Cloud Computing


EMC’s Atmos Smooths the Path to Cloud-Based Storage as a Service

New enhancements to EMC’s Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform are designed to ease the way enterprises and service providers implement and access public and private cloud storage. VMware vApp packaging should simplify installation, and improved visibility and reporting tools provide the means to expand cloud metering services and improve administrative reporting and controls.

In addition, the new tools can help enterprises transform IT into an internal service organization, enhancing cross-business agility, efficiency and cost savings.

EMC also announced that its GeoDrive solution now supports Linux (Red Hat and SLES) and Windows operating systems, enabling instant access for Linux users and applications to any Atmos cloud without ever having to write a single line of code. GeoDrive requires no API integration for Atmos-based clouds and includes a set of rich features and security capabilities including encryption, compression and throttling.

This all sounds pretty good on paper, but the enhancements to EMC’s Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform are best considered in the context of the IT as a Service evolution that has fundamentally changed computing for both enterprises and consumers.

All You Can Eat vs. A La Carte

At one time, IT organizations acted like “all you can eat” restaurants, delivering and supporting computing resources whenever and wherever they were needed. However, as computing permeated virtually every facet of business and became a common tool for all employees, companies began to realize their data centers had become ever-escalating cost centers with no end in sight. That situation was particularly acute for data storage, where rampant consumption made growth essentially unsustainable.

Moving to an “a la carte” IT as a Service delivery model allows companies to easily provision and accurately charge back business units and work groups for the IT resources workers consume. Service providers and other vendors are increasingly taking this model into the consumer market via cloud-based offerings that allow users to utilize applications and access documents and files stored within online repositories.

What does any of this have to do with EMC’s Atmos and GeoDrive? Just this: While the need and demand for cloud-based services and storage are assuredly growing, building and managing home-grown infrastructures required to support such services takes considerable time — and can also be both expensive and risky propositions.

A Better Way

Not surprisingly, EMC has a better idea: Offering its Atmos technologies, which were designed from the ground up for managing information residing within globally distributed big data and cloud storage environments, as the basis of its cloud delivery platform for enterprises and service providers. By doing so, the company is able to offer a complete, turnkey solution for Storage as a Service that allows customers to get up and running with minimal cost, time and risk.

How so? Packaging the Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform as a vApp makes setup a breeze for virtualization-savvy administrators and allows the new solution to be easily incorporated into existing VMware environments. The new administrative portal and management tools can improve organizations’ insight into their data resources.

Finally, extending EMC’s GeoDrive support to Red Hat and SLES Linux means that the Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform can now be used by business organizations, users and Storage as a Service offerings of virtually any and every sort.

Overall, EMC’s new additions and enhancements to the Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform and GeoDrive have made already-good solutions even better. That, in turn, should help improve the efforts of cloud-minded enterprises and SPs, as well as their paying customers’ quality of service.

Charles King

E-Commerce Times columnist Charles King is principal analyst for Pund-IT, an IT industry consultancy that emphasizes understanding technology and product evolution, and interpreting the effects these changes will have on business customers and the greater IT marketplace. Though Pund-IT provides consulting and other services to technology vendors, the opinions expressed in this commentary are King's alone.

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