Gemini Mobile announced a test version of software for large-scale cloud service (Translation of businessnetwork.jp articles)

The very good article of "Cloudian" is posted in the Japanese web site of  businessnetwork.jp. Here is the translation of this article.

 Gemini Mobile announced a test version of software for large-scale cloud service
writer: Hiroshi Isobe (Editorial Office)
date: Mar 14, 2011

 Gemini Mobile Technologies, a company that provides messaging software for telecom operators (herein after "Gemini") developed and started to provide on Mar 11, 2011 a test version of software, called "Cloudian", for Internet service providers (ISP's) and cloud service providers (CSP's) to build large-scale distributed systems.

 Cloudian is a package of software to provide a flexible operating system for multiple customers to use a large-scale, Amazon S3 based, distributed storage system. It can support flexible service by assigning storage as required and providing volume-based billing capabilities. Its storage is scalable from only two PC's to hundreds of PC's across multiple data centers. Users can assign which data to be stored in which storage area. Also, private storage clusters can be easily configured as per service level agreement (SLA) per user.

 This type of storage is generally called "on-demand cloud storage." The most recognized example is "Amazon S3" provided by Amazon.com. On-demand cloud storage is characterized with an service operation to allow multiple users to use a part of storage whenever necessary and pay for what they have used. It is indeed a core menu of huge public cloud service provided by Amazon.com and Google.

 In Japan, however, many cloud services provided in the country are in effect similar with "hosting", "ASP" and "SaaS" services and not publicly shared on-demand cloud storage as provided by major web services in the US, e.g., Amazon.com, Google, and Facebook. Typically cloud service in Japan is meant to have IT systems of big companies in data centers or to allocate hardware assets, e.g., servers, to each customer (tenant) for their use. Such approach in Japan is often complained for costly initial investment and fixed fees, regardless of actual usage.

 In this background, recently there were two announcements in 2011, which would suggest full-fledged takeoff of Amazon-like, on-demand cloud storage in Japan. One was made by Amazon.com themselves. They announced the operation of a data center for cloud service in Japan. Amazon S3 already has a number of users in Japan. Until today data had to be physically stored in data centers outside Japan, which was the cause of concern about information management and latency among Japanese users. Now that they have a data center in Japan to wipe away these concerns, their opportunity to drive the usage in Japan is higher than ever.

 Another announcement was made by IIJ (Internet Initiative Japan) on "IIJ GIO storage service FV/S" (a beta program for test), a cloud storage service with API of HTTPS/REST interface (equivalent to Amazon S3). The service is based on volume charge and is expected to grow into one that can vie with Amazon S3.
 Cloudian announced by Gemini is believed to be good news for ISP's and CSP's who would like to start similar service with these cloud services.

Cloudian supports Amazon S3, and users can use Amazon S3 REST API. There are a growing number of web services that use Amazon S3 REST API in Japan, too. Gemini says Cloudian can help drastic reduction of development by allowing users to use the software without change to their existing applications.

 In the back end, Cloudian can use highly performing (data processing), scalable, available, NOSQL (Not Only SQL) databases. Currently it supports Cassandra database. Gemini also developed a log analysis system for real-time, large log collection, storage and analysis by using Cassandra (Flume-Cassandra Real-time Log Processor) and started to provide it as open source software last week, which is already gathering attentions in the community. In the future Gemini plans to also support Hibari, a NOSQL database developed by Gemini, and other NOSQL databases as well as their native API's on Cloudian.

 Cloudian package configuration