The Planet, which hosts servers and applications for its customers, is adding a cloud-based storage service to its offerings based on a new partnership with cloud storage provider Nirvanix. Nirvanix came out of stealth last fall, claiming it could offer better performance than established cloud players like Amazon S3. The reason was because it is constructing a global network of storage “nodes” based on the way Web content delivery systems work: by moving the storage and processing power closer to the user, cutting down on network latency.
With this agreement, The Planet is making one of its Texas data centers a new Nirvanix node, bringing the storage cloud to its existing hosting customers. The Planet will also be opening up the new infrastructure to non-hosted, storage-only customers in 1Q 2009, according to Rob Walters, general manager of the storage and data protection business unit at The Planet.
The Planet will join an already crowded cloud storage market which includes big players like EMC and Amazon. According to Walters, one differentiator between The Planet’s and Amazon’s cloud offerings is that the Planet will not charge for “requests” to the cloud file system in addition to capacity and bandwidth charges, which Amazon does for some of its services. “Stripping it down to bandwidth and capacity is a big piece of our value-add,” he said.