What the Analysts Say About Atmos

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-11-10 Print this article Print

"Despite all the talk, the cloud market is still an emerging market," Terri McClure, storage analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group, told me.  "There are numerous inhibitors, such as cost of WAN [wide-area network] bandwidth, security concerns, trust.  But the train has left the station and is accelerating. 

"Everyone has a cloud strategy; so many vendors have cloud strategies that users don't know what cloud is anymore. This announcement is just the beginning for EMC; they did not discuss a cloud strategy, just software packaged as cloud-optimized storage. There is more to come.  And the message here is pretty clear-it's about storage."

With Atmos, EMC is claiming to establish a new market segment called "cloud-optimized storage," McClure said.

"Most scale-out architectures are designed for high-bandwidth, large file sharing [media and entertainment, Web 2.0 multimedia] and HPC," McClure said. "Atmos is not HPC file storage redeployed to a new use case; it is designed from the ground up for use over the Internet.  It is a centrally managed distributed architecture-not a local file system with a global name space." 

Atmos is designed to scale for file storage and distribution with up to hundreds of locations, yet still be managed as a single system. 

"I would not put this in a class with most of what I've seen from other vendors; I would not compare this with the HP ExDS9100 or Isilon for the above reasons," McClure said. "I would not compare it to Amazon S3; it is not a service.  But there are some startups like Nirvanix that come close. But Nirvanix offers a file system-based architecture, with all the associated file system semantics and management."

Ben Woo, vice president of enterprise storage research for IDC, told me that the Atmos software essentially provides "context" for information.

"A new class of information infrastructure, like EMC Atmos, is therefore required to help expose the business potential that can be gained from information mobility through an 'any to any' architecture," Woo said.

"Organizations that leverage this architecture with a highly flexible and granular policy engine will gain a significant competitive advantage."

Click Here to Read a List of Key Features
in the Atmos Cloud-Building Package


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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