Caringo Scales Private Storage Cloud To Act Like Public Cloud

Object storage technology developer Caringo is adding several cloud-focused applications targeting the development of secure private storage clouds with many of the functions of public clouds.

Caringo wants to help customers build private clouds that provide tiered storage that is scalable and self-healing, said Mark Goros, CEO and co-founder of the Austin, Texas-based company.

"Our set of products, taken together, creates a whole cloud stack," Goros said. "It creates an Amazon S3-type storage infrastructure, but one that is secure and located on-premise. Customers are looking for secure clouds but want them on-premise where they can maintain control."

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Caringo's cloud storage offering is based on the company's Object Storage Platform powered by its CAStor software for managing object storage, which is a way of managing storage as files with the associated metadata.

CAStor seamlessly scales storage to multi-petabytes with no single point of failure. "Our Object Storage Platform can store a petabyte of data in 30 minutes," Goros said. "I don't know anyone else who can do this."

Caringo is adding three new applications that work with CAStor to build secure storage clouds, Goros said.

The first is CloudScaler, a software-based gateway appliance that gives the company's Object Storage Platform secure multi-tenant features such as authentication and authorization of access, as well as a third-party billing system for use with internal and external customers, he said. The software appliances use the RESTful web API to provide cloud API neutrality, he said.

"CloudScaler manages cloud storage, does multi-tenancy metering and does reporting," he said. "It does everything a public cloud does, but in the data center."

The second is Indexer, a new NoSQL data store that indexes objects in a CAStor cluster so they can be searched for by file name, a unique identifier or their metadata. Indexer is integrated with CloudScaler through a common graphical user interface and reports information to the CAStor platform, Goros said.

The third is Elastic Content Protection, the company's new application for protecting terabytes or petabytes of data either by replication or by erasure coding, which involves dividing the original data and parity data into small segments that allows the data to be stored using less capacity than making a new copy. Customers can specify the replication or erasure coding scheme to use and mix the various schemes without limitation, Goros said.

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"In the past, we did replication to protect the data," he said. "Now we're adding erasure coding, or Reed-Solomon coding, which cuts the data into segments in such a way that the data remains protected if some of those segments are lost or corrupted."

Replication of data is a fast way to do cloud data protection, Goros said.

"But it uses a lot of space, which is a big issue as customers start dealing with multiple petabytes," he said. "The answer is erasure coding, also known as Reed-Solomon coding, which slices objects into multiple segments, adds two parity segments and spreads them over multiple nodes. This allows multiple copies of data to be replicated while erasing data over time as fewer copies are needed, based on the metadata, where the policies are set."

As a startup that was founded seven years ago, Goros said the company is just getting to the point at which it is consistently profitable, a situation he said is expected to happen by year-end.

Goros declined to discuss whether the company is currently an acquisition candidate. "Not this week," he said. "But, our door's open. Ultimately, it makes sense to be joined up with a larger vendor. We run on the x86 server platform. But, we have no plans to get acquired yet."

The bulk of Caringo's sales come through indirect sales channels. The company recently hired Cheri Sprikard, a veteran of Quantum, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, to manage its indirect channels, and just signed up with Condre Storage, an Eden Prairie, Minn.-based distributor.