Media companies have shown the most interest in the technology so far, Primary Data says. That's because of the volume of data they need to manage, according to Wozniak. "Where are the hugest amounts of data on the Internet right now?" he said.
But there are more specific reasons, too. For example, the computer graphics in feature films are crafted by multiple artists and teams, sometimes separated by oceans and time zones, and the data involved requires fast local storage. With data virtualization, each artist can find the project using the same universal file name instead of having to worry about where it's stored, Smith said.
Also, files can be automatically moved from one time zone to another based on policy, Smith said. When the work day ends in Hollywood, Primary Data can shift the files for the project over to fast local storage in Singapore where another team is just starting its day.
The germ of the idea for Primary Data came from Fusion-io, according to Smith. Fusion-io introduced a new tier of storage in the form of flash cards attached directly inside servers.
"Customers had a difficult time adopting this new tier," Smith said. "That's where the lightbulb went off." The Fusion-io team learned enterprises needed help dealing with the many tiers and types of data they had, as well as cloud storage, he said. "How do you make all of those work?"
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