Parascale ups its cloud storage game

'Chutes and scores


Parascale has integrated its private cloud NAS with virtual servers meaning you can boot backed-up VMs straight from the cloud.

The company provides a loosely-coupled network-attached storage (NAS) cluster as a cloud resource with network file storage (NFS) access - of course - as well as WebDav, HTTP and FTP. The cluster is composed of controller nodes and storage nodes, each node being a vanilla Linux X86 server with directly-attached storage.

Think of it as a disaggregated classic dual controller modular array. The two controllers become separate Linux X86 controller nodes. The storage shelves become separate Linux X86 storage nodes communicating with the controller nodes by gigabit Ethernet.

Parascale provides the software and the customer provides the Linux X86 platforms. The Parascale software provides a global namespace, node discovery and aggregation, load-balancing and so forth. It's not a good fit for high-speed NAS access or fast file streaming. But it is a good fit, Parascale says, for second tier NAS applications, where customers need fast and easy scalability up to petabyte levels and each added X86 Linux box adds storage capacity, processing performance and bandwidth.

Parascale Cloud Services V2 adds better support for virtual servers, REST and SOAP protocols, synchronous replication, a degree of self healing, and additional pricing models for variations of cloud type.

Parascale's CEO, Sajai Krishnan, emphasises the cost advantages, saying how cheap it can be to build a really high capacity, cloud-accessed NAS vault for secondary data: "Our customer’s finance department is especially going to appreciate that for the first time the storage team can repurpose hardware, and buy disk drives at any computer retail outlet to store some of their enterprise data reliably.”

That is also an enterprise customer obstacle. Blue chip company CFOs might be horrified by the idea of getting their NAS disk drives from PC World or Walmart and prefer the enterprise-class attributes of an EMC or NetApp.

PCS v2.0 can function as a back-up for virtual machines and their data. If a running VM fails, then its PCS-hosted backup can be booted directly from the cloud. There's no need to move VM images around.

With REST and SOAP Web service APIs, PCS configuration, administration and provisioning can be controlled through these APIs. Businesses and service providers "can provide self-service options through the web and integrate ParaScale functionality into third-party dashboards, control panels and workflows."

There is multi-tenant support and Parascale has added synchronous replication based on policy per multi-tenant instance: "Administrators can enable protection strategies that include up to eight synchronous copies to different data sets." A ParaScale cloud can be partitioned to provide different service levels for different internal and external customers. The private cloud multi-tenancy support includes metered usage for chargeback.

PCS v2.0 will be available from November 30, and pricing is based on the physical capacity within the cloud, with deployments starting in North America at a list price of 95¢/GB.®

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