In 1969 during the original Star Trek TV show, The Cloud Minders episode featured Stratos, a city in the clouds. Today, EMC launches Atmos, cloud optimized storage. This is not science fiction, but the realization of much work on managing very large amounts of data “in the cloud.” Having been in the hands of customers since early Summer, this offering is intended to manage massive amounts of Internet-based information. How massive? Petabytes to begin with.
“Cloud computing” is a very popular topic right now, and there is often more heat than light shed on the subject. EMC releases Atmos at a time when many others are still debating over cloud computing and arguing whether it is or is not grid computing, software as a service, outsourcing, or Web 2.0-based data.
The Atmos sphere
What does Atmos encompass? First, it is different than simply block-based Storage Area Networks (SAN), file-based Network Accessed Storage (NAS), or even object-based Content Addressed Storage (CAS). EMC introduced CAS in the Spring of 2002 with the launch of Centera, part of an object-based archiving and compliance solution. As revolutionary as this was half a decade ago, so too is COS today.
- Massive Scalability
Global manageability through a namespace, regardless of geographical location. Multi-tenancy means that different tenants could store their unique information objects in their own private namespace under the Atmos namespace.
- Policy Based Information Management
Information can be managed by policy, and automatically acted upon by business rules for the metadata that defines the policy. For example, if an object conforms to a policy of “popular”, it could be replicated appropriately to deliver better service levels to users. When demand drops off and it becomes less “popular” the number of copies could be automatically pruned.
- Operational Efficiency
Whether it’s a drive, server, or network — all of this can be seen and managed from a single console.
There are many excellent articles available already that explain this in greater detail. Check out Chuck Hollis at Chuck’s Blog, Mark Twomey at Storagezilla, Steve Todd at Information Playground, Dave Spencer at Dave Talks Shop, Dave Graham at Dave Graham’s Weblog, and Len Devanna’s summary.
Thanks for coming along.