Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/01/emc_mozy/

EMC's Mozy storage service is going global

A cloud on the move

By Chris Mellor

Posted in Storage, 1st May 2008 15:59 GMT

EMC's Mozy operation is building out a global set of inter-connected data centres to support multi-national enterprise customers and others.

Mozy was acquired by EMC recently after building a successful online backup service for consumer and small business PCs. It was one of the first backup-to-the-cloud service suppliers and was characterised by a very user-friendly operation and slick software.

EMC has extended the offerings with MozyPro and MozyEnterprise and included Mozy in its new Cloud Infrastructure and Services Division, headed by Microsoft veteran Paul Maritz, who joined EMC when his Pi Corp. was acquired.

CISD also includes EMC's Fortress SaaS (Software as a Service) infrastructure, a secure, hardened enterprise-class platform for software delivery. Mozy Enterprise is based on it. EMC's SaaS strategy will provide additional SaaS applications in areas such as trusted data services.

Competitors to Mozy, such cloud storage supplier Nirvanix, say Mozy does not have an infrastructure capable of serving enterprises. Nirvanix claims Mozy has, for example, just one USA data centre. So it cannot provide the internal disaster recovery, the location transparency or the movement of files to a data centre nearest an accessing customer office that Nirvanix' Storage Delivery Network of interconnected world-wide data centres can provide.

This is wrong.

Vance Checketts, Mozy COO, said: "We have had to have multiple data centres." There are several in the USA and: "Europe is our next data centre (site)." It is located in Ireland and currently under construction. It will be operational: "well before the end of the year."

Part of the driver for this is customer input, with Checketts saying: "GE is happy with us in the USA but keen for us to go into Europe."

The data centre infrastructure underpinning Mozy is going to grow further: "Our growth plans are pretty impressive. We'll have more data centres internationally and in the USA as well. There are logistical reasons for local centres. Very large restores can be carried out closer to the customers. Another driver is data privacy."

We should think in terms of a global rollout of inter-connected data centres with several in Europe, the MIddle East and the Far East. The customers for these will be enterprises of all sizes; from Fortune 10 to Fortune 1,000 and beyond.

Checkets said: "The technology in the back-end systems is very scalable and very reliable." He said 3X mirroring is common in large service providers such as Yahoo!, with three different copies of data in three separate data centres so the data is always available, no matter what. "We don't have the same overhead but offer the same or better reliability. Multi-petabyte storage systems are our speciality."

Since the acquisition: "We've been working on both hardware and software with EMC to optimise our data centres. We view the storage architecture in the data centres as pretty critical intellectual property." Not surprisingly details of it are not forthcoming.

Checketts said that, for Mozy founder Josh Coates, Mozy was his third experience of designing a multi-petabyte database. Such experience is pretty rare.

The current Mozy customer statistics: 700,000+ customers; 7.5PB of data stored in 6.2 billion files, could grow a hundredfold. We could be loking at, within two years in the writer's estimate, at 7 million customers, 750PB of data and 620 billion files. This is going to need a massive infrastructure build out and only very well capitalised companies will be able to compete in storage-in-the-cloud services.

Let's guesstimate a base [Rather conservative - Ed.] $2.5 million per data centre cost and assume twenty are needed for global coverage, meaning a total investment of $50 million. Who are the likely main players who are active and could potentially afford it?

Sun had a storage in the cloud service but it seems to be a back burner effort now. It is possible that global telcos are also looking at this space.

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