EMC's New Global Cloud Storage Offering - InformationWeek

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11/10/2008
07:55 PM
Roger Smith
Roger Smith
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EMC's New Global Cloud Storage Offering

Storage giant EMC today debuted its first cloud-optimized storage offering, called Atmos, that promises to help huge content distribution services, such as video and photo sharing sites, store petabytes of data across cloud storage environments around the world.

Storage giant EMC today debuted its first cloud-optimized storage offering, called Atmos, that promises to help huge content distribution services, such as video and photo sharing sites, store petabytes of data across cloud storage environments around the world.EMC says Atmos is aimed at Web 2.0 and Internet providers and telecommunications, media, and entertainment companies that need to build and deliver cloud-based information-centric services and applications "at massive scale." Designed to run on any platform, Atmos will initially run on EMC storage hardware and be available in 120-TB, 240-TB, and 360-TB configurations. Pricing for these different configurations wasn't announced.

Atmos features include both Web service APIs (REST/SOAP) for Internet-based applications and legacy protocols (CIFS/NFS/IFS) for file-based systems; auto-managing and auto-healing features that reduce administration time; and browser-based administrator tools that allow storage to be managed from any location. Additional features include data services like replication, versioning, compression, deduplication, and disk drive spin-down, which are native to Atmos and do not require third-party software licenses.

Atmos also provides policy-based data management capabilities that allow user-defined policies to dictate how, when, and where the information resides. "For example, many rich Internet applications, such as video sharing, produce petabytes of user-generated content that needs to be accessed from all over the globe," EMC explains in a data sheet. "Typically, the content has an initial period of intense activity followed by long phases of dormancy. Using the policy-based information management feature, you can automate content delivery to match popularity, geographic location, and retention periods."

IDC analyst Benjamin Woo finds this last feature especially useful for companies just getting into cloud computing. Says Woo, "The emerging cloud computing model provides organizations with an efficient infrastructure that leverages many highly distributed resources acting as a single, local entity. ... Organizations that [can] leverage this architecture with a highly flexible and granular policy engine [like EMC Atmos] will gain a significant competitive advantage."

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