By Kevin Komiega
-- IT hosting company The Planet announced the general availability of a new Storage Cloud service that lets users choose where and how they store data across North America, Europe or Asia.
Rob Walters, general manager for The Planet's Storage and Data Protection division, says there are two primary use cases for the Storage Cloud service – small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in need of cost-effective backup, archiving or disaster recovery services, and enterprise organizations looking for ways to reduce download times at remote locations.
"SMBs know all about disaster recovery and know that they should have a DR mechanism in place to move data offsite in a cost-effective way, but price has been an issue in the past," says Walters.
Aside from cost-conscious SMBs, larger enterprises have also had concerns about the "cloud" as a delivery mechanism for storage access. "Larger customers have had concerns about performance, meeting service levels and the fact that their data is stored in some nebulous location," says Walters. He believes The Planet's new cloud storage services, which are based on technology from Nirvanix, address those concerns.
"Other companies by contrast offer a one-city cloud storage option, typically resident in their city of operation. Our customers can choose options from multiple replicated global or domestic nodes. With three access methods included with every Storage Cloud account – including API, Nirvanix CloudNAS or Nirvanix FTP Proxy – customers can eliminate the development requirements typically associated with other platforms," says Walters.
The Planet's service combines an on-premise NAS system with the global access and usage-based billing capabilities of the Storage Cloud service. The service uses the Nirvanix SDN and its underlying Internet Media File System (IMFS), a clustered file system that includes all of Nirvanix's globally distributed storage nodes under one namespace. The architecture allows for storing of data based upon geographic location, policy-based replication of data over multiple dispersed storage nodes, and package pricing allowing for unlimited use of Nirvanix's media service.
The Storage Cloud platform is accessible through CIFS, NFS, FTP and HTTP, as well as an extensible API..
Billing for The Planet's cloud storage offering is based on capacity and bandwidth usage. Pricing starts at $0.40/GB. On-premise storage is accessible via the cloud which, according to Walters, reduces server resource utilization and requirements. Bandwidth charges are incurred only for outbound transactions, and all uploads to The Planet Storage Cloud nodes are free.