EMC intros GeoProtect, new hardware for Atmos

By Kevin Komiega

-- EMC today announced a round of hardware and software upgrades to its Atmos cloud storage platform with faster processors, higher-capacity disk drives, and more options for protecting data over distances.

The most significant Atmos upgrade comes in the form of a new software feature called Erasure Coding, which falls under EMC's umbrella GeoProtect portfolio. The technique uses an advanced algorithm to slice data objects into multiple segments based upon pre-defined, user-customizable policies. The software then spreads those data segments across the Atmos storage infrastructure without using traditional data replication technologies.

Using the Erasure Coding feature, Atmos can recreate the original object in the event of an outage. Customers can also tune GeoProtect based on data protection requirements, and can sustain as many as six failures without experiencing data loss.

GeoProtect Erasure Coding enables data protection in large-scale cloud storage environments. "Erasure Coding allows for more efficient data classification and data protection without the overhead associated with replication," says John Martin, director of product management and marketing for EMC's Cloud Infrastructure Group.

Martin says EMC initially targeted Atmos at service providers and Internet players such as AT&T and eBay. Now, he says, some of EMC's more "traditional" market segments are interested in Atmos for on-premise cloud storage.

Martin claims the GeoProtect functionality in the latest version of Atmos provide the levels of data resiliency and protection required by enterprise storage customers.

In addition, EMC is making Atmos more accessible to customers with smaller cloud implementations in mind by lowering the entry-point for Atmos with a new 60TB hardware platform – the WS2-120. The previous entry-level Atmos appliance shipped with 120TB of capacity.

Like its bigger counterparts, the WS2-240 and WS2-360, the WS2-120 is based on Intel's Xeon processor 5500 series, which doubles the performance of previous Atmos appliances, and newly available 2TB SATA drives.

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This article was originally published on February 16, 2010