should be looking to completely remove this data from the corporate network. We offer an ideal solution, with our geographic, regulatory and environmental advantages combining to offer very stable long-term rates on archival storage."

HDS and Data Islandia have also pioneered the development of the 'Data Scooter,' a mobile storage platform that allows for the physical transfer of data between locations. It is based on Hitachi's mid-range storage products. The Data Scooter provides a secure and cost-effective means of quickly moving large volumes of data between corporate data centres as well as to Data Islandia's archival storage management facilities in Iceland.

The communications facilities between Iceland and the rest of the world are such that the Data Scooter may be preferred to massive network transfers of bulk data.