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You Think You Know Cloud Storage Gateways? Sync Again

Posted by Jeff Denworth | Author Info

Nov 10, 2014 9:00:00 AM

*The following is a guest blog post, written by Jeff Denworth of CTERA

The cloud storage gateway market was particularly hot this summer, having experienced a flood of investment topping over $100M in both likely and unlikely places. CTERA was one vendor at the center of it all – as a provider of a cloud storage services platform that enables users to deploy cloud storage gateways, enterprise file sync and share and endpoint backup services from the private and virtual private cloud of their choice. CTERA alone secured $25 million in June, but we were not alone - our friend, EMC, for example, also got into the game by acquiring TwinStrata’s block storage caching gateway for their VMAX division. Fueled by customer demand and added investment, the cloud gateway market is undeniably hot, hot, hot! IT research analyst firm MarketsAndMarkets estimates that the Cloud Storage Gateway market will continue to grow at an average rate of 55% until 2019, representing a $5B market by that time.

Why cloud gateways, you ask? Well, there’s a variety of reasons.

  • By harnessing commodity storage technology and smart scalable software in the data center, new public and private cloud storage is redefining data center economics for primary storage and disaster recovery.
  • WAN bandwidth is now robust enough to where offices can now move substantial amounts of data to and from remote data centers using deduplication and compression to optimize efficiency and performance.
  • The combination of these two factors is enabling organizations to modernize how they deploy storage at the edge and eliminate some of the pains that customers had with managing storage across a dispersed enterprise.

As customers rush to find more modern solutions for branch office storage, they quickly learn that there are many approaches to cloud storage gateways. To reduce the confusion, I’ll try to illustrate the differences here in this blog.

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, third platform, ViPR, ECS Appliance, hybrid cloud, CTERA

Predictability and Probability with the ECS Appliance

Posted by Michael Wehle | Author Info

Aug 18, 2014 9:00:00 AM

You may not know it, but life on earth almost came to an end back in early May. The HL129 asteroid came within 200,000 miles of the earth, which is closer than the distance to the moon. Ok, so earth may not have had a chance to get obliterated. But that got me thinking about the idea of predictability and probability of success, especially when it comes to running ViPR Services on commodity hardware.

In September 2013, EMC announced Project Nile, which officially became the ECS Appliance during the last EMC World in Las Vegas. One of the primary goals of the ECS Appliance is to run intelligent software on commodity hardware. This stack is designed to support running Object, HDFS, and Block services on hardware for massive global scale-out platforms. Combined with a single global namespace and an intuitive self-service portal capability, customers are able to build out a true private cloud solution within the Enterprise, or even enable public Service Providers to provide their own ECS-based cloud service.

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, ViPR, ScaleIO, ECS Appliance, Virtual Environments, storage management

Past is Prologue: What 1990s Technology Tells us about Today's Cloud Competitive Landscape

Posted by George Hamilton | Author Info

Jul 28, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Last week, Amazon launched Zocalo, an enterprise file sync and share service. The press chatter has been all about how Amazon is now competing with Box and Dropbox. Dropbox also happens to be an Amazon Web Services S3 customer. This is not the first time Amazon has released a new service that competes against its own customers. Nasuni, Engine Yard, Heroku, OpenShift and MongoDB are just a few technology vendors with whom Amazon can partner/host and compete. This is not that unusual in the era of more open architectures and “co-opetition.” However, with this recent announcement, I couldn’t help but think back to when proprietary hooks and vendor lock-in were common and more explicit. What have we learned and what does it portend for the future of cloud computing and services?


I love just about anything that has to do with American history – even recent history. I’m a sucker for a good retrospective. So I was psyched last week when the National Geographic channel debuted, “The 90s, The Last Great Decade?”, the follow up to their successful retrospective on the 1980s, “The 80’s: The Decade that made Us”. I guess all of us like nostalgia to some extent. We enjoy looking back at the horrible fashion choices we made; the hairstyles, the music, the movies, and everything pop culture. But one of the things I like best is seeing how far technology has evolved. And more importantly, what we learned from how things used to be. Past is prologue and the evolution of technology decades ago can be a harbinger of things to come.
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Topics: Software Defined Storage, 3rd Platform, ViPR, ECS Appliance

EMC Has the Industry’s Strongest Software-Defined Storage Portfolio, AND, It Just Got A Lot Stronger

Posted by Christopher Ratcliffe | Author Info

Jul 8, 2014 5:30:00 AM

Since the announcement of ViPR 1.0 at EMC World 2013, it’s been a non-stop flurry of activity here at EMC and the last month has been no exception. We announced one all-new product and three significant updates to existing products at EMC World 2014, all of which shipped in the last few weeks of June. With the general availability of the ECS Appliance (Powered by ViPR), ViPR 2.0, ViPR SRM 3.5 and Service Assurance Suite 9.3 we have strengthened our Software-defined Storage portfolio and brought public-cloud hyperscale capabilities and economics to everyone.

These are some pretty strong claims and it would be easy to dismiss them as standard marketing hyperbole as, let’s be honest, pretty much every storage sales guy or startup is probably saying the same thing to their customers. The difference with EMC is that at this point, these are all-new products. We haven’t just taken the marketing hype around Software-defined Storage and applied it to a bunch of existing platforms. We’ve built two truly differentiated Software-defined Storage platforms from the ground up and applied a lot of what we learned during the process to significantly enhance our existing products.
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Topics: Software Defined Storage, storage resource management, 3rd Platform, ViPR, ScaleIO, ECS Appliance

Taking a Deeper Look at EMC’s ECS Appliance Pricing Model

Posted by Art Min | Author Info

Jun 30, 2014 2:46:48 PM

At EMC World, EMC announced that customers who purchase the ECS Appliance should expect between 9% and 28%* lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) when compared to public cloud storage services. As this represents a large range, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify how we came to these numbers. I won't cover the specifics of pricing or costing public cloud storage (that information is readily available on the vendor websites), but instead, I will focus on the model for ECS.

The ECS Appliance consists of a scale-out commodity-based hardware platform from EMC running the ViPR 2.0 software. This provides our customers with all the software-defined functionality of ViPR in an easy-to-buy and deploy hardware appliance. Customers have a choice of form factors that can address a broad range of needs in terms of raw capacity (360TB, 1.4PB or 2.9PB) and capabilities (Object, HDFS or Block).

Alternatively, qualified customers can purchase the ViPR 2.0 software and deploy on a broad range of EMC-certified third party commodity hardware. With this model, customers can rack and stack their own gear while deploying and managing ViPR Software-Defined Storage. For this analysis, I’ll compare a public cloud storage-as-a-service (STaaS) solution with operating the ECS Appliance at comparable scale. 

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, 3rd Platform, ECS Appliance

Building Hyper Scale Storage on Commodity Platform with ECS Appliance Powered by ViPR

Posted by Kamalavasan Srinivasan | Author Info

Jun 2, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Enterprises and hosters’ alike are driven to the third platform with growing number of cloud based mobile and social applications. This has resulted in an explosion of data for customers from terabyte to petabyte and even exabyte in some scenarios. For example, an insurance company delivering their claim processing application through mobile app would result in massive data growth with images and claim forms. Building and managing a storage platform at this scale entails a few key challenges, namely:

  • Ability to be in control of the data
  • Lead times associated with storage allocation
  • Storage capacity and performance metrics across data centers
  • Cost of managing hyper-scale heterogeneous storage
  • Storage integration with cloud stacks (compute, and networking)
  • End-to-end visibility 

ECS Appliance powered by ViPR addresses these challenges for building storage geared towards the 3rd Platform. At EMC World 2014, we announced the EMC ECS Appliance powered by ViPR. General availability of both ECS Appliance and ViPR 2.0 is in June 2014. In this blog, we’ll look briefly at an ECS overview and advantages for administrators and developers.

ECS Appliance is the hardware that is built for hyper scale environments. The hardware can be purchased for serving only unstructured storage (Object, HDFS), or for serving a mixed workload (Object/HDFS + Block).

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, 3rd Platform, ECS Appliance

365 Days Later

Posted by Amitabh Srivastava | Author Info

May 6, 2014 4:00:00 PM

Last year at EMC World, we introduced ViPR, EMC's first entry into the software-defined storage market.  Since then, ViPR became commercially available well ahead of industry expectations.  The customer response to ViPR has exceeded all of our 2013 targets. With ViPR, enterprises and service providers can access a simple, extensible and open software-defined storage platform.  The best part is – customers don’t have to just take our word for it, they can download VIPR at no charge for non-commercial use with no time limit just by going here.

 In a similar vein to our approach at EMC World 2013, we provided a sneak preview of EMC ECS Appliance (formerly known as Project Nile) at Milan last fall.  ECS Appliance is EMC’s Platform 3 offering that fundamentally redefines the economics and value of hyper-scale environments.  With ECS Appliance, any enterprise or service provider can deliver the economics and simplicity of public cloud services with the choice and control of private cloud infrastructure. 

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, storage resource management, 3rd Platform, ViPR, ScaleIO, ECS Appliance