Mr. Robin Harris, a highly respected storage industry analyst wrote a succinct blog about Zettar last Friday. His well-read blog immediately generated many comments, both on his blog, and elsewhere on other blogs.
In the past several days, I have observed a few common misunderstandings about Zettar Inc. and what it strives to accomplish. In this blog, I would like to clarify them:
Some parties raised the point that there are other implementations that duplicates the server side of AWS S3, for example, a commenter in @robin’s blog. Nevertheless, as I pointed out in my follow-up, the sandbox is just a prelude of what are coming soon. We have actually duplicated more than just AWS S3.
Our focus has always been to resolve the three big issues that CIOs face/will be facing should they move to object storage: (1) lack of standards (2) vendor lock-in and (3) availability issues. If a software just offers AWS S3 compatibility (e.g. ParkPlace, Eucalyptus’ Walrus) or something new (e.g. OpenStack), how does a CIO deal with the above three issues?
Zettar’s virtual file system, as explicitly pointed out by @robin, frontends multiple object storage clouds concurrently, not just AWS S3. This is a critical difference.
The design and implementation is motivated again by our desire to resolve the three big CIO concerns mentioned above. If a file system only frontends AWS S3, then IMHO it’s insufficient.
We at Zettar strive to provide solutions, instead of just technologies or software that have to be assembled by end users. Even the modest-looking sandbox includes professional documentation, packaging, management features, polished interface, proven robustness, and after sales support that a business user needs.
Some parties consider our published benchmark unfair. Note that our benchmark page made it very clear what our test hosts were: hardware, OS, number of CPUs, clock speed, RAM, network connection speed and more.
Furthermore, we stated explicitly that identical tests were performed both for the EC2/S3 combo and our own setup. As much as possible, we have tried to make the comparison valid.
One blogger considered that using a notebook for our efficiency benchmark to be pointless. In fact, that’s exactly an important point we wish to make: having a local sandbox gives developers the freedom to develop, test, and stage cloud applications even in the comfort and convenience of your own notebook – Internet connection is optional.
In the meantime, should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them either here or in our forums.