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dinCloud offers no transfer fees with its new cloud service

Cloud service provider dinCloud is taking on Amazon, hoping to lure customers away with its own dinStorage S3 full-service cloud storage that is based on the Amazon S3 open APIs and can be used for S3 compatible applications.

The company recently launched its dinStorage S3 service that charges no transfer fees, which is one of the main “gotchas” of a cloud service. dinCloud also is offering 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) to 40 GigE speeds, dedicated networking with AES256 encryption and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) connectivity with 15 carriers that include AT&T and Sprint.

dinCloud offers unlimited storage capacity and charges on a per gigabyte, per month basis.

“These guys are going for high-end cloud use cases and going after Amazon’s biggest customers,” said James Bagley, senior analyst at Storage Strategies Now. “It’s a cost play. They are providing lower cost for volume users. These are companies that are well experienced in cloud computing. What struck me is they are really going for it. They have the network and infrastructure wherewithal to pull it off.”

The Los Angeles-based dinBackup began offering a data protection cloud service in November 2012. That service operated on NetApp and was available for NetApp customers looking for backup and disaster recovery. dinCloud has since discontinued the service, all though it still supports some NetApp replication features for customers that want it. dinCloud has switched to white box storage for its primary storage.

“We had provided cloud services to existing NetApp customers (but) they are no longer our primary storage provider so we discontinued the service,” said Mike Chase, dinCloud’s chief executive officer. “In large deals, we will consider it. It’s too costly and it lacks a lot of the cloud firmware that we needed. It’s also hard to encrypt. Encryption is possible on NetApp but it’s very tricky. You have to buy an encryption unit.”

Aside from no transfer fees, dinCloud offers 40 GigE compared to Amazon’s 10 GigE maximum. It charges $1,200 a month for a dedicated host compared to Amazon’s $1,440 a month. dinCloud encrypts all data at rest, while Amazon offers no encryption on Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes, a practice dinCloud claims is “just plain stupid” in its marketing presentation.

dinCloud also offers an IP Reputation (IPR) service that keeps a database to track every IP address on the Internet and its reputation based on past activity. This means any IP known to a source of criminal activity is blocked. dinCloud states Amazon is “morally deficient” for not offering it.

“Cloud providers are in a better position to offer it than most customers due to better pricing, engineering talent and global reach,” Chase said.

Bagley said dinCloud’s partnership with colocation provider Equinix makes its service a strong option to Amazon. Equinix has 100 data centers worldwide and “they tend to place them where you have high intersections of telecommunications,” he said.

“These guys are claiming to be one third the cost of Amazon S3,” Bagley said. “They can have a client have its own equipment, cage and firmware and still have all the advantages of bandwidth and throughput and automatic resiliency in the network. That is a powerful argument to say we can shut off AT&T and you won’t even know it. They can switch around without breaking stride.”

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