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Atmos Online

Atmos 1.3 Released!

by dave on February 16, 2010

[Removed by Request]



Micro-burst: Retrofit or Net-New?

by dave on August 12, 2009

I’ve been ruminating on a conversation that I was part of at the recent Cloud Camp – Boston “un-conference.”  In this particular case, a customer (a VAR; NOT a manufacturer) was talking about leveraging cloud storage for a particular customer of theirs who had the following “essential criteria” that needed design help:  multiple petabytes of storage, significant unstructured data, low cost of entry, data primacy/ownership (e.g. privately controlled assets/data), and very little need for typical NAS/SAN implementations.  The questions that this VAR brought up were related to designing for this type of storage.  Let’s explore this a little more (remember, just thinking out loud here) by looking at retrofitting cloud-type storage (a la Atmos) versus looking at a “net new” installation of a completely cloud storage based infrastructure.


The concept of retrofitting is to shoehorn a “new” product into a space where “old” product was either unsatisfactory or incapable of servicing the ongoing data needs of a company’s infrastructure.  In this case, the goal is to use as much of the existing infrastructure as possible to minimize cost while at the same time providing the much-needed boost in management and capability brought to the table by the new technology.  In these type of cases, the ability of the storage product (in my case, Atmos) to integrate seemlessly is vital to bringing the “cloud” to the table.  Atmos, for what it’s worth, offers the ability to integrate into traditional NAS/SAN environments through CIFS, NFS, and IFS connectivity options (IFS is through a RHEL 5.x client) while also allowing the customer to develop connectivity and SOA options through REST/SOAP API interfaces.  This way, Atmos allows you to granularly “grow” into a API-based storage model without completely getting rid of (dare I say it? 😉 ) legacy NAS/SAN environments.


The Net-New concept really thrives when the customer is at a cross-roads; the need for new technology and infra outstrips the need to preserve the current infrastructure (obviously not limited to just the infrastructure discussion ).  The idea here is that by adding a “cloud capable” infrastructure the company can look to potentially minimize the overall OpEx recidivism that they experience as part of their normal buy cycles. (that was a painful sentence to write.)  Objectively, a net-new architecture allows a clean-slate “ground-up”  approach to storage architecture where careful design and planning can be based around hybrid cloud capabilities (e.g. federation between Atmos and Atmos Online) as well as the scalable growth that is offered by those platforms.  Again, provision is made for integrating into the infrastructure where needed via the aforementioned NAS capabilities (CIFS/NFS/IFS) but the emphasis is placed on self-service through the API interface.

Your Choice

The cool part about this evolution is that the choice is ultimately up to you as to how and when you implement.  Having the capabilities of integrating and growing now cannot be overlooked but, obviously, there are challenges with any type of new integration.  Similarly, tossing out the old and bringing in the new has its own sets of challenges such as internal SLAs that IT has with it’s “internal customers” etc.

Comments and feedback (as always) are welcome!

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Transition to the Cloud

by dave on August 4, 2009

Well folks, it’s been fun being your “EMC Technical Consultant on the Interweb.” (there are more of us, trust me. 😉 ) It is with great happiness, however, that I get to report that I’m moving over to what has to be the most exciting innovation within EMC in the short time I’ve been here: the Cloud Infrastructure Group.  Something about the cloud moves me to fits of joy (or generally, paroxysms of short-lived hysteria) and the EMC Atmos product line, in particular, is really the future of where I see storage moving.  So, what does this mean to you, my faithful readers?

Well, I’m definitely not giving up my virtualization bent. Honestly, cloud computing is a really simple extension of virtualization and I think this is going to be the basis on which storage and technology will develop.  Abstracting the physical has always been of particular interest to me, so, this will be maintained.

I’m also not giving up on core products. Trust me, I’ve learned to love Clariions, Celerras, Centeras, Symmetrix for all that they bring to the table from a performance and capability standpoint.  That being said, again, I think the future holds some interesting developments for these products as EMC continues to push onwards and upwards into the cloud and virtualization space.

I will be adding in a lot more cloud content (i hope) as i dig into Atmos and Atmos Online product sets and hopefully, we’ll be able to discover together how EMC’s cloud vision can be realized in YOUR environment.  I’m honoured and excited by the challenges being offered me and I hope to see ya’ll in the cloud!



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