Zetta's response to InformationWeek's request for information--done to meet the requirements of DIY Marketing, our hypothetical company--began with a discussion of its platform, comprising a proprietary file system used across off-the-shelf, scalable commodity storage gear. Upon ingestion, customer data is decomposed into chunks that are written across disks using a redundant array of independent nodes scheme called RAIN6 N+3.
Once written, data is accessed via a range of industry-standard methods, including iSCSI, WebDav, FTP, NFS, and CIFS. Zetta's description emphasizes that this is an infinite storage array in the cloud, treated just like any storage box you might have on the floor in your own data center.
Zetta claims that customers realize a three-year total cost of ownership advantage of three to four times that of on-premises storage. Risk is mitigated by a robust data-protection scheme and encryption of all data on disk.
Zetta hosts data in a multitenant environment and provides on-demand capacity allocation without capacity preplanning and a lot of provisioning effort. The company argues that this distinguishes it from traditional outsourcing and storage service provisioning models.
Access security can be provided by routing all external access requests through a VPN to the company premises, or by making those requests directly to Zetta's facilities. Third-party applications are required for concurrent file access and for such functions as archiving. At present, Zetta doesn't support data deduplication.
Zetta says it has multiple geographically dispersed data centers, but it doesn't disclose their locations. Monthly and annual contracts are available, with prices starting at about 25 cents per gigabyte per month.
Despite being a startup, Zetta's response was comprehensive. Many of its claims remain to be demonstrated, but it's clear Zetta is making a sincere effort to address business customer requirements.