Tag Archives: Atmos

Implementing your own corporate drop box ?

Upon perusing the Intel Cloud Builders site for interesting new cloudy vendors and reference architectures, I came across an interesting new company called Oxygen Cloud.  Although Storage as a Service is a reasonably well formed concept, much of the attention has been around public provider services such as livedrive, drop box or backup with products such as EMC Mozy. This is all well and good, but a number of companies have concerns over how the “public cloud” type products align to corporate policy. Take drop box for example, the ease of how data is shared or migrated across to other devices maybe doesn’t align to how they want to control one of an organisations most valuable commodities.. data.

So how does an organisation offer device agnostic storage, not based on the contraints of conventional file systems, in such a fashion where they maintain control ? Ultimately there are 101 ways to skin a cat… but as far as skinning cats goes, I quite like this one.

The Back End

You take a product like EMC Atmos; EMC Atmos is what we call cloud optimised storage. In real terms this means the way data is stored, how available it is, how its tiered across different costed storage and where it is stored geographically is handled by repeatable policy, not only this, but also meta data is leveraged to the nth degree (beyond that of traditional metadata uses in traditional file system). I won’t re-invent the explanation as EMC has done a good job of explaining this concept with pretty pictures (video below).

Atmos itself has a fair amount to it, but my point being  is that this use of metadata means that not only can the way data is handled be derived from this meta data, but now the infrastructure can have some awareness the context of data, context which is relevant to a front end such as Oxygen Cloud. Yes Atmos can deliver storage with NFS or CIFS, this is fine, but not overly exciting. The cool part is giving a front end direct access to the context of a file or a set of files using REST, rather than just last modified date and all the usual stuff. The metatags can be used to define the segregation of data in a muti-tenant environment or application specific elements, such as how a file can be shared and with whom.

Also, with Atmos being scale out storage the upper limits of scalability or need is say endless ? (or as near as), with the beauty of the storage being content addressable and not based around hierarchal file systems meaning that as the system is grown, you are not constrained and challenged by overly complex file system structures which need to be maintained.

Clearly availability is important, but hey..  this is expected. Needless to say, the system handles it very well.


The Front End

I’m not going to spend a great deal of time upping my word count on this section, as Oxygen Cloud have some very descriptive videos (further down), but the key things here are that the company controls the data in their own way. We have LDAP/AD integration, full access controls, we can set expiration of a link if we do share a file publicly, encryption at all point of a files transit and file can be presented as a normal explorer/finder plugin (same way we view normal CIFS shares) or files can be accessed via devices such as iPhone/Pad.  One nice feature for me is that if a phone is stolen or an employ leaves, the organisation can sever access to data/directories on a per user or device basis.

Anyway, worth spending a bit of time watching the below :


I shall be building this solution out on the lab over the next month or so (as much as the day job allows), so watch this space for more info and a revised review.


Commvault caught the cloud bug

In light of the fact that the storage community as a whole now has its head in the cloud, Commvault have decided to join the party. Commvault’s notorious claim to fame being that the same common  platform is used for backup, archive, ediscovery and replication. Commvault Simpana traditionally supports media such as disk or tape (as most backup vendors do), but they’ve now created a storage connector to support “cloud” storage as the backup media of choice. Commvault Simpana currently works with API sets from the likes of Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure. Intregration for EMC Atmos and Iron Mountain is soon to follow according to Commvaults press release.

Jeff Echols, CommVault’s director of cloud solutions says

The practical use of cloud storage for us is as an extension – a potential way to move unstructured data out of the data center. Simpana treats the cloud as just another tier of storage. Conceptually, it looks like another target.

Customers can take advantage of Simpana’s built-in features including data deduplication, encryption and eDiscovery in conjunction with the cloud as a “farline” tier of storage. Customers can also add Simpana Search to index data prior to sending it to a cloud provider.

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Commvault, Please see the below document and video from Commvault.

CommVault-Simpana-8-Product-Brochure

For the full Commvault Press release regarding this Click here