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EMC upgrades Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform to a vApp

By turning the Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform into a vApp and expanding metering services, EMC tries to make its object storage platform easier to manage.

Today, EMC Corp. upgraded its Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform (CDP), making it a VMware vApp while adding more granular metering services, reporting and visibility tools for cloud storage providers.

The Atmos CDP 1.1 is an option to EMC’s Atmos object storage platform, used by service providers to deliver storage as a service (SaaS). That option is now packaged as a VMware vApp, so that individual virtual machines (VMs) can function as a unit for multitiered applications.

Atmos CDP’s new metering services let providers view usage down to the policy level instead of just getting a general view based on capacity usage.

vApps are a collection of VMs that make up a single IT service. Turning CDP into a vApp is designed to simplify the installation process so the service can be up and running within minutes. It also lets providers move applications between internal or external clouds with the same service levels.

“Before, you deployed [CDP on] a set of individual virtual machines. Now you deploy a vApp, which is responsible for the relationship between the virtual machines,” said Jon Martin, senior director of product management and marketing for EMC’s Cloud Infrastructure Group.

Atmos CDP’s new metering services let providers view usage down to the policy level instead of just getting a general view based on capacity usage. Service providers often attach service-level agreements (SLAs) to policies, so this capability means they can track capacity usage allocated per archiving or global policies. Previously, service providers could only track usage by looking at the overall allocated capacity level. EMC also added Linux support to the GeoDrive, which is used like a local drive to upload files on the desktop to the cloud. Previously, it only supported Windows.

The Atmos CDP software option has a new administrative portal with visibility, reporting and control tools. Through this portal, managed service providers or company system administrators can take action on capacity requests and account modifications. Administrators can also suspend subscriptions on late or obsolete accounts, and run reports based on top users and how many users have accessed accounts during a 30-day period. The service administrator can get a view of individual users and do reporting of individual services.

The Atmos enhancements come about a month after rival DataDirect Networks upgraded its Web Object Scaler (WOS), adding asynchronous and synchronous replication, erasure code data protection, and multi-tenancy and billing support to WOS 2.0. In both cases, the vendors are adding features service providers have been looking for.

“This is a bunch of enhancements just to make Atmos easier to use,” said Terri McClure, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “You have to evolve the platform to make it easier to install and get reports out, and it has to be flexible for deployment. That's what they're doing here.”

McClure said the Atmos storage cloud is used by 30 service providers in 50 locations. She considers that impressive, especially compared to competitors such as Cleversafe, DataDirect Networks and Scality that sell software to cloud providers. “As you go down the list of cloud providers, you would be hard-pressed to find some that have 50 sites,” she said.

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