October 29, 2012
Michigan-based startup Yottabyte is coming out of stealth mode with a virtual datacenter solution for all manner of cloud platforms. Last week the company held a coming out party for Yottabyte Community Edition, a software framework that "incorporates storage, compute and network in a single virtual data center platform for building public, private and hybrid clouds."
The product announcement date of October 24 held symbolic meaning to the company, as a yottabyte is 10 to the 24th power bytes.
On CNBC's Squawk Box, Yottabyte Vice President of Sales and Marketing Duane Tursi described the product as a cloud operating system that bridges private and public clouds, allowing the user to either be connected to the Internet or not. They're targeting enterprise customers as well as cloud service providers.
Yottabyte formed in 2010 and has so far raised $10 in private investment. The cloud OS works with commodity hardware and storage to create a unified cloud, much like Amazon's EC2 cloud or the Google Compute Engine.
Yottabyte champions the Software Data Center (SDC) model, which according to company literature, "optimizes the efficiency and automation of the entire data center. It includes virtualization of the storage, compute and network elements needed for full data-center functionality, with a single interface for managing physical resources."
It is this integration of storage with network and compute requirements that the company sees as its competitive advantage. The Yottabyte software platform "provides an end-to-end solution for managing data on top of virtualized infrastructure."
The platform is intended to be vendor-agnostic and, in line with the ambitious company name, is touted as having nearly-unlimited growth potential. Single systems can reach the exabyte-level, while multiple systems can be connected for greater scalability. Yottabyte will compete with multiple vendors, including Nimbula on the cloud OS side and Nirvanix on the storage side.
Mark Peters, senior analyst at ESG, is quoted in the company's release announcement as saying:
"The 'game' of IT is shifting from point solutions with incremental advances to overall orchestration with commodity underpinnings, and it's against this background that Yottabyte has visions of defining the 'virtual data center.' ... Yottabyte Community Edition manifests the company's initial vision of functional integration and orchestration, and in so doing, it may be one of the first providers to broadly embrace the management challenge of data centers as a whole."
Yottabyte's Community Edition has been in beta for several months and is now generally available as a free download. An enterprise edition of the software for service providers is due out in mid-2013 at a projected cost of $2,750 per appliance per year. The Enterprise Edition will offer paid technical assistance, while support for the Community Edition is relegated to free message forums.
Frank Ding, engineering analysis & technical computing manager at Simpson Strong-Tie, discussed the advantages of utilizing the cloud for occasional scientific computing, identified the obstacles to doing so, and proposed workarounds to some of those obstacles.
The private industry least likely to adopt public cloud services for data storage are financial institutions. Holding the most sensitive and heavily-regulated of data types, personal financial information, banks and similar institutions are mostly moving towards private cloud services – and doing so at great cost.
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