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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A List of Cloud Storage Providers and Their Niches

Cloud in a loose sense may be used to describe just about anything to do with getting resources from the Internet. In this sense, AOL, FTP may be the first generation of the Cloud Services for the past two decades.

In this article, we talk about cloud storage in a sense as something similar to what Amazon S3 is and might compete with Amazon S3.

Why Amazon S3? Because it is the earliest in its kind and sets the standard as the following:
  • Pay-as-you-go storage, billed monthly by usage
  • Provides single known public access point over HTTP/HTTPS
  • REST based API
  • Extremely simple design (buckets and blobs)
  • > 99.999999999% durability and >99.99% availability in its Service Level Agreement
  • Create a developer eco system




1. Amazon S3
   As stated above, Amazon S3 sets the standards and is in the leaders’ position. It leads its competitors in pricing and features. It also has the biggest developer eco system in different amazon s3 based tools.

   Features: CloudFront, Versioning,  Regions(US-West, US, EU, Asia)

   Pricing: $0.15/GB/month in general. Cheaper when usage increases


2. Microsoft Windows Azure Blob Storage
    Windows Azure could be Amazon S3’s biggest threat. From the API level, Azure absorbed S3’s strength and is as simple and elegant. It also has its own strength such as built-in block support for big files. In Azure Blob Storage, you can chop up a big file into blocks with native API support. 

   Windows Azure also has the Azure Appliance for private cloud deployment.

   Pricing: $0.15/GB/month in general


3. Nirvanix
    The tag line for Nirvanix is Enterprise Cloud Storage. Its niche is  enterprise storage. One notable difference between Nirvanix and S3 is that Nirvanix provides its own cloud access software such as the CloudNAS and a desktop client. Nirvanix also focus on partnerships with enterprise level solution providers such as the CommVault. It is also possible to white label Nirvanix storage and resell.

    Biggest Partners: Verizon, The Planet, CommVault

    Pricing: $0.25/GB/month


4. EMC Atmos Online
    The tag line for EMC Atmos Online is the journey to the private cloud. However, with the announce of the Windows Azure Appliance, it looks like Microsoft Azure Platform is sharing the same journey to the private cloud. EMC Atmos Online doesn’t sell directly. Instead it sells through its partners, such as AT&T, Peer1 and etc.

    Biggest Partners: AT&T, Peer1, Hosted Solutions

    AT&T Synaptic Storage pricing: $0.25/GB/month

    Peer1 CloudOne pricing: $0.15/GB/month


5 Mezeo
    One of the biggest advantage of Mezeo is  that a hosting company can keep its existing investment in storage hardware and apply Mezeo’s software solution, turning the whole thing into a cloud storage offering. Unlike EMC Atmos-based solutions, you will have to buy both hardware and software from EMC.

    Biggest Partners: NTT/Verio

    Pricing varies by partners.


6 Google Storage for Developers
    It is currently in beta. Google Storage for Developers’ API looks very similar to Amazon S3. Still waiting to see its niche.


   Pricing: $0.17/GB/month


7 Rackspace CloudFiles
   As the biggest hosting company, Rackspace has its own Cloud Storage offering in CloudFiles.

   Pricing: $0.15/GB/month


8. Eucalyptus
   Eucalyptus focuses on the Enterprise. It will face competition from EMC Atmos and Azure Appliance. The storage API is very similar to Amazon S3.

Cloud Storage Access Solution
Gladinet supports majority of the Cloud Storage service providers and partners with most of them. There are three products to choose from. Pick one of them.
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