Microsoft Readies BitVault Self-Healing Data Store

Once a Microsoft Research project, Microsoft's forthcoming P2P-based storage engine will be targeted at the growing market for managing and delivering compliance and reference data. (Microsoft Watch)

Microsoft is working to commercialize "BitVault," a Microsoft Research technology designed to store large volumes of seldom-changing information—the kind of material that overwhelms enterprises needing to house lots of compliance and reference data.

BitVault is Microsofts code name for a "content-addressable retention platform for large volumes of reference data." BitVault incorporates P2P (peer-to-peer) technology for self-managing and self-healing and uses "massively parallel repair" to reduce the vulnerability of data loss, according to a white paper on the project. Much, if not all, of the work on the BitVault strategy and working prototype seems to be coming out of Microsoft Research Asia.

As it does with many research projects, Microsoft has moved BitVault into the product groups, intending to commercialize the technology, according to sources close to the company. The Clusters, File Systems and Storage team is now spearheading the BitVault project, according to sources.

Microsofts goal is to develop BitVault into a new distributed storage engine that will be able to store cheaply and manage petabytes of information. Microsoft is hoping to be able to field a first-generation product based on BitVault within two years, sources said.

The company will target the product at the growing market for systems that can store compliance and reference data, which is the fastest category of data stored by corporations, sources added.

Microsoft officials did not respond to a request for comment on BitVault by the time this article was published.

Its not clear whether Paul Flessner, senior vice president of the Data and Storage Division at Microsoft Corporation, who is on tap to discuss on April 6 Microsofts vision of future data storage trends at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, will outline Microsofts strategy in this space.

The invitation to the Microsoft lunch notes that "Innovation and storage hardware is creating an opportunity to store HUGE volumes of data – the personal petabyte is becoming a reality. Applications are changing to be highly mobile and occasionally connected. Will the next generation of data platforms be ready to meet these challenges? What ripple effects will this change have on your business? Do your IT and business leaders have a roadmap to help them get ready for the next wave?"

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