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Dot-com focused SSP open for business

While the first generation of storage service providers are still in their infancy, StorageWay, Inc, announced what it says is the next generation of storage services and products, focusing on the storage needs of dot-coms.

StorageWay's new services, OutStore and OutBackup managed storage services, are the first offerings from the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

StorageWay contends that their "Organic Storage Model" is designed for the substantially different needs of Internet-related businesses and business units. The new model is referred to as organic because it is designed to fit organically into an Internet data center co-location infrastructure, as well as organically into businesses or business units being hosted.

William Hurley, program manager, e-networks and broadband access for the Yankee Group, Boston ,Mass. explained what gives life to this new breed of SSP. "The "organic" model means that the StorageWay data storage infrastructure will be a native constituent internal to hosting providers' data centers. This model is being called the public utility SSP model.

StorageNetworks, who houses their own infrastructure and pulls fiber to end-user customers, is an example of a private utility SSP," said Hurley. "The innovation is that as new hosting facilities are built or existing internet data centers are modified, public utility SSP's, such as StorageWay, will be in a position to offer a range of services from backup and disaster recovery to full ownership of a dot-com's storage management and infrastructure."

Since StorageWay is focused principally on Internet related businesses, "they want to create an infrastructure condition where it is natural to simply "plug-and-play" for highly reliable storage resources," Hurley said.

The specific product offerings available now, the OutStore and OutBack management services, are bundles that wed capacity planning and provisioning, resource management, and back-up and disaster recovery that are scaled to customer needs both technically and financially.

Hurley said OutBack is specifically geared toward providing back-up and disaster-recovery services, while OutStore is a scaleable bundle that offers full storage infrastructure and management outsourcing.

OutBackup, which is available to OutStore subscribers, provides backup services through the same utility connection. Depending upon the ordered service levels, OutBackup includes local tape or online backup of customer data, daily incremental and weekly full backups, redundant tape copies provided to the client and/or a vault, verification and restoration services, and various reports. The services are delivered to individual hosts at a co-location facility via one or more private, switched fibre channel connections between each host, and StorageWay's on-service center. Service centers are fully operational at certain AboveNet, Exodus, and Level 3 facilities, with other sites in the works on a global scale. StorageWay expects to be available in 35 total sites worldwide within nine months.

According to Adam Couture, senior analyst for Gartner Group, Inc., Stamford, Conn., StorageWay will be competing head to head with StorageNetworks, ManagedStorage International, Westminster, Colo., and Centripetal Inc., La Mesa, Calif. "Not only are these companies offering extremely similar services, they are all competing for the same customers from the same Internet data centers, and each is scrambling to sign up the same strategic partnerships at these centers. In fact, Dataquest anticipates that in many instances, StorageWay will find itself a neighbor of one or more of its competitors as it builds storage infrastructures at various Internet data centers across the country."

"This is evident in StorageWay's announcement. With prices ranging from $20,000 to $45,000 per managed terabyte per month, StorageWay is undercutting many of its competitors - a move that undoubtedly will meet with quick response," Couture said.

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