EMC Atmos

Got my first presentation on EMC’s new “Atmos” storage platform.

Now granted this was kind of a sales-ey (is to a word) presentation but I’m pretty impressed so far.

It seems what EMC has done is combined the best of Celerra and Centerra. (In fact, the gentleman giving the presentation sort of placed it on the map right between the two)

The basics of it is they get a bunch of 1U (Presumably Dell) Pizza-Box type servers and put them in front of a bunch of really *REALLY* cheap storage.

They then present the storage out using a variety of protocols, CIFS/NFS, and the REST/SOAP API’s.  Rumors of an iSCSI could not be confirmed…or explained (how in the world would you convert block-storage to object-storage and expect any kind of real performance?)

Downsides….well, there are multiple single-points-of-failure in each frame, which is why when you invest in the Atmos hardware you will buy a minimum of two frames.  I think this could have been avoided in a more robust deployment.

There is no “Compliance” edition (yet?)  This would/could easily be the replacement for the Centerra, if they can just get past that little hurdle.  I’ve known many customers (and been one myself) who have chosen the NetApp filer over Centerra for archiving because all we wanted/needed was a CIFS share that we could guarantee the content on.

I was not able to get reasonable performance numbers from the presenter.  Assuming Gigabit-Ethernet off the internal switch/bus/apparatus maximum sustained transfer rate would be 125 MBytes/Sec.  10Gig-Ethernet is currently running at substantially less than the 1.25G that you would expect.

I’m curious as to what the world’s thoughts are on “Cloud” storage (I hate the term “Cloud” anything – it’s a mostly meaningless term that describes nothing but outsourcing.)

Next step: Get my hands on one and try it out.  This may not be as much of a long-shot as it seems.  🙂


  1. To address the whole CIFS thing Celerra also does compliance.

    I don’t see Atmos replacing Centera. We’ve a much better idea than that…

    1. Something’s gotta replace Centerra… Please god something…..

  2. Centera had issues early on as people started using it for things it was never designed for. It was supposed to be nothing more than an optical media replacement. 80% write 20% read.

    Then people started buying it and using it for 50% Write 50% read scenarios. It took some time to scale the performance but now the code quality is much better.

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