By Dave Simpson
– InMage Systems is stepping up its efforts to woo cloud services providers by offering definitions for a "cloud optimized infrastructure" and tweaking its flagship disaster recovery software with features designed specifically for cloud providers.
For example, a new software licensing model eliminates upfront costs; instead, cloud providers pay according to how much they use InMage's software. The "metered usage" or "pay-as-you-go" licensing model enables services providers to pay only for software and services (e.g., backup, failover, etc.) that they use.
InMage also enhanced its management GUI to allow cloud providers to hook into the company's Analyzer component, which is an I/O profiling tool that enable providers to track usage and generate reports used for billing. InMage also added tools to its software interface that allow providers to more efficiently manage multi-tenant environments and to set up policy groups that can span servers, sites, etc.
According to Eric Burgener, InMage's senior vice president of product management, cloudbursting is at the heart of the company's concept of a cloud optimized infrastructure. Cloudbursting is essentially the ability to move application services into and out of the cloud on demand; for example, moving applications into the cloud during peak I/O demand periods. "Cloudbursting is an emerging killer app for cloud-based services," says Burgener.
A cloud optimized infrastructure requires flexible licensing, low overhead, non-disruptive scalability, secure multi-tenancy and support for heterogeneous platforms and software, according to Burgener. He says that this infrastructure will enable new use cases for the cloud in the areas of recovery (online backup, disaster recovery, business continuity), administration (test, development, change management) and production offload (during, say, seasonal demands), and will enable cloud providers to offer more options and tiered services to end-user customers.
InMage's software includes technologies such as continuous data protection (CDP), integration with application snapshot APIs, asynchronous replication, automated application recovery (failover/failback), WAN optimization, capacity optimization and disk-based recovery.
For more information on the advantages of cloudbursting, check out the archived Webcast presentation, "Server Technology to Cloudburst for Increased Flexibility and Lower Costs."