Storage Station

A bird's eye view of the data storage industry.

Unknown Startups Landing Big Cloud-Based Storage Deals

In today's IT world, you don't have to have a well-known brand to make a big sale. It's all about how well the IT works; beyond that, branding--at least in the IT infrastructure business--may be becoming less and less important.

Two-year-old Scality, which provides an easy-to-install and operate, scale-out, on-site-based private cloud software platform, is growing fast in several geographic markets, CEO and founder Jerome LeCat told The Station Nov. 30 at the CloudBeat conference in Redwood City, Calif.

The same is true for former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos' startup Eucalyptus, a 2-year-old company which provides an open-source-based private cloud platform. Thanks in large measure to the free starter version Eucalpytus makes available, the company's adoption rate is moving steadily up and to the right.

The latest IT unknown to score big in the market is Redwood City, Calif.-based object storage provider Amplidata, which is way under the radar. The 3-year-old startup said Dec. 1 it has been selected by Belgium-based online media group Massive Media to build a major-league large-scale online storage infrastructure.

Massive Media, known for the highly successful European social platform Netlog, has been extending its services with a social gaming and a dating site. To support the storage needs of the fast-growing user base of those services, Massive Media chose Amplidata's AmpliStor to build a continuously available, highly scalable storage platform. The infrastructure will store photos, movies and files of millions of Massive Media users.

"Our teams tested the Amplidata system in production over the course of several months. Our main concern was performance for the end users. The Amplidata team was able to tune the system and exceed our requirements," said Massive Media Director of Technology Nicolas Van Eenaeme.

AmpliStor is an optimized object storage for cloud infrastructures that enables customers to build large-scale online storage systems that meet high-reliability requirements. AmpliStor features the BitSpread erasure coding technology, a highly available and reliable alternative to RAID.

In addition, AmpliStor typically requires 50 percent to 70 percent less storage capacity to protect data, compared with traditional solutions, which drives reductions in cost and power. The self-managing and self-healing design enables scaling to petabytes and beyond with virtually no manual management, Amplidata CEO Wim De Wispelaere said.

The Massive Media Storage cloud use case was not an easy one to tackle; the MM cloud contains about 500 million files for a total of 80 million users, and it is growing rapidly. Because Massive (an appropriate description, as it turns out) wants to provide its users with high levels of data availability but reduce overall infrastructure and operation cost at the same time, it required a storage system without the high overhead of copied or mirrored data.

AmpliData to the rescue--at least in this case.

Thus, the conventional multiple-copies-in-the-cloud approach wasn't going to work for them. The large (up to 250 percent in some systems) overhead that is required with traditional storage systems was unacceptable as well. The open-source community also did not have a solid solution that would fit this need. Amplidata came forth to say that it could deliver sufficient availability with only 60 percent overhead.

So, the lesson for today is this: Look at the IT, not only the company name, if you want to get something done your way.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...