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Managed hosting service provider giant Carpathia
Hosting was looking to get into the storage cloud space with an object-based
offering that would allow the company to offer a fully managed cloud to its
customers, which include many large enterprises.
That’s because while cloud computing has been on the leading edge of technology
up until now, 2010 is the year when the technology will enjoy acceptance by
enterprises, according to Carpathia CTO
Jon Greaves, whose company is big enough to host mainframes for some larger

"Developers were the really early adopters of cloud computing,"
Greaves tells Channel Insider. "And 2009 was the foundational year where
everyone was talking about the cloud. But I think next year will truly be a year
for cloud to be embraced by enterprises."

But how does a managed provider looking to add cloud computing to the mix
evaluate potential vendors? And why did Carpathia make the choices it did in
terms of platform?

Greaves says he started exploring building his cloud storage service about a
year ago, looking to build out an object-based storage platform that could
scale on demand, delivering all the capabilities of network-attached storage (NAS) on demand. Carpathia wanted object-based storage because it would be easier
for customers to use without custom code, APIs or any other development work.

Some large vendors such as EMC were exploring object-based storage, says Greaves.
But Carpathia ultimately went with a smaller vendor called ParaScale. One of
the reasons for the choice came down to the company’s size.

"We had the ability to interact with ParaScale at such a level [as] to see
their road map," says Greaves. "We found ParaScale easy to work with
and we had good access into the team."

Greaves says he looked at storage area network (SAN) technology, but found it to be
on the high end of pricing and didn’t allow Carpathia to be competitive in the

"You could argue that you could deliver a lot of this with NAS, but it
doesn’t provide other benefits, like the ability to run our own code on the
box," Greaves says.

Other benefits included the ability to implement a multitenant environment and
to connect to it with standard protocols. Back when Carpathia first began its
evaluation a year ago, Greaves says, ParaScale was the only company that could
"deliver cloud storage in a form that was easy to consume from

It also enabled parallel access, which helps when a file becomes
"hot" or heavily accessed. Plus, it has enabled Carpathia to layer
value-added services on top of the basic offering, such as virus protection and
content delivery networks.

"Storage is a value-add service, not just files," Greaves says.
"This lets me do some pretty innovative things."

Carpathia went live with its storage cloud in April and formally announced it
in June.

Separately, Carpathia announced Sept. 2 that it had acquired ServerVault, a
managed hosting provider specializing in delivering secure, compliant hosting
solutions to business and federal agencies.