ParaScale Intros Low-Cost, Easy Cloud StorageBy Sharon Linsenbach | Posted 2009-04-02 Email Print
ParaScale's software-only cloud storage solution gives service providers access to cheap, easy-to-access and simple-to-manage capacity.
ParaScale has released its ParaScale Cloud Storage software for general availability, giving solution providers a cost-effective, simple-to-install cloud storage solution that leverages commodity servers to deliver to customers massive capacity.
The software-only solution can be downloaded from the Web and applied to any standard Linux platform, says ParaScale CEO Sajai Krishnan. PCS clusters hundreds of commodity servers together and pools unused space on those servers to act as a high-capacity file repository with parallel throughput, he says.
"Our advantage is that we only deliver the software, and it’s compatible with any standard Linux server system," Krishnan says.
By combining ParaScale software and buyer-selected standard servers, managed service providers can offer customers different types of public clouds and other cloud storage services, and enterprises themselves can use the software to build their own private, corporate clouds inside their own firewall, Krishnan says.
"We sell our software to service providers and the clouds those providers develop look like those from competitors like Amazon or Nirvanix," Krishnan says. "The difference is that the service providers don’t have to own any additional infrastructure, but can roll PCS right into their data center or their customers’ data centers," he says.
Jeanne Wilson, CEO of ParaScale partner and service provider Condor Storage, says the seamless integration made the solution a no-brainer. "This technology is so easy to deploy—it took my sales engineer only an afternoon to figure it out," she says.
That kind of convenience and the elimination of additional hardware requirements makes the ParaScale solution extremely affordable, too, says Krishnan.
"You can start for under $10,000," Krishnan says. ParaScale allows service providers to access the first 4TB of storage free, and this low starting price point makes the solution a great fit for service providers servicing the SMB market, as well as those whose enterprise customers want to "experiment" with cloud storage with minimal upfront investment.
"Even for customers who say they don’t have money for huge storage investments, there are opportunities for solution providers to go in and make this sale," Krishnan says.
"We believe this solution will appeal to the majority of our customers," says Wilson. "We have lots of clients with only 4 to 8TB of data that they’re managing, and now they can get the first 4TB free to test the solution before they commit to a full-scale rollout," she says.
Wilson says the main challenge is to educate customers about the benefits of cloud storage and assuage concerns about cost, security and scalability. She says she believes clients will be swayed by the low upfront cost, the ability to build private clouds behind the firewall for increased security and the ease of management.
"Really, what’s not to like about cheap, easy to access and manage, on-demand storage?" she says.