The spreadsheet of cloud computing. That's how cloud infrastructure/Big Data analytics
provider Joyent is describing its new Manta Storage Service, a scalable, distributed-object storage service with integrated computing. It runs analytics on Big Data stored in the cloud and could become one of cloud computing's killer apps.
On Tuesday, the San Francisco-based Joyent announced its new service, a next-gen cloud object store and data services platform that allows pay-as-you-go utility analysis of unstructured data, without the need to manage infrastructure or move data. The company said that Manta allows companies to process Big Data faster, more easily, more securely and for less cost than previously.
The service is designed for such computing tasks as log analysis, search index generation, financial analysis and other such data-heavy tasks, without the need to move large amounts of data or to set up hardware or software. Joyent utilizes operating system virtualization, so that OS instances can run applications where the data is stored, eliminating the need to move the data from its object storage in order to conduct analysis. As Joyent Vice President of Engineering Bryan Cantrill told news media, "the code is smaller than the data, so it makes sense to bring the code to the data."
Pricing by the Second
Joyent said that the ease with which analysis can be conducted means that developers, administrators and others can ask a variety of ad-hoc questions that they wouldn't have been able to do otherwise because of the logistical requirements and cost.
It noted that a simple Web API call "replaces the need for spinning up instances," and developers or administrators can utilize Python, node.js, R, Perl, Ruby, Java, C/C++, ffmpeg, grep, awk and others. Pricing is by the second, and there are no provisioning, data movement or scheduling latency charges.
Laura DiDio, an analyst with Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, said that this availability of computing with object storage is "where the industry is going," and added that Joyent is "playing at the leading edge of the market."
'On Its Head'
President and CEO Henry Wasik said in a statement that the Manta Service "ushers in a new era of innovation in data storage and analytics, as it takes a process that was once prohibitively expensive and time-consuming and completely turns it on its head."
The company noted that industry research firm Gartner has reported 80 percent of enterprise data is unstructured, and it is growing at more than 40 percent every year. By removing the need for frameworks and clustering that large amounts of unstructured data usually require, the company said, the service is providing an object store with fine-grained replication controls, no limits on object size, per-object replication policies, and a file-system-like namespace, including directory queries.
Joyent also said that, to accommodate the ability of enterprise customers to easily and securely manage data from existing network-attached storage, backup and archive storage solutions, it has partnered with Panzura, a data storage management company, so that large volumes of unstructured data can be readily moved.