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Beyond the doom and gloom: YottaYotta grabs hefty investments

What's got the storage industry so excited about YottaYotta?

Beyond the doom and gloom: YottaYotta grabs hefty investments
By Alan Earls

Start-up YottaYotta NetStorage Company, has been flouting current doom and gloom scenarios, attracting a new round of investments totaling $26 million only days after the terrorist strikes on New York and Washington, D.C. That's on top of a $35 million round of investments concluded in August of 2000.

The name YottaYotta comes from the term yottabyte, which is one trillion terabytes of data. The company has developed "NetStorage" technology that utilizes massively parallel technology and tight integration with optical networks. This creates a geographically distributed storage resource of potentially great scalability that is managed as a single machine and supports anywhere from hundreds to millions of users. YottaYotta's Real Time Disaster Recovery (TM) storage system also gives enterprises high levels of availability, protecting against complete site outages as well as multiple component failures.

YottaYotta enhances existing storage infrastructure from firms such as EMC, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Compaq, Sun, IBM, Network Appliance, HP, Brocade, McData, QLogic and Dell. YottaYotta claims its massively parallel distributed systems will dramatically reduce the cost of storage management and disaster tolerance compared to other next-generation storage firms such as Cereva Networks, 3PAR Data, Zambeel, BlueArc and Pirus Networks.

William Hurley, a former Yankee Group analyst who recently joined YottaYotta as information architect, explains that the company's technology addresses the lack of real differentiation between the technology that service providers offer the storage market and what customers can provide for themselves. He compares the situation to telecommunications, where there are significant differences between an enterprise PBX and a telco Class 5 switch. "Without new storage solutions [such as YottaYotta], service providers-- storage or otherwise-- will continue to use enterprise products for carrier purposes," he said says.

Arun Taneja, an analyst with Enterprise Storage Group, Inc., Milford, Mass., says YottaYotta and its competition fall into a category his firm calls "utility storage" but he warns that YottaYotta's technology is still largely untested. "These companies are trying to describe a different paradigm where you can, through a `blade-based' architecture (plug-in cards) be able to scale in capacity and performance -- including both I/O and throughput," says Taneja.

Taneja said the idea is to radically simplify solutions "so that you can work with one EMC box instead of 10."

About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer residing in Franklin, Mass.

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