Safe at any speed

Besides providing faster access to soldiers' records, the Army's new Web- enabled Personnel Electronic Records Management System (PERMS) provides a safer environment for the records, too. The first version of PERMS stored electronic images of the records on optical disks, but offered no way to make backup copies of those images.

The new PERMS stores the records on network-attached storage (NAS) devices, which use Redundant Array of Independent Disks subsystems. By design, such systems provide a certain amount of fault tolerance to keep things running in the event that some of the storage system components fail.

In addition, the NAS units are connected directly to tape libraries, using the Network Data Management Protocol. The tape drives create backup files, which then can be removed and stored off site in a safe location.

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