Getting The Most From Jukebox Management Software
VARs must identify a customer's storage need before choosing and customizing jukebox management software.
Business Solutions, March 1998
Every jukebox being used as a network storage device has accompanying or built-in software that allows the user to store and access information more effectively. This jukebox management software is critical, considering the amount of information that can be stored on a jukebox. The medium in the jukebox can be MO (magneto-optic), WORM (write once read many), CD-ROM, CD-Recordable, or CD-Rewritable. The medium can contain tens of millions of imaged documents, COLD (computer output to laser disk) information, or graphics. "Jukebox management software allows a user to manage up to several terabytes of data online without incurring the cost of hard drives. This is a storage device that can be accessed by any user on the network," states Marc Glomb, manager of business development at Mitsubishi Chemical America (MCA). MCA is located in Sunnyvale, CA, and produces storage devices and software. The company recorded almost $1 billion in gross sales in 1997.
Different Applications, Different Software
One of the ways jukebox management software stores information to the device is by treating the jukebox as a "dumping ground" on the network. According to Roy Slicker, president and CEO of Pegasus Disk Technologies, this process works well for users migrating data from a hard drive to a jukebox. "Users can set up parameters regarding the amount of space on their hard drives. When the hard drive contains a predetermined amount of data, the data is migrated to the jukebox. This is why users refer to the jukebox as a 'dumping ground' for data," remarks Slicker. His company produces storage software and is located in Walnut Creek, CA. Pegasus Disk Technologies experienced 62% growth in gross sales in 1997.
However, using a jukebox as a storage 'dumping ground' is not preferable for document imaging storage and retrieval applications, according to Slicker. "The problem with this approach is that a user will have imaged documents scattered throughout the jukebox. The data will likely be contained on several disks and accessing the information will take some time," says Slicker. For document management applications, he suggests jukebox management software that allows a user to store related information to one disk. For example, an insurance company's customer records are stored on one disk. When that disk is full, another disk is added to specifically store records and the process continues. "It gives the user the ability to write related files to one disk or across several disks," comments Slicker.
Fulfilling A User's Storage Needs
A user who is working with computer-aided design, graphic design, or other data-intensive applications requires a considerable amount of storage space. In this case, a network administrator can designate a certain amount of space on the jukebox which will act as a virtual drive for the user. For example, four MO disks with 2.4 GB of storage can be dedicated to create a 9.6 GB virtual drive for a user of data-intensive applications. "You are actually taking multiple MO disks and creating a spanned device, which means the disks are acting as one. It performs like a hard drive to the user, but in reality it is not," states Glomb.