Coraid Announces EtherCloud Data Centre Storage Solution
Ethernet and clever code as an alternative to “big iron” storage
Today, US storage networking vendor Coraid has launched the EtherCloud, something it calls the “industry’s first software-defined storage platform”.
EtherCloud allows one-click deployment and takes the pain out of managing storage devices, by controlling every aspect of a configuration at multi-petabyte scale through software. The platform is expected to become available by September 2012.
Ethernet is great
Coraid is a rapidly growing company with over 1,800 customers worldwide, including General Electrics, MIT and NASA. It is responsible for developing the ATA over Ethernet (AoE) protocol, which enables storage networking using raw Ethernet frames for transport.
EtherCloud was built on technology acquired by Coraid with the purchase of cloud start-up Yuteq in late 2011. It simplifies the delivery of scale-out infrastructure by leveraging a powerful policy engine and REST APIs to connect data centre infrastructure to applications.
When data centres use traditional storage management, administrators are burdened with translating application requirements into storage configurations, which they then have to set up manually. These systems require constant attention and reconfiguration for the duration of the lifecycle.
In contrast, Coraid says EtherCloud allows storage designers and operators to control how storage is deployed, provisioned, and managed through software, enabling automation, templates, self-service models, and a broader range of cloud computing services. This can reduce infrastructure-provisioning times from weeks to minutes.
With EtherCloud, administrators are able to automatically create pools of storage that can be grown on demand. The platform permits one-click instantiation of VMware ESXi virtual machines, integrated with storage allocation and networking connectivity.
EtherCloud complements the capabilities of EtherDrive, a family of SAN devices based on the AoE protocol which bring simplicity and scalability to data centre infrastructure, at 20 percent of the cost of comparable solutions.
“EtherCloud breaks through the complexity of legacy storage management, replacing it with a flexible, automated, programmable platform. This allows enterprise and cloud customers to provision and manage petabytes of high-performance block and file storage, with the same simplicity found in consumer cloud services,” said Anil Virmani, senior vice president of engineering at Coraid.
“We are excited to enable the next generation of software defined data centres and drive complexity out of the most challenging layer of the data centre today – storage,” he added.
“We are aggressively investing in the next-generation data centre built on software-defined infrastructure to better serve our customers at scale,” commented Tim Dufour, CEO of RackForce, the leading Canadian cloud service provider. “As an early access customer of EtherCloud, we are excited by its potential to automate our storage environment. This directly translates to lower management overhead, more efficient operations, and better economics.”
Coraid has also launched another product today – the EtherFlash Cache, which combines SSDs with traditional high-capacity drives to resolve application performance bottlenecks.
Last year, the company pioneered the concept of solid-state AoE storage virtualisation appliance with the Etherdrive SRX, claiming more similarities with old-school direct-attached storage (DAS) than tiered storage-area networks.
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