ClearSky Data, a Boston-based data storage startup, launched its eponymous global storage network today, enabling businesses to provide primary storage services, but with a twist.

The fully-managed, plugin service uses a model similar to that used by content delivery networks (CDNs). Geographically distributed and linked together by ultrafast networks, CDNs provide Internet users with speedy access to online content and media services.

ClearSky is blending cloud storage with the CDN approach to enable fast, enterprise-grade storage with on-demand data mobility capabilities and end-to-end data lifecycle management, minus much of the cost of building and maintaining additional data centers.

“Enterprise applications require agility that today’s storage systems can’t deliver, and companies are spending time and money to manage data they’ll probably never need on demand,” Ellen Rubin, CEO and co-founder of ClearSky told InfoStor. “ClearSky Data delivers storage infrastructure as a fully managed service from points of presence (PoPs) in major metro areas.”

ClearSky employs the company’s own Smart Tiered Caching technology, which automatically parcels out data across a network of distributed cache layers, taking into account an organization’s performance and data availability requirements. “The service caches data into hot, warm and cold layers, and manages each piece of information with the performance it demands, providing hundreds of thousands of input/output operations per second (IOPS) and less than two milliseconds of latency,” Rubin said.

Hot data is cached on appliances at the customer site. Warm data, meanwhile, resides in a PoP located within 120 miles of the customer. Finally, the service provides built-in redundancy by storing multiple copies in the ClearSky Backing Cloud.

“With ClearSky, you get the performance and availability of local storage when you need it, plus the value and scalability of the cloud,” said Rubin. “Instead of spending your time and resources buying and managing primary storage, you can leverage the cloud for a secure storage model in a way that’s never been available in the past.”

In an Aug. 25 company blog post, Rubin said the SLA-based service can provide “[full] enterprise capabilities, including 99.999 percent availability, comprehensive security and data protection,” along with reductions data center real estate. In total, ClearSky costs just a third of building and maintaining traditional storage architectures.