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Natick’s TwinStrata unveils their Innovative and Pioneering Enterprise Cloud Storage Solutions today at NYC’s Cloud Expo April 20, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Cloud Computing, Products, Startups, Supercomputing, Venture Capital.
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(TwinStrata is part of EMC Velocity Atmos Partner Program, enabling Intelligent Storage Clouds)

TwinStrata, Inc., founded in 2007 and based in Natick, Massachusetts, debuts today at the Cloud Expo in NYC with its vision for intelligent storage cloudsolutions. Taking an innovative approach, the company is bringing to market cloud storage enablement software solutions to help mid-sized companies in a variety of industries address challenges related to protecting and managing the growth of business application data.

twinstrata logo

The software company develops software products for planning and deployment of data availability solutions. It offers CloudArray software, a software-based iSCSI cloud storage data gateway that presents block-based storage to applications, provides solution to protect and store data, and supports data protection and archiving applications; PHD Virtual esXpress and Vizioncore vRanger Pro data protection platform for backup, recovery, and data archiving; and Veeam backup and replication solutions. The company also provides Clarity AP assessment and planning software for disaster recovery assessment and planning. TwinStrata, Inc. solutions provide application connectivity to private and public cloud storage by delivering a software data gateway to enable integration with in-house information technology (IT) and data availability. It offers its products through a network of IT service providers, systems integrators, original equipment manufacturers, and direct to end users, as well as through its Website.

TwinStrata is a market innovator producing storage solutions for the data center enabling application data flexibility and agility for today’s business needs and tomorrow’s growth. Its flagship product, CloudArray software, enables companies to take advantage of dynamic and cost effective Cloud storage resources and accommodate application data growth with little to no capital investment in IT infrastructure. TwinStrata solutions are designed to meet the needs of mid-sized businesses on up to large enterprise infrastructures.

TwinStrata offers its products through a network of IT service providers, systems integrators, OEMs, direct to end users and through its own Website. TwinStrata is a privately held software company with offices in Natick, Massachusetts that brings together years of expertise in enterprise storage systems.

TwinStrata is a pioneer in the Cloud Storage Enablement (CSE) market with the industry’s first purpose-built architecture and software solution to enable Intelligent Storage Clouds (ISC). ISC deliver simple, affordable and secure storage solutions to enterprise environments. TwinStrata’s solutions address the business need for on-demand IT services, providing new levels of business agility, efficiency, IT alignment and cost management for protecting and managing the growth of business application data. For more information about TwinStrata:

Web: http://www.twinstrata.com Blog: http://blog.twinstrata.com

Operational Challenges of Data Management

Today’s IT data management teams are tasked with selecting solutions that maintain the integrity and availability of data, especially higher value data related to business critical applications. Storage-related solutions need to easily and quickly scale to accommodate future data growth and not require capital intensive upgrades when capacity limits are reached. They must support multiple data formats for all types of business applications. In addition, companies should understand the impact an application outage will have on each line-of-business or on the company as a whole in order to implement appropriate data recovery operations.

Cloud Technology Ecosystems

To help companies achieve business agility and efficiency, IT alignment and cost management, several ecosystems started by industry-leading vendors have emerged. EMC with its EMC Atmos Velocity Program and Amazon with its Amazon Web Services are each an example of an ecosystem of solution providers developing cloud enablement solutions that leverage their respective cloud services. These ecosystems will have a significant impact on storage cloud adoption.

Corporations using solutions from these ecosystems benefit from the cloud. They can now instantly respond to changing business requirements by taking advantage of an adaptable infrastructure and adding resources as needed. Storage cloud infrastructures eliminate lengthy change management cycles when bringing new storage infrastructure online and optimize IT administrative processes to drive efficiency and improve staff productivity.

“Cloud enablement solutions, like the one TwinStrata offers, will help accelerate corporate cloud storage adoption,” said Terri McClure, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Companies can realize the availability, security and performance characteristics of local storage, without the capital investment and overhead of housing and managing storage themselves.”

“TwinStrata is working with customers around the world and with industry-leading global technology companies to define and develop intelligent storage cloud architectures and solutions,” said TwinStrata CEO & Co-Founder Nicos Vekiarides.

“The EMC Velocity2 Atmos Partner Program demonstrates our commitment to deliver innovative storage solutions that address the growing needs of our partners seeking to leverage cloud infrastructure. We believe there is an opportunity and approach to cloud storage that delivers financial and functional benefits to both our Partners and the Customers they serve,” said Mike Feinberg, Senior Vice President of EMC Cloud Infrastructure Group. “By making our cloud infrastructure accessible and allowing easy API integration, we enable our partners to develop cloud enablement solutions to help customers realize business agility, drive IT operational efficiency, and improve cost controls. We are pleased to work with TwinStrata to embrace and deliver real-world business value to our joint customers, globally.”

Intelligent Storage Cloud, Cloud Enablement Solutions

Intelligent storage clouds consist of storage-as-a-service offerings combined with intelligent cloud storage enablement solutions. Cloud storage enablement solutions address the primary concerns that users have expressed regarding enterprise IT adoption of cloud storage solutions and deliver the following features:

    – Compute Anywhere™ application accessibility: on/off-premise, in the cloud.

    – Non-disruptive integration with business applications.

    – Support for all industry file systems and block-level access.

    – Intelligent caching architecture that delivers local performance.

    – Support for virtual and physical IT environments.

    – Ease of deployment, ability to manage in self-service manner via UI, CLI and API.

    – Local and cloud data copies, zero-footprint snapshots.

    – Encryption for security.

    – Bandwidth savings via caching, compression, deduplication.

    – Support for multiple cloud providers, with data mobility across providers.

    – Support for providers that offer SLAs for regulatory & compliance requirements.

TwinStrata Management Team:

    Nicos Vekiarides, CEO

    John Bates, CTO

    Patrick Davenport, VP Business Development

    Nicholas Kourtis, VP Operations

    John Bates, CTO

    Craig Halliwell, VP Sales

    Robert Infantino, Senior Corporate Advisor

TwinStrata, Intelligent Storage Cloud, Cloud Enablement Solutions, Ecosystem, Manage Business Application Data, Compute Anywhere Application Accessibility, “Secure, Anywhere, Anytime Application Accessibility”

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Natick’s Nasuni, cloud storage product vendor, raises $8 Million December 23, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Startups, Venture Capital.
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Natick’s Nasuni, a developer of a cloud storage product, raises $8 Million in a Series A round of equity financing from a group of investors including North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Partners.

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Lowell based Kadient, on demand sales apps maker, names Authoria Inc. veteran Elizabeth Ricci Senior VP of Products November 23, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Cloud Computing, Software, Staffing & Recruiting.
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Lowell, MA -based Kadient, a maker of on demand sales enablement applications, has named Authoria Inc. veteran Elizabeth Ricci Senior VP of Products. Elizabeth was formerly Senior Vice President of Products at Authoria.

Needham MA based Chargify, recurring billing tools provider, has named Lance Walley CEO November 17, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Cloud Computing, Software, Staffing & Recruiting.
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Needham MA based Chargify, recurring billing tools provider, has named Lance Walley CEO. Lance was formerly CEO of Engine Yard, which he co-founded. Engine Yard provides Ruby-on-Rails applications hosting “In the cloud”.

Waltham MA based Axeda raises $9 Million from JMI Equity & MMV Financial November 2, 2009

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Axeda, the Waltham, MA-based startup that makes a cloud-based system for wireless tracking of company assets, announced this month that it had completed a $5 million Series B funding round led by JMI Equity of San Diego and Baltimore. At the same time, the company announced that it had raised $4 million in venture debt from MMV Financial of Toronto.

Burlington, MA-based Exa sells Supercomputing as an on-demand service in the Cloud June 8, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Supercomputing.
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Burlington, MA-based Exa sells supercomputing cycles as a Cloud service over the Internet.

Exa is a privately held 170-person outfit in burlington, MA that sells supercomputer time by the slice. The company was launched in 1992 by selling fluid dynamics simulation software one of its MIT founders created while a professor there.

The company owns a network of 3,500 Intel and AMD-based servers and has the capability to rent thousands more. These servers are housed by IBM in their Poughkeepsie, NY data center.

Exa charges around a dollar per processor core per hour for the supercomputer time, which is offered over the Internet using Exa’s modeling software as a “Cloud computing” option, much as Google lets users access documents and spreadsheets over the web or Amazon’s EC2 service rents out simple processing and storage capability.

Exa’s had revenues of $34 million in 2008, with on-demand supercomputer services accounting for $10.5 MM, up from 48% in 2007. Software sales grew a mere 13% to $21 million last year.

Selling supercomputing as a service is still just a tiny fraction of the $9.8 billion market for high-performance computing. But others such as oil-services firm Schlumberger are also selling supercomputing services to a select client base and industry vertical.

Exa has several customers with “bursty” supercomputing needs, such as Dodge and Peugeot, the U.S. National Bobsled Team, and tractor manufacturer Agco.

What the Heck is a MPLS NGN? April 14, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Fiber Optics, Telecommunications.
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Ever since I heard of MPLS NGN, I have been excited about the potential for the latest backbone networking technology and wanted to find out more about it. After reading through several books on MPLS NGNs, their architecture, the advantages, and what their potential for ILEC provisoners as well as CLEC access providers truly is, I think I am ready to outline the definition of a MPLS NGN, describe in an extremely non-technical way how they work, what they do, and what kinds of services they will enable in the future. I also try and expand just a bit on why I think they are so important, and what kinds of traditional weakness and deficiencies is the networks that have gone before they are able to address. And addressing on the fly is really at the heart of what a MPLS NGN does so well: 

General Architecture of a Multiprotocol Label Switching, Next Generation Network

MPLS is an acronym for Multiprotocol Label Switching. A NGN is a Next Generation Network. 

MPLS was created to address the weaknesses in traditional IP networks. Please recall that IP was designed to support “best effort” services. In other words, routers contain no inherent perception of the existence of or proper functioning of connections or rings; they see the ports and addresses that are available to their discovery via priority cues and routing tables. Simply put, IP routing lacks intelligence. So-called “Least cost” routing was designed to conduct traffic along the network using the shortest possible number of hops, which means traffic on the network could potentially take shorter, congested paths rather than the potentially more efficient longer, uncongested paths, leading to network “hotspots” and degrading network performance.

The MPLS environment, which has been gaining increased attention, was born out of Cisco’s tag switching. MPLS was originally proposed by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in 1997, with the core specifications being finalized in 2000. MPLS’s ability to plot static paths through an IP network gives service providers the traffic-engineering ability they crave, and the capability for provisioning (in the telecom sense of that word) VPNs is greatly strengthened. In fact, MPLS provides a very solid base for VPNs – and with increased capability for traffic engineering, service providers are able to tightly control and maintain QoS as well as optimize network utilization.

Although technically not an IP network, despite the fact that it can run in routers and uses IP routing protocols like OSPF and IS-IS, MPLS is one of the most significant developments in IP. To truly understand why this is, you also need to know that although it can also use repurposed ATM switch hardware, MPLS is, again technically, not an ATM network. 

MPLS is another type of network entirely: MPLS is a service-enabling technology. Think of MPLS like a general purpose, tunneling technology. As such, it is capable of carrying both IP and non-IP payloads. It uses what is called “label switching” to transport cells or packets over any data link layer throughout the network.

Much like the inband and out-of-band signaling on the PSTN, MPLS separates the forwarding, or transport, plane from the control plane. By so doing, it enables the capability to run the control plane on devices which cannot actually understand IP or recognize the boundaries of incoming packets. MPLS itself is an encapsulating protocol that has the ability to transport a number of other protocols. These protocols are encapsulated with a label that at each hop is swapped. The label is a number, or UID (Unique Identifier) that identifies a set of data flows along a particular logical link. They are only of local significance and they must change as a packets follow along a predetermined path – they literally switch.

MPLS’s potential to untie IP and optical switching under one route-provisioning umbrella is of great benefit, but it was designed to address two problems inherent in IP networks: IP sends all traffic over the same route between two points, and it cannot absolutely guarantee network resources, because as you will recall, IP is a connectionless protocol. These two shortcomings, in times of heavy network traffic, lead to some routes becoming underutilized while others become congested. Lacking control over the routing assignments, the provider cannot steer traffic from congested to less busy routes. So one key differentiator between IP and MPLS is the simple fact the MPLS networks can steer packets between two points along different paths depending upon their switching MPLS labels.

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