Amplidata Himalaya to scale mountains of data

Amplidata's newest object storage software is a redesigned version of the vendor's original AmpliStor, and is built to scale higher for Verizon's cloud.

Amplidata has redesigned its object storage software, renamed Himalaya, to handle zettabytes of data and trillions of stored objects under a single global namespace.

The change is the result of 18 months of work with Verizon Terremark, which uses Amplidata Himalaya as the foundation of its Verizon Cloud Storage service.

Amplidata's Himalaya object storage architecture was formerly known as AmpliStor.

"It was redesigned to create elastic scalability across a large storage pool," said Seth Bobroff, Amplidata's director of marketing. "The [previous version] had a global namespace, but it was narrow. It was a fixed size and a significantly smaller namespace. Now you can scale the namespace and the amount of objects."

Verizon went into beta with its object-based storage cloud last October to compete directly with Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage and Microsoft Windows Azure. Verizon is integrating Himalaya into a hardware stack that it built itself, and that will support SOAP, REST and the Amazon S3 application programming interface (API).

Amplidata's architecture has two basic components that include scaler-accessing devices and an object store with erasure coding. Scalers include the global object namespace along with an access layer with reverse proxy servers that handle the APIs. Bobroff said the metadata database inside the scaler devices was re-worked to enhance scalability. The new reverse proxy server allows users to access and read the data across the entire data pool.

"There were logical and physical constraints in the system," Bobroff said. "We had to re-architect the metadata database so it could span across all the capacity. A Cloud Services Gateway [CSG] was added to do monitoring and metering of customer usage and the data exporting into the Verizon billing system."

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A scaler can present up to an exabyte of data under a single namespace, and the CSG could provide access to more than 50 exabytes with more than 50 managed scalers. Amplidata Himalaya supports CIFS, NFS, iSCSI and file sync-and-share capabilities. It also includes cloud staples such as multi-tenancy, service-level agreements, and non-disruptive changes in the storage configuration and allocation.

Ashish Nadkarni, IDC's research director for storage systems and software, said Amplidata is trying to present itself as a software vendor rather than a hardware company to differentiate itself from competitors such as Cleversafe, Data Direct Networks, EMC Atmos and Scality.

"These hyper-scale Web deployments are software-focused; they don't care about hardware. They have different economies of scale," Nadkarni said. "The go-to-market is a lot more focused on software rather than hardware. Himalaya was made to be a lot more scale-friendly, a lot more robust and a lot more agile."

Becoming software-only also makes it easier to sell through partners, a strategy Amplidata's CEO Mike Wall laid out for the company in March. Amplidata already partners with Quantum, which uses Amplidata's object technology in its Lattus archiving platform.

Verizon's Cloud Storage service is expected to be generally available this summer.

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