Scality plugs into Parallel's platform for new cloud markets

The deal, with Parallels' automation for cloud infrastructure offering, will give Paris-headquartered Scality access to a wide range of new channels, including the rising number of service providers seeking to compete with established cloud players.

Jerome LeCat, Scality's CEO, said that, once a new technology has been deployed and proven, the key to success is speeding up adoption, and this is where Scality Ring is today.

"After deployment with seven service providers in Europe during 2010, Scality needs partners who can accelerate adoption of our ground-breaking technology for the hosting service provider market", he explained.

In use, Scality's Ring software creates a series of nodes that are built using off-the-shelf servers.

Each node on the ring controls its own segment of the overall storage pool. By monitoring other segments and constantly replicating - as well as load-balancing - the data, the storage is billed as becoming self-healing in the event of a drive or segment of the pool failing for whatever reason.

According to LeCat, one of the problems with cloud computing at the moment is that people think that cloud is a solution for everything, when it is clearly not.

Whilst it can be used as a storage mechanism for unstructured data, it is still is a highly demanding environment from a technology - and technical - perspective. "Let's put that in context. Most IT people think that a one-terabyte drive is large. Scale is everything here - 1 and 2 terabyte drives are common in our industry, yet a one terabyte drive can take one whole day, 24 hours, to copy", he told Infosecurity.

Now, he says, let's shift this up to cloud terms and move on to one petabyte, that's 1000 terabytes, and it's clear that a serial copying approach is no longer valid, since it would take three years for that volume of data.

From this, the Scality CEO argues that conventional storage technology does not work on these scales, meaning that storing multiple copies of data cost real money to administer.

This is why, he explained, the storage industry has developed RAID5, a technology that stores data at 125% efficiencies, and RAID6, which adds an additional parity blocks to the mix, allowing data recovery to take place.

But in the cloud - where LeCat predicts that data volumes will rise eightfold in the next five years - neither of these technologies are appropriate anymore, he argued, simply because of the volume of data being handled, load balanced and resources, to prepare for the inevitable magnetic hard drive failures.

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