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Of Clouds, Storage and Openness

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As I have previously talked about on this blog, there has been a significant amount of discussions about the Openness of the Cloud this year. In the League of Clouds, I was saying that it is necessary for the industry to start working on a set of standards used by every cloud Service or Software provider to ensure interoperability, which will in turn limit lock-in, boost adoption and in the end benefit all.

Analysts are saying that the way the industry is going, Hybrid Cloud, Hybrid IT and Cloud Bursting are in their growing phase. If they are to go through that phase and mature to be of significance, it will be necessary for a set of Standards to emerge.

While I agree that Open Source is necessary for a new technology or new paradigm to gain mainstream adoption and go beyond the Trough of Disillusionment and into the Slope of Enlightenment (as per Gartner’s Hype Cycle Taxonomy), I do think that Open Source will not appeal to everyone (for different reasons, and different markets/verticals). And in that case, establishing Open Standards becomes indispensable for interoperability between Open Source and Proprietary software so customers can benefit from the full potential of the Industry.  And, of course, Proprietary software can follow Open Standards, even though it is not Open Source.

Today, Scality announces their commitment to a true Open Cloud Access strategy for Data Storage. Yes, Scality is a proprietary solution, but with this statement today, we’re showing our trust in Open Standards. At the core of this release is a CDMI* Server implementation, which is the standard pushed by SNIA. It is our belief (and that of others in the industry) that CDMI represents the best solution available today, when it comes to independent standards.

However, Scality also recognizes that the Industry might not recognize CDMI’s access protocols as the standard, nor do we believe in having customers redeveloping their legacy applications to meet these new standards. That’s why earlier this year, we added to our already existing REST APIs and RS2 (an Amazon S3-compatible interface) interfaces, a file system mount. And in the coming months, Scality plans to extend its compatibility to other ways of accessing Data: CloudFiles, NFS, and more.

With this release, our customers now have access to the best software-defined storage available for unstructured data.  RING provides massively scalable, no hassle storage for their private environment, with the needed cloud interoperability  (whether for Amazon or Open source flavors implementing CDMI or CloudFiles) for implementation of Hybrid Cloud & Cloudbursting.

We strongly believe that this is where the next generation of storage, of which we are part, should be heading for. Object Storage vendors can be competitors but there should be a unified message around open standards accepted and followed, whatever the vendor’s specific features, or target market.

Open Standards are the key.

* CDMI: SNIA’s Cloud Data Management Interface.

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