Cloud storage has gotten a lot of attention in the past year. While the buzzword may be new, service providers have been providing online storage services for many years under a variety of names -- managed services, utility computing, on-demand services, and online backup. Those services appeal to small and mid-sized business with limited IT staff and to other companies looking for a remote location to store files for disaster recovery and other purposes. The more interesting aspect and newer angle to clouds is the idea of building internal clouds within an enterprise and providing storage as a service within the firewall.
Startup ParaScale released its storage software platform this week and highlighted customers that for the past six months have been testing the proposition that commodity Linux servers can be turned into a large clustered file system that can offer high performance and high storage utilization. ParaScale says the software can be used by service providers to offer storage services as well as by IT departments to build private storage clouds by linking hundreds of servers and using their storage.
Version 1.2 of ParaScale's software can be downloaded from its Website and has a list price of $1.05 per gigabyte. A version that can handle up to 4 TB is available for free.
ParaScale's beta customers range from Stanford Genome Technology Center to Sony Pictures Image Works to network security vendor Blue Coat Systems to Carpathia Hosting, a service provider.
The Stanford Genome Technology Center Stanford creates between 2 and 15 TB of genomic data each week, and much of it is discarded. It is using ParaScale's software for Tier 2 file storage. "We are always looking for affordable, practical ways to store these volumes of valuable data," Dr. Baback Gharizadeh, research associate at the Stanford Genome Technology Center, said in a statement. "Our evaluations of ParaScale's cloud storage solution lead us to believe that it has the scale and economy to handle our genomic data, and it is easy enough for our research scientists to manage."