ClearSky Data offers a multi-tier hybrid storage solution as a fully managed service. ClearSky simplifies enterprise storage by using their patented Smart Tiered Caching technology which continually categorizes customer data (hot, warm, cold) and places it in the appropriate cache layer, with the least used data landing in the lowest cost tier.
The benefit of the service is that customers can reduce cost by distributing data across these tiers, with the data they need most stored nearby, the “warm” data stored in a co-location facility within 120 miles, and the “cold” data stored on Amazon S3. All of this is done automatically using software that moves data between the tiers based on usage patterns, policy, and customer requirements.
ClearSky Data has raised a total of $39 million in equity funding so far, including a $27 million Series B in late 2015, just a few months after exiting stealth. Investors include Polaris Partners, Akamai Technologies, and Highland Capital Partners.
ClearSky Data operates a global storage network that consists of 3 tiers; hot, warm, and cold. The most used data stays on an appliance in the customer data center nearby. The second tier consists of POPs managed by ClearSky that will be located within 120 miles of the customer and offer less than 2ms of latency from those POPs. The third tier is a low cost managed cloud service where the rarely used data will site. As of now they are partnered with AWS S3, but plan to add support for other public clouds soon.
ClearSky has not been very public about their own POP locations so far. As of late 2015, the company had data center locations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas with plans to expand into Europe in 2016.
ClearSky Data Pricing
Pricing for ClearSky’s managed service is custom and you’ll need to contact the company directly to get a quote. They do not share any pricing publicly, but they do claim that the total cost of ownership of storing data using ClearSky is about 1/3 the cost of managing it in a company’s data center or on physical storage arrays.
Backup and Restore
The ClearSky architecture moves all data to the cloud as part of the write process so there is no need to back it up later or manage a separate backup system. This also eliminates the need for on-site RAID storage to preserve multiple copies of data.
ClearSky’s Smart Tiered Caching technology has inherent disaster protection built in. If the edge cache is ever lost, ClearSky will perform as if all data is located in a nearby POP. If a POP is lost, data is then retrieved from the cloud. This gives customers several layers of protection against data loss in the event of a failure.
Security is becoming more important to the enterprise every day. That’s why ClearSky provides several layers of protection for customer data.
First, data is encrypted when it enters the ClearSky service and remains encrypted throughout the network. ClearSky can never see the customer data and neither can anyone else.
Multi-factor authentication is also required to access the customer dashboard.
Finally, a single point of ingress & egress ensures there are no “back doors” into the service, and there are no entry points for ClearSky to enter the network.