EMC World 2009: Cloud storage through the internet

Cloud computer

Atmos onLine, EMC's new flagship storage product, was announced this week at EMC World 2009.

Based on the previous Atmos, this product enables a cloud storage service via the internet. The premise behind the technology is to make moving large volumes of data - and managing them - simple and efficient.

This is what EMC calls "Cloud Optimisation Storage" - or COS for short.

Alongside the Atmos onLine announcement, EMC also focused on the Atmos internal to external federation. This technology means selected data can be kept inside the data centre, or the internal cloud as EMC has taken to calling it, but can automatically select data to be moved externally.

This is useful for businesses who manage sensitive data that they want to keep on site to be more secure but can release other data out into the cloud.

Behind both of these launches is the idea that by externalising some, if not all, of data into the cloud, firms can save money by not having to buy and run the hardware storage on site. It also removes the problem of having either provisioned too much storage or too little as the external cloud provides for unlimited storage to suit needs effectively.

The internal to external federation seems primarily for those customers with concerns about cloud's security.

Harel Kodesh, president of EMC's cloud infrastructure business, said: "People are still married to the idea that the data will be safer in the basement with guard dogs and watch towers that out in the cloud. It does not matter how much you explain the security, some people, such as the federal government in the US, will always want to keep sensitive data close by."

It is being pitched towards businesses of all sizes, but with a special focus towards Web 2.0 and internet providers due to the large scale of information they hold. One of the companies that has already taken this up is eBay, because of the large number of photos and data from auctions.

The two firms have been working together over the past year which Marzen Rawashdeh, vice president of Technology Operations at eBay, said has allowed them to "create a reliable, scalable cloud storage infrastructure that meets the demands of eBay's expanding business."

Kodesh said: "We are in talks with other partners across Europe but I cannot disclose who yet."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.