With cloud-computing and massive data-center virtualization technology all the rage, maybe it’s time to virtualize the wide array of storage technologies. Atlantis Computing, a venture-backed startup focused on virtualization software, today released its next storage virtualization product, called Atlantis ILIO USX, which helps data centers allocate and manage their storage resources more efficiently.
For those of you not in the loop, large data centers and corporate computing environments have become a hodgepodge of storage systems that are not easily managed. That’s exactly the problem Atlantis is going after. Just take a look at the list of acronyms of various storage media and technologies: SAN, Network Attached Storage (NAS), RAM, and hard disk-attached storage. Atlantis pools and optimizes all of these systems and more, including storage systems based on Solid-State Drives (SSD), Flash, SAS (Serial Attached SCSI), or SATA (Serial ATA)
Atlantis claims that it is that it’s the first to create hybrid, virtualized storage using all the available resources — and work on a variety of SAN systems.
By tracking and connecting all of the various storage systems, Atlantis can optimize the system and pack more computing resources — or VMs as they are known in the data center world — onto the same storage resources, which are expensive.
Company officials claim that that efficiency of the software, which analyzes existing storage resources and figures out how to use them more efficiently, can allow as many as five-times more VMs be deployed on an existing system.
Storage systems are one of the weak spots on virtual networks, as companies such as Cloud Physics have identified in the past — pointing out that many IT managers don’t even know how much storage they have, or which resources are available. Because many SANs and storage systems are not fully integrated into the computing environment, the SAN and the computing systems or VMs are not always communicating to each other. Many storage systems are deployed for specific applications, and may have resources available for other applications if they could be discovered.
Atlantis manages the resources that are available and how they are being used. Atlantis is betting that storage resources and management are a huge hidden cost for data centers and that a smart software program will allow data center managers to squeeze more out of their existing storage rather than adding more.
“We want to do for storage what VWawre did with servers, to abstract storage to do more with less.,” said Atlantis CEO Bernard Harguindeguy in an interview with the Rayno Report, this week. “Storage has become unmanageable. [Managers] can’t get the full potential of all the stuff they already bought.”
Atlantis says its software can be used to create systems in several different formats, including:
- Software-defined hybrid array using server RAM and existing shared SAN or NAS storage to boost performance and increase the number of VMs supported.
- Software-defined hyper-converged system using each servers’ RAM, Flash and SAS or SATA to create an integrated storage and compute platform.
- Software-defined all-flash array using any combination of shared and local flash to amplify the flash storage capacity by up to 5x.
Atlantis is part of an overall boom in next-generation storage systems, especially “hybrid” products that can blend the old-world of hard drives with the newer world of Flash or SSD. In 2014, this was a big driver of IPO activity, with a new crop of storage storage companies going public, including Nimble Storage (NMBL) and Violin Memory (VMEM) going public. The company has raised $35 million from the likes of Cisco, El Dorado, and Partech ventures.