ParaScale: Cloud Storage for Providers
July 9th, 2009 By: Rich Miller
ParaScale is a startup that makes software that enables enterprises and ISPs build their own cloud storage offerings. At Structure 09, ParaScale CEO Sajai Krishnan spoke with us about ParaScale’s offering and the state of the cloud storage market. One potential opportunity: helping service providers build their own cloud storage offering to retain customers who might otherwise look to Amazon and S3. This video runs about 9 minutes.
ChrisPosted July 10th, 2009
Mezeo software (www.mezeo.com) is the current leader in this space according to Tier1 Research. They have Navisite, Softlayer and a number of other service providers on both sides of the Atlantic as customers. The Mezeo storage platform is purpose-built for service providers, I believe.
AbbyPosted July 10th, 2009
I have been trying to figure out if Parascale has an API at all, let alone REST style APIs.
David HobsonPosted July 11th, 2009
We’re using ParaScale for cloud storage. It’s a scale-out cloud storage platform. It does native parallel NFS as well as WebDAV and FTP for access. Any app unmodified can run on it. It’s flexible and easy to setup and scale.
Mezeo is just an API wrapper, pretty simple to put together ina c ouple of months by some java programmers. There is no scale-out google or amazon like distributed filesystem technology at Mezeo, just a REST API and some custom clients. They don’t solve the tough problems and totally punt on the storage scaling issue! Don’t get it. Sure you can run Mezeo on the front-end and pretend you have a storage cloud, but what happens if you actually have data and grow that user base. At that point, the service provider is totally out of luck and you’re on your own.
David – thank you for your kind comments and clarifications. You are exactly correct about the nature of ParaScale’s storage cloud solution for service providers.
There is plenty of confusion in the cloud storage space right now. Mezeo clearly provides value to its service provider customers, but they are not about storing bits. Call me old-fashioned, but in my book if you say you are a storage player (cloud storage or otherwise) you must store bits. Otherwise you are a storage management/application/framework provider. Mezeo, IMHO, seems to focus on the useful front-end cloud services including billing, metering, and APIs/translators (iPhone, Win CE, Blackberry, their own REST, WebDAV). But Mezeo, as David points out, leaves the bit storage to other vendors. It could be ParaScale, EMC ATMOS, or your favorite mainstream storage vendor.
Again as David points out, (and I don’t know David, but would like to make his acquaintance), what happens when a service provider gets into the cloud storage business and succeeds. Amazon S3, Google GFS solved the scale-out problem, and delivered the economics. ParaScale provides similar technology (plus some added benefits like scalable NFS, FTP etc), so that hosters can run on their own preferred hardware to create a scale-out storage-cloud. This is nextgen technology with an object filesystem, that load-balances as you add servers to the cloud, and has the parallel throughput to allow for multi-tenant volume I/O requests (Amazon S3 does not choke when a 1000 clients hit it .
Fundamentally, service providers and hosters should ask at least 2 basic questions before rushing to deploy storage cloud services:
1) What kind of storage cloud service do you want to offer? How are you going to compete with S3 and differentiate yourself?
- Mass market consumer/pro-sumer/small biz services?
- Enterprise-grade high-SLA, high $s/month services?
- Vertical market tailored services?
Please see http://blog.parascale.com/?p=196. Have blogged here to at least start the dialog on the strategic thinking that should be the basis of any move by service providers into offering cloud storage services
2) Check Linked-In. Check out the storage DNA of the vendor you want to base your cloud storage solution on, especially if it is a startup or an unfamiliar name. You want to pick a vendor with enough storage DNA. Note that Amazon and Google have excellent storage teams. There are no short-cuts here. Remember, with cloud storage, as it scales you are going to hit the corner cases. Probability is your enemy. You are going to hit those problem spots and you want vendors and technologies with the wherewithal to partner with you through all that.
Thanks for all your interest and comments. We hope to have the opportunity to dialog with you (MSPs, hosters, service providers) and help as you go through the vendor selection process.
Sajai, CEO, ParaScale
ChrisPosted August 13th, 2009
David- out of curiosity, who do you work for and how exactly are you using Parascale for Cloud Storage?
I find your dismissal of Mezeo to be rather cavalier. Your dismissal of them out of hand suggests, you haven’t done your homework!
Take a look at this article: