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Yottabyte, a Michigan-based startup, on Wednesday launched a cloud operating system for building virtual data centers from commodity server, storage, and networking components and software.
The company chose Wednesday, 10/24, to debut the OS because 1,024 bytes is the size of a megabyte; a Yottabyte contains 10 to the 24th power bytes. The product is targeted at a wide-ranging audience, from service providers to small, mid-sized, and large enterprise businesses.
Yottabyte's cloud OS, the Yottabyte Beta Community Edition, lets IT managers build private, public, or hybrid cloud networks that can scale both in size and in performance. It includes the ability to provision, manage, and set security for servers. In addition, the software allows a customer's cloud to connect with the Yottabyte cloud, located on both coasts and in Michigan.
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Yottabyte is available as a free download. Once a customer downloads the Yottabyte Community Beta Edition, the software configures the Yottabyte storage or server appliance. After loading the operating system and installing the distributed Yottabyte File System (YBFS) and Yottabyte Admin Web Interface, the software designates the amount of disk storage to be reserved, creates storage pools, and selects whether the appliance can host virtual machines or not. It also allows IT to designate whether they are creating an IP storage area network (SAN) or a network attached storage (NAS) system.
Storage pools can be used to assign different categories of data to different types of storage media. For instance, more expensive, higher-speed drives may be placed in one pool to store commonly used data, while lower-speed drives may be placed in another pool to store data that is used less frequently.
The Web Admin management interface is also used for backing up and restoring data and for snapshot and data synchronization or volume replication. Data deduplication can also be enabled for volumes on a scheduled basis. IT managers can set policies for the restoration of data and for the amount of bandwidth used in restoring data. AES encryption can be set for data at rest or in-flight. In addition, the software supports file transfers and searches of data across the network are enabled.
It protects data as RAID 10, ships with the KVM hypervisor, and supports Windows and Linux applications.
Yottabyte compares its product to storage systems from EMC, NetApp, HP and Dell, among others. Its file synchronization and data transfer capability compares to Box.net and Dropbox, according to the company.
However, by using its own data centers Yottabyte may be limiting its appeal to users who have opted for Amazon, Microsoft Azure, or Nirvanix. And it may face further challenges since its first free download release requires IT professionals with some fairly technical skills to configure and fashion a storage network using only software. The free download can be installed on only one physical machine in a non-production environment, for testing and evaluation purposes.
Separate Enterprise and service provider versions of the software are expected to be available mid-2013. The Enterprise Edition will cost $2,750 per appliance per year; $0.15/GB per month for use of the Yottabyte cloud. Yottabyte presently provides only chargeable support for the Yottabyte Enterprise Edition. Yottabyte was founded in 2010 in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., by Greg Campbell, vice president of technology, Paul E. Hodges III, president and CEO, and Duane Tursi, vice president of sales and marketing. Campbell developed the Yottabyte software architecture.
Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.
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