ClearSky Data want to turn data storage into a utility service you rent from the cloud, but which is nevertheless available everywhere you are. It’s an ambitious goal.
ClearSky Data just announced a $27 million round of funding to help them pursue this goals, with content delivery network (CDN) provider Akamai one of the investors, and the round was led by Polaris Partners, an early backer of Akamai.
Essentially, ClearSky Data want you to rent storage life-cycle management from them. Instead of buying hardware, and managing the refresh cycle of upgrading storage controllers at the end of your depreciation period, ClearSky Data manage that for you for a monthly fee. You still use it on your site like a traditional SAN, but the actual storage becomes completely abstracted away.
It works by having a ClearSky Data supplied device sitting in your network, called an Edge Cache, which is an all-flash storage appliance. The Edge Cache could be on your own site, in your data-centre, or at a co-location facility. Your data is stored “in the cloud” and you connect to the Edge Cache device as if it were a physical SAN, and the fancy software figures out how to keep the most needed data close to you. ClearSky Data also have a cache tier in their metropolitan points-of-presence, which sit between the cloud proper and the Edge Cache.