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Live from EMC World: CTERA & EMC Usher In a Software-Defined Enterprise Storage Era

One of the lasting impacts of the Web 2.0 movement has been the complete re-architecture of how data center infrastructure is built, deployed and managed. These changes are largely oriented toward the adoption of commodity technologies while delivering services at unbelievable levels of scale… today, just like how NASA turned Tang® into a global sensation, web-scale technologies are now making their way into enterprise and government data centers everywhere.

While there are a number of players who shine prominently across the history of cloud computing innovation, you’ve got to give a lot of credit to the people at Google. In the mid-2000s, just as they are today, Google operated at the most extreme point of the bleeding edge. With 100,000s of servers in production and the requirement to ingest and serve petabytes of data every day – there were so many variables they had to engineer for in order to profitably scale their business. And while Google was a generally proprietary organization, in 2003 they released a paper (among many) that would change the world of IT forever… simply titled: The Google File System.

This paper was forward-thinking in soooo many ways – first, it posited the need for massively scalable systems (requirement: cloud scale) where failure was the norm (requirement: utmost resilience), secondly Google identified that they had to build a software layer that aggregated low-cost commodity and homogenous servers (requirement: support for x86 architectures) and third it was one of the first demonstrations of the use and benefits of web-scale object storage for a mission-critical business (requirement: to deliver data objects as a service).

In the years that followed – we’ve seen an explosion in the adoption of web-scale object storage by SaaS providers (a la Facebook, twitter, etc.), we’ve seen massive public cloud storage services emerge (a la Google and Amazon) that offer object-storage-as-a-service and a glut of venture capital into the space as new companies like Caringo, Cleversafe, Cloudian, Scality, SwiftStack and more all look to revolutionize how people deploy software defined storage that can be deployed at scale to the data center.

The challenge with all of these technologies, of course, is that while all of them are well-suited to the SaaS-oriented business cases that made technologies such as the Google File System and Amazon S3 so successful, none of them address the enterprise requirements of today, where 99% of applications are not designed, much less optimized, for this new class of web scale storage software. Enterprise customers want application solutions, not storage APIs.

Fast-forward to 2013 and witness EMC2

The world’s largest storage company, at its largest customer conference, introduces its ViPR™ platform. This software-defined-storage technology, a game-changing offering from the likes of EMC, essentially defied all traditional EMC conventions and slaughtered all of the sacred EMC cows in one shot. ViPR extends the thinking of today’s modern object storage technology (leveraging any storage backend, provisioning data as a service, cloud orchestration) while adding the most critical component – which is support for a broad variety of access modalities – including object, block, file and even Hadoop storage – all within one storage management and provisioning framework.

ViPR is new stuff, for sure. One year after its introduction, customers are now beginning to truly appreciate and understand the virtue of a cloud-enabled storage “control plane”. ViPR is sure to be center-stage at the 2014 EMC World conference… where CTERA will be one of the featured exhibitors and a presenter in the ASD theater.

If ViPR is so versatile… where does CTERA come into the picture?

CTERA has a long and successful history of providing business relevance and enterprise functionality for software defined storage. Our belief is that to provide cloud storage enablement – we must adhere to cloud tenants, including: openly supporting software defined storage, providing storage management and orchestration tools that enable large cloud operators (public or private) to efficiently scale support for millions of users, and all of the security features that organizations require to ensure their data is always safe and exclusively under their control.

CTERA is proud to be one of the first to announce its support for the EMC ViPR platform. As a strategic partner of EMC on their next generation software-defined-storage software, CTERA transforms ViPR-managed data services into enterprise backup and collaboration tools and also extends ViPR clouds with CTERA cloud storage gateways.

CTERA EMC architecture diagram

The net result… All of the proven CTERA cloud storage services for both your legacy and cloud storage use cases with the benefit of new software defined storage agility and economics that promise to lower the total cost of cloud storage considerably:

So – while you rethink the data services that you’re providing for your ROBO, BYOD and In-Cloud data users… you may be pleasantly surprised to learn more about all of the new data storage infrastructure choices you have with this new class of software-defined-storage.

Want to know more…? Let’s talk more at EMC World, we are at booth #923. Not going to EMC World? No problem, sign up for this joint CTERA-EMC webinar to learn more…

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