Cloud storage providers such as Amazon S3 and Iron Mountain Archive services offer very cost competitive storage, but have their own API to access. This is fine for new development, but this means a conversion for existing applications.
Cirtas, a startup from San Jose, have introduced a BlueJet cloud storage appliance sits in the data center between the servers and the cloud storage, and translates from block requests to the APIs to the cloud storage service. It acts as a cache to the cloud storage, both in RAM and on disk. BlueJet compresses and then encrypts the WAN traffic. The cost of an appliance is the range of $65,000.
The key benefits of this approach are:
- Any application that meets the IO performance envelope is eligible for data to be held on cloud storage. Application should be “well-mannered”, should not be IO intensive, have good locality of reference and tolerate occasional long IO times.
- The support of multiple cloud storage providers improves the ability to move application data from one cloud supplier to another
- The solution allows backup and disaster recovery to be outsourced to the cloud storage provider
Cirtas is a startup that has just come out of stealth mode, and has received a $10m initial funding. It has high quality staff. Given that Cirtas customer confirm that the technology works as advertized, the chances of a positive exit strategy would seem to be reasonable.
Action Item: For well mannered applications with good locality of reference Cirtas offers an interesting model, with potentially significant cost savings and flexibility.