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Cirtas Expands Amazon S3 Support To Cut Cloud Data Storage Costs

Cirtas Systems has enhanced its Bluejet Cloud Storage Controller cloud storage offering by adding support for Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) option, which lets users lower their cloud storage charges in return for reducing the protection Amazon gives to their data. In addition, Cirtas has increased the number of cloud systems that organizations can use by adding support for EMC's Atmos and for the AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service platform. Previously, the storage appliance supported only Amazon and Iron Mountain cloud storage utility providers.

Alexza Pharmaceuticals, a Mountain View, Calif., company focused on the development and commercialization of products for the treatment of acute and intermittent conditions, is using Bluejet with Amazon's S3 for a variety of functions, such as creating a virtual tape library for backup and development systems, for secondary storage and for archiving, says David Jones, IT operations manager. Because the company, which has 125 staff and contract employees, uses a Fibre Channel storage area network from NetApp, which has a tiered pricing structure, "on that next megabyte, Bluejet saves me $35,000 if I don't have to stair-step up my storage," he says. In addition, because the company has a small data center, using cloud storage keeps him from running out of room. "There's only a limited amount of space to put stuff," says Jones.

Cirtas' support for Amazon S3 RRS makes sense for organizations that are using the cloud for backups because the company still has primary data on-site from which it could generate a new backup should the cloud data become lost, says Josh Goldstein, VP of marketing and product management for Cirtas. Because Bluejet is an appliance, it gives Cirtas more ability to control performance and data integrity than software-only cloud products, he adds. An algorithm looks at access patterns and decides whether to store data on the cloud, or on either solid-state storage or spinning disk storage in the appliance, according to Goldstein. He says that because data on the appliance is also stored on the cloud, organizations can use cloud data for disaster recovery by mounting it from another location.

Support for the Amazon S3 RRS will help save users money because it allows them to reduce the number of copies of data they store in the cloud, rather than be subjected to Amazon's standard multicopy policy, according to Terri McClure, a senior analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group, a Milford, Mass., consultancy. For organizations that are using the cloud as a backup target, a single backup copy should be sufficient, just the same way as it is in a data center, says McClure. Support for EMC Atmos and AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service will help Cirtas better compete with vendors for contracts that don't allow single-sourcing of cloud storage vendors.

The Cirtas Bluejet Cloud Storage Controller was originally announced on Sept. 20 for $69,995. Support for Amazon S3 RRS, EMC Atmos and AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service are all available now.