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Netscape The Internet Data Storage

Netscape Alums Tackle Cloud Storage 62

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the put-it-in-there dept.
BobB-nw writes "A new cloud storage vendor is entering the market, promising an enterprise-class file system with snapshots, replication, and other features designed to simplify adoption for existing users and applications. Zetta, founded in 2007 by veterans of Netscape, has $11 million in funding and is coming out of stealth mode Monday with Enterprise Cloud Storage, a Web-based storage platform that will compete against Amazon's Simple Storage Service and a growing number of cloud vendors. Zetta's goal was to build a Web-based storage system that would be accepted by enterprise IT professionals for storing primary data. 'Data growth rates are staggering. In businesses you see growth rates of 40 to 60 percent year over year,' says CEO Jeff Treuhaft, a Zetta cofounder and formerly one of Netscape's first employees. Another Zetta cofounder is Lou Montulli, an early Netscape employee who invented Web cookies."
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Netscape Alums Tackle Cloud Storage

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  • by megrims (839585) on Monday April 06, 2009 @07:59AM (#27474727)

    This service looks immensely useful, especially for smaller businesses without the capabilities required to manage their data-storage and back-up needs.

    But still, I feel uneasy about the idea of having my data out of my immediate control in the long term, which is my primary qualm about the whole cloud-computing concept.

    • by cybrthng (22291) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:10AM (#27474819) Journal

      Through their marketing speak it doesn't look like they're targeting the small business sectory. Even their TCO demo starts out at 10tb and their cost per terabyte is 2,500 if that 2.50/gig is correct. 10 tb for 25,000 doesn't sound terribly bad but by the time you figure integration costs is it really saving you? From my perspective cloud storage is fine for an archival/repository situation in which cases you will find hardware based solutions that are very easily self managed from EMC/Clarrion that do this and probably even cheaper and automagically with cool applications to handle it all.

      • by alen (225700)

        does this $2.50/gig include backup costs so that if you need data from say 9 months ago they can recover it for you?

        everyone can do DR backups, most of the data restores where i work are due to missing data in archive databases and we need to find the raw data again from several years back

      • $25,000 for 10 TB of disk storage? That's outrageously expensive. Considering it's "in the cloud", you'll be limited to whatever your Internet connection is for throughput. Unless you have a couple of massive fibre links, with very few hops between you and "the cloud", performance will suck.

        For $10,000 CDN ($8,000 US) you can put together a 10 TB storage box using multiple 3Ware RAID controllers (or even just plain SATA controllers), 24x 500 GB SATA drives, a 5U rackmount case, redundant power supplies,

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Forge (2456)
      What about a private cloud?

      these days, the lowest cost hard drive available from major server vendors (at least Dell) is 160GB.

      Meanwhile many of the server applications we use need only a small fraction of that space. What I would like to see is a software that allows me to share an arbitrary portion of the unused space on each server as part of a storage cloud.

      Right now, we could squeeze out 20 or so Terabytes from the server hardware we already own and 80 unused Terabytes, just from those desktop
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by haeger (85819)

        Something like this? http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe [allmydata.org]

        Tahoe, the Least-Authority Filesystem. This is a secure, decentralized, fault-tolerant filesystem. All of the source code is available under a choice of two Free Software, Open Source licences.

        This filesystem is encrypted and spread over multiple peers in such a way that it continues to function even when some of the peers are unavailable, malfunctioning, or malicious.

    • They seem to have better than average data integrity and protection, FWIW. http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/ipstorage/news/article.php/3813921 [enterprise...eforum.com]
  • There's half of the problem with the cloud: Cloud storage platforms that suck because they aren't redundant and lack other enterprise-class features such as snapshots.

    Now the second half of the problem: cloud databases that suck because they don't aren't relational and don't offer much protection against corrupt data.

    Oh, and for all of this to get widespread adoption, CIOs are actually looking for these platforms to be open source and open standards so that they aren't tied to one vendor. They're not int

    • by AlterRNow (1215236) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:11AM (#27474827)

      repeating the same mistakes

      At my workplace, we call that progress!
      ( Sadly, I do not jest :'( )

    • A snapshot of a cloud wouldn't do you much good, except for framing on your wall.

      However, if you developed a cloud-making machine, you could have two clouds!

    • So every database that is not relational sucks? Is there no application that needs non-relational object storage? You sound like a Luddite to me.
      • No, I'm not. I'm saying that most applications used in the enterprise, uch as CRM, SCM, and other business intelligence/analytics applications, etc. absolutely require relational databases. Flat-file databases are relics of the past, and nobody doing anything serious is going to consider them, cloud or no cloud. At all.

        • What do you say to Google? They've built the most successful company of the last decade without using relational databases for their core business. Why would Google have built BigTable if 'nobody doing anything serious is going to consider them'? Is Google not serious?
  • Cloud Storage .... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:00AM (#27474743)

    Cloud storage, also known as "give us your companies confidential data, and we will look after it and not look at it, honest...."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Atzanteol (99067)
      That's why the FSM created encryption.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Parent has a point.

      A little birdie told my back in early 2006 google was looking at an online file storage service, but had privacy concerns. Last I heard they were working on a java applet to encrypt your data clientside, before it's sent to google. The whole process would be pretty much transparent to the user.

      No clue what came of it, obviously the product hasn't launched.

      • So you think using an applet provided by them leaves them with no possibility of allowing them to unencrypt the data ....

        Yes I do sound paranoid, but if my data is important to my business then I have a right to be ...

      • What drives me crazy about all this is that a company I worked at did this stuff right in the 90's including data reduction, compression, encryption, and bare-metal restore. Somehow they didn't make fabulous amounts of money from it and make my stock options worth millions. (Ok, it was backup to a server instead of to the cloud, but that's hardly a leap.) Now we talk about this concept like it's a radical future thing, which it still is, and I'm mystified as to why. Alas! Here I am still working for a li
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Repossessed (1117929)

      I've never really seen the privacy thing as an issue.

      Just encrypt the data on its way out the door, keep a backup of the decryption keys in a safe deposit box or with your lawyers (if you can trust your lawyer, or your bank, that is.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LaurensVH (1079801)
      If you don't encrypt confidential data with keys not given to everyone in your company, let alone people in *OTHER* companies, you deserve to have all your corporate data stolen.
    • This isn't new - data vaulting has been around for quite some time and is highly popular, especially in the disaster recovery arena.
  • by doktorstop (725614) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:01AM (#27474753) Homepage Journal

    Might work unless they keep the Netscape logo :)
    A green monster eating a planet would do them pretty poor PR

    • [green monster logo here]
      Zetta: We munch your data in the cloud!

      or

      [green monster logo here]
      Zetta: All your delicious data are belong to us!

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:14AM (#27474847) Homepage Journal

    Given that a lot of ISPs seem to be heading toward a monthly quota model, all this "cloud storage" thing seems to be the wrong way to handle your data IMHO.

    • by onion2k (203094) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:28AM (#27474971) Homepage

      Storing your data in "the cloud" isn't really for home users, the advantages are minimal. It's for businesses who would normally incur massive bandwidth costs but instead are able to take advantage of the huge economies of scale a cloud vendor can provide.

      A typical example is Twitter - all the user assets like avatars are hosted on Amazon's S3 service. That means Twitter doesn't have to pay for all that bandwidth, storage server space, redundant capacity, etc. They just pay a monthly fee that's far less per gigabyte than if they did it in-house. The disadvantage is that it ties them to Amazon.

      I suspect that there'll be a few cloud vendors that sink in the next couple of years because they're not good enough to compete. Personally, I'd be wary of using one with only $11m in fund capital. It sounds a lot, but it's not. They could burn through that in months trying to market their service (against competition like Amazon and Google no less), and be left with no money having shut up shop, at which point all their existing clients would have a hell of a time migrating to another provider. They clearly have the technical ability to build a working service, but whether they have the ability to turn that into a service that will last in the market place is a whole different ball game.

      That said, if I was researching a vendor to go with, I'd obviously read up on who else is with them on the non-technical side. They've got this far. That's more than a fair few others.

      • by Angostura (703910)

        Storing your data in "the cloud" isn't really for home users, the advantages are minimal.

        With all due respect that's entirely wrong. Me, my friends and family all backup our photos and bits and bobs on Mozy or Dropbox or whatever as well as on an external drive precisely because it gives us an easy cheap method of off-site storage. Yes "cloud" storage may prove unreliable. But all I need to know is that either my external hard drive or the cloud-based data set is available on the day that my hard drive goes

        • by Max_W (812974)
          I bought a hard drive which is connected to my home LAN via network cable. It is actually a device Linux system with Samba server. But in the home LAN it is visible just like a Windows network drive.

          It is small and silent as it does not have a fan. It is in an aluminum casing, so it is silent and fast.

          500 GB at your fingertips, my wireless LAN is 300 MB/s. There is already 1 GB model.

          Why would I need a cloud storage for photos and movies?
          • by Max_W (812974)
            Rather: 1 TB model (in my previous post).
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by AvitarX (172628)

            I hope your house stays secure.

            A good cloud service does 2 things:
            1) it provides reliable off-site backup to protect from theft, fire, flooding or other things that destroy all copies in a single location

            2) It helps protect against bit-rot. Having 2 live copies at home can help with this too, as if your appliance fails, you can get a new one and back up, of your desktop fails, the same. Though a random company with $11 million is probably more susceptible to company rot, than my USB hard drive is to bit r

            • by Max_W (812974)
              Good point about physical security. I know a case when both a notebook and backup drive were stolen from an apartment at the same time.
          • And when your house burns down, turning that nice little NAS box into charcoal, what then? ;)

            Or, if someone breaks into the house and takes the NAS box along with the computer?

            There's a reason for having off-site backups, whether it be a box discs in the safe deposit box, a removable drive at a friend's, stuck into your gmail account, or somewhere "in the cloud". Just so long as it's not right next to the device it's backing up. :)

          • by Angostura (703910)

            Why would I need a cloud storage for photos and movies?

            Because one day your house may either burn down or get burgled. Basically the same reasons that anyone ever uses off-site storage.

      • by coryking (104614) *

        The thing about S3 is it their pricing structure is almost too granular. I mean, S3 charges $0.01 per 10,000 GET's [amazon.com] in addition to the data transferred per request. Their EC2 charges $0.10 per 1 million I/O requests [amazon.com].

        I mean, those numbers sound small, but even I have no clue how many IO requests I am making right now... is ten cents per million a good price or a bad price? Dunno! Is a penny per 10,000 GET's a good price? Probably--that is ten bucks for 10 million requests, right?

        The disadvantage is that

        • by Makoss (660100)

          I mean, those numbers sound small, but even I have no clue how many IO requests I am making right now... is ten cents per million a good price or a bad price? Dunno! Is a penny per 10,000 GET's a good price? Probably--that is ten bucks for 10 million requests, right?

          It can add up fast.

          My company provides an offsite backup solution, and we've been using S3 as our primary storage backend since a few months after S3 went live. It is not unusual for us that the per-op costs are greater than the actual data storage or transfer costs. It is worth noting however that our use of S3 is quite non-standard. We do some pretty extensive verification to catch bitrot should it ever occur, as well as some fairly convoluted data processing to minimize actual transfer overhead for up

      • by guruevi (827432)

        Well, at some point it's cheaper to do it in-house anyway. Maybe not for online interconnected services like Twitter, but especially for primary enterprise data (what they're targeting) you need fast, available access to data locally, the web only makes it more difficult to get it fast and available.

        I don't even know if Twitter has the advantage of scale anymore. The advantage of scale only comes in where you xx% of a given capacity over 3-5 years but need 100% of the infrastructure to provide that xx%. At

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wjh31 (1372867)
      Given that alot of things seem to be headed into the cloud, all this "monthly quota" thing seems to be the wrong way to handle your bandwidth IMHO
      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        Except that in a lot of places, you don't even have a choice for ISP.

        But yeah, I also think that monthly quotas are the wrong idea. Then again, when you see the price/GB that some ISPs charge you when you go over the limit, that's even more insane.

    • If you are a business (which you most likely are if you're even considering "cloud storage") then you're probably going to pay for a provider that doesn't have these quotas - either that or you'll figure that a safe data backup is worth the cost.
  • Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Any Web Loco (555458) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:25AM (#27474947) Homepage
    Would it have killed you to put a link to the firm in the blurb?

    http://www.zetta.net/ [zetta.net]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    WTF is an alum?

    • Alum -> Alumnus .... "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alumni"

      Graduate of a college (or in this case the Netscape mindset ...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by frith01 (1118539)

      Poor abbreviation of Alumni , meaning a former associate, employee, member, etc...
      (or typical slashdot spelling / grammar mistake )

  • Lou "the cookie monster" Montulli...
  • Cookies? (Score:2, Funny)

    by danwesnor (896499)
    If the guy who invented privacy-invasive web cookies thinks I'll trust him with my data, he'd better think again.
    • by Max_W (812974)
      But how implement a session without a cookie file?? No shopping basket then?? No keeping a choice until the next visit??
      • by danwesnor (896499)
        I'm not saying no cookies, but they were implemented in a way that could easily be abused. For example, there should have been a user option to auto delete all cookies when the browser closes, or after a week, or a year. We have somewhat recovered some control, but when cookies were first loosed on the world, the site developer had all the control over the cookies, not the user. Same deal with pop-up window. What Netscape thought was a cool and useful new feature was implemented in a way that was hard f
        • by Max_W (812974)
          OK. I agree in general. Still they were going ahead bravely into unknown.

          I believe it is not possible to produce an absolutely secure passive system. For example, one can break about any door or wall with a sledgehammer, or one can shoot a man in the best body armor and helmet easily.

          What prevents criminals to do it is not only the strength of the door or body armor, but laws, self defense, police, etc., i.e. active hit-back security.

          UN is doing about nothing in this direction. Spam brings billion
  • by Gerald (9696) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:36AM (#27475775) Homepage

    Another Zetta cofounder is Lou Montulli...

    We can all rest easy now. The cloud will have a "blink" tag.

    • aka "Lightning"?

    • We can all rest easy now. The cloud will have a "blink" tag.

      That's nice, but will it have an interval attribute?

      I would love something like <blink interval="100ms">blinkenlights</blink>

  • Does it follow the S3 API? Is it cheaper? Is it reliable?

  • What? It's competing with ASS service?

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