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Cloud Expo: Article

Cloudian Polishes Its S3-Compatible Cloud Storage

It's now out to get the names of more Service Providers and big companies notched on its belt

Obviously Storage-as-a-Utility will never work unless people use it that way.

Cloudian, a Goldman Sachs-backed cloud storage software start-up whose technological roots go back a decade or so, means to see that they do, especially the chi-chi telecom ones and the Fortune 5000, despite their lagging concerns about data management and protection in the cloud.

Evidently Cloudian was able to dispel any fears NTT Communications might have had because it's rebranded Cloudian's widgetry as CloudN and sells it as a multi-petabyte Storage-as-a-Service and Backup-as-a-Service.

Besides NTT, Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, SoftBank, Nifty and Lunacloud and the stuff's only been on the market for about 18 months.

Cloudian is now out to get the names of more Service Providers and big companies notched on its belt.

So it's partnering with the Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and cloud on-ramp providers.

One of its key come-ons is that its cloud object storage platform is supposed to be the most Amazon S3-compatible storage solution around.

It also supports multiple data centers.

It can help organizations address their unstructured Big Data storage challenges by providing the software to build S3-compatible private or public clouds using commodity servers, oblivious to the storage medium.

Whatever the user's got can be built into 1U, 2U or 3U configurations. The solution scales from one node to hundreds of nodes across multiple data centers, supporting petabytes of data, enabling system operators to leverage heterogeneous commodity servers for cost-effective horizontal scalability.

Blessedly, the solution requires minimum IT involvement, dramatically reduces the costs of cloud deployment and management and, as a result, the company is hoping to make the fabled Storage-as-a-Utility a reality.

To press its advantage Cloudian has just released its next-generation software, called Cloudian 2.4. It's supposed to maximize data protection, availability and security, which are all critical to enterprises looking to deploy their own private clouds or move their data to the public cloud.

The platform leverages a fully distributed peer-to-peer architecture with no single point of failure but - just in case - Cloudian can now offer multi-datacenter deployments what it calls Dynamic Consistency Levels, in other words, automatic failover for uninterrupted operation.

Cloudian 2.4 also encrypts data at rest besides encryption over the wire and it can associate expiration policies to content and auto-expire content, a nifty little feature for data-heavy environments since data is only valid so long.

The encryption process is transparent to the end user or application, and administrators can define what gets encrypted.

Cloudian also figures it's extended its leadership in S3 compatibility with new SPI calls ensuring that applications are compatible with its platform as well as covering content lifecycle management and web content support. It makes it possible for metadata to be searched on all objects at the same time.

Naturally it's got a GUI for both end-user applications as well as administrative functions, including billing, monitoring and provisioning. It's added region-by-region reporting with this release. Self-service provisioning is easier now as is billing in multi-tenant/multi-data center environments.

For testing, Cloudian 2.4 includes a free Community Edition that supports up to 100TB of usable storage backed by forum support.

See www.cloudian.com/get-started.html.

The commercial widgetry runs $6,000 a year for 10TB or $80,000 a year for 100TB.

The company's funding comes from Goldman Sachs and private backers but it won't say how much it is.

Cloudian spun out of Gemini Mobile Technologies and has offices in Japan and China.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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