EMC's Really Big Storage Network


EMC (NYSE: EMC) has updated its Atmos cloud storage system to add new levels of data protection, along with a big boost in performance and capacity.

The new GeoProtect feature gives Atmos RAID-like data protection — in addition to replication — with support for three or six failures at 33 percent and 66 percent storage overhead, respectively, by encoding and distributing objects across an Atmos cloud.

Atmos also gets new Intel Xeon 5500 processors for a 50 percent performance boost and 2 terabyte drives to double capacity. Atmos nodes can pack in anywhere from 60TB to 720TB with the new drives.

Jon Martin, director of product management and marketing for EMC's Cloud Infrastructure Group, said Atmos is nothing like the wave of clustered network-attached storage offerings that have hit the market lately and instead is more along the lines of Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3), except in product form: a massively scalable storage network that can span many locations across the globe.

Atmos is the basis for cloud storage offerings such as AT&T's Synaptic Storage as a Service, and it's also found favor with companies looking to take advantage of multiple geographical locations. Martin said EMC has shipped more than 15 petabytes of Atmos capacity to date.

Once such customer is William Moore, CTO of health benefits management company CareCore National. Moore said the company's "very unsophisticated" SAN storage system with a NAS gateway couldn't keep up with the many data retention and protection requirements facing the healthcare industry.

So the company turned to EMC Atmos, setting up four nodes at two locations in New York and South Carolina so the company could have "the right data in the right state at the right time," said Moore, who added: "It's working as expected."

CareCore has also been working closely with Atmos developers to migrate its historical data to Atmos.

"It's been really good to work with these guys," said Moore. "They have a really good understanding of where we want to go."

Moore added that he likes what he sees of EMC's other private cloud efforts, such as Symmetrix V-Max and the Vblock partnership with Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and VMware (NYSE: VMW).

"We've really harmonized our development with their development," he said.

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