So, EMC has had our Cloud storage solution up and running for some time, and petabytes are flying out the door (good!) to service providers. This is object-based storage, exabyte scale, with a global object distribution, federation and global namespace. The magic is in the software – as it runs on what is in essence low cost, dense JBOD – turning it into a global cloud storage model, with the economic model to match.
You access it generally via a Web 2.0 interface, it has APIs to program to. if you know Amazon S3, it’s a real live Amazon S3 alternative. We each do something a little different, so people can make their own choices about what they like. Think of this as the architectural model if you were building your own Flickr, or YouTube. You would NEVER built those on a traditional array model (the economics are whacky).
You can sign up for it here.
What’s next up to plate (and live!)? Well - Cloud compute services. This adds compute resources, a layer of virtualization (provided by VMware of course) and self-provisioning automation.
In fact those operational characteristics (self-provisioning, elasticity, and pay-as-you go) are the definition of cloud more than anything else (and why the word “cloud” can apply to a virtualized datacenter with those additional characteristics).
This is now up and running, and you can sign up for that here. Cloud compute (hate to draw the obvious analogy, but Atmos Online Compute Service competes with Amazon EC2) can be used in general with varying workloads – some can use object storage models (can deliver storage at an order of magnitude lower cost), some need traditional scale-out enterprise storage architectures (which can be thinly provisioned, going wide across the array, and hit the economic models used today for $/GB/month for cloud compute scenarioes – but is still more expensive by several factors than the cloud object storage models.
This, by the way is why most vCloud launch partners are using both EMC V-Max and Atmos. Both of these are mature, and have been shipping for a while.
Our strategy here is clear.
Are we trying to compete with our service provider partners? HECK NO.
EMC will not build global datacenters (Atmos Online and Atmos Cloud Compute Services operate out of two US-based datacenters). So why are we doing it? To help accelerate our partners. Getting real time under our belt, not just with the technology, but the APPLICATION of the technology. This also lets us innovate around them faster, as well as bring the intellectual property to help service providers who want to get into this business.
Pretty darn cool stuff. Remember – this is not science future – it’s science fact.
What’s science future – and this I’m close to – is how we will start to link common metadata models in both extremes, broaden the continuum (right now there are two extremes in SLA and cost models), and start live federation between sites in the cloud compute use cases.
I think I’ve got the coolest job in the world!