Caringo, which provides object storage software, believes the latest version of its product has relevance for cloud storage. The Austin, Texas company this week took the wraps off CAStor 5.0, which is slated to ship in November. The product provides multi-tenancy and dynamic caching -- the kinds of features Mark Goros, chief executive officer of Caringo, said are applicable to cloud providers and MSPs.

Multi-tenancy lets enterprise customers set up one physical cloud structure to support multiple departments or divisions, each with its own domain. In the case of MSPs, the feature can be used for multiple customers, Goros noted. Dynamic caching, meanwhile, provides a Content Delivery Network-like ability to accelerate access to content experiencing high demand.

Service providers already work with Caringo’s storage software. Terremark, for example, uses CAStor to provide online storage of fixed content for customers, according to Caringo. But the company isn’t quite ready for a major push with MSPs. Billing isn’t fully automated with CAStor 5.0, although that administrative feature will appear in the next version of the product, Goros said. Look for that version in early 2011.

The Object-Cloud Connection

Caringo employs object-based storage, believing file systems bump into scalability issues when dealing with ever-increasing volumes of unstructured data. Goros said he views Caringo as moving content-addressable storage into the next-generation of object-based storage. The company has some history in that regard. Paul Carpentier, who co-founded Caringo along with Goros and Jonathan Ring, worked on content-addressable storage at startup FilePool. EMC acquired FilePool in 2001 and adopted that company’s technology in the Centera storage line.

CAStor, Caringo says, lets customers build object-based storage clusters that provide the basis for a cloud storage infrastructure. The approach seems to echo the   storage systems created to address the demands of Linux supercomputing clusters. Companies like Panasas and Cluster File Systems Inc. (acquired in 2007 by Sun) took on that challenge, building their their technologies around a storage-object architecture.

In both cases, object storage aims to take on scalability and performance issues.

We’ll wait and see if this style of storage catches on with cloud and service providers.

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