Web hosting provider offers cloud storage

By Kevin Komiega

--The Planet has made a name for itself in the Web hosting business, managing the IT infrastructure for more than 25,000 small and medium businesses (SMBs) and hosting more than 13 million websites. Now the company is beefing up its services to include on-demand storage in the cloud.

The company announced that it is expanding its services with hosted, on-demand storage based on a partnership with Nirvanix and its Storage Delivery Network (SDN) cloud storage platform.

Nirvanix operates a global cluster of storage nodes across the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia, including a resident storage node in The Planet's Dallas D2 data center. As a result, The Planet's customers can select storage from The Planet's node or from any Nirvanix location. 

According to Rob Walters, general manager for The Planet's storage & data protection business, his company has merged its on-premise storage performance with cloud storage capabilities, which makes it possible to extend their hosted environments directly into the cloud.  He says combining the two products into a single offering gives customers additional benefits including free uploads to the local node and aggregated bandwidth between their hosted and Storage Cloud accounts.

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.

Pricing for The Planet's Storage Cloud service is based on capacity and bandwidth usage. The cost for on-site storage starts at approximately $0.40/GB with unlimited data transfers, and drops to about $0.30/GB once users approach the 10TB range. Remote sites are charged about $0.25/GB with a per-transfer fee of $0.17/GB.

The Planet will initially offer the new Storage Cloud service to existing hosting customers and plans to extend the storage service to non-hosted, storage-only customers in the early months of 2009.

Related articles:
What is cloud-based storage?, part 1
The benefits of cloud-based storage, part 2
Cloud-based storage, part 3

This article was originally published on November 24, 2008