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Private Cloud Storage with a Fedora Repository Plug-in: TierraCloud launches HC2 Open Source Project

Ithaca, NY All the reasons that make working with open source software appealing–collaborative community approaches to solutions, ongoing improvement, transparency, decentralization–are gaining traction in open storage markets as well. In particular elasticity–being able to add large storage capacity on demand–is valued by organizations and businesses that need rapid solutions for housing expanding data.

TierraCloud ( is a Bangalore-based company with engineering and business contributors located in the US and Europe offering software to enable full-featured low-cost Private Cloud Storage deployment.  TierraCloud launched the HC2 Open Source Project, an open source solution for private cloud computing that enables enterprise class Private Cloud Storage with a Fedora Repository plug-in, at the VMworld 2010 Conference earlier this week.

HC2 Open Source Source Code Licensed under GPLv2, Contains BSD Licensed Code from Sun’s Project Honeycomb. The following press release is from Gail Truman, Truman Technologies:

Web2.0s have invented a new storage architecture that runs on industry standard x86 servers using sophisticated software to create extremely reliable and scalable storage systems. This architecture, that may be called Private Cloud Storage, is so compelling that enterprises will have no option but to use it. Although enterprise storage architectures have been fairly stable since the mid 80’s with external block and file storage, TierraCloud expects these architectures will undergo a sea-change in the next decade.

“Current mainstream solutions are ill-suited to address new private cloud storage requirements” said Sriram Rupanagunta, founder of TierraCloud. “Acquisition cost, management cost, scalability and reliability are the key requirements. With HC2’s unique advantages in the areas of automated data management, extreme data mobility, and ability to run third-party storage apps, the total-cost-of-ownership will get slashed by 10x.”

Initially enterprises are expected to implement private cloud storage for secondary storage use-cases such as preservation, archival and backup. TierraCloud estimates the secondary storage software only component is a $5.5B market. Enterprises such as digital libraries, life-science institutions, photo sites, film studios, HADOOP users, governments, mapping organizations, law firms and others are generating more and more digital content every day. With storage IT costs projected to double to 30% of all IT costs, there simply is no viable alternative other than approaches such as HC2.

“TierraCloud’s software-only, hardware-agnostic HC2 open source project extends the philosophy of the OpenSolaris Honeycomb project that was launched in 2007,” said Anne MacFarland, Senior Contributing Analyst at The Clipper Group, Inc. “HC2 continues to fulfill the particular requirements of archives, such as integrity checking and immutability, and is congruent with the OAIS archival model. However, in this incarnation, the underlying media can be heterogeneous and the cells of HC2 can be geographically dispersed. Rampantly expanded ambitions for very large scale data repositories can be expected.”

“It has become clear that data curation will require distributed storage and application frameworks,” said Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean of University Libraries at Johns Hopkins University. “No single institution can develop the comprehensive, necessary infrastructure to preserve and provide access to the large amount of data being generated by all disciplines ranging from the sciences to the humanities. HC2’s emphasis on hardware choices, geographically distributed data and open-source software is compelling. Most institutions will be eager to experiment with private cloud storage and HC2 represents a useful option in this regard.”

The key benefits of HC2 are:

Advanced open-source object-store that runs on x86 servers: In addition to being much less expensive than proprietary hardware, this allows customers to choose best-of-breed hardware that meets their unique requirements.

Automated data management: Even though there have been a number of substantial improvements to external block and file storage, storage management practices are more or less constant since their advent. With innovations in the areas of load balancing, self-healing, programmatic APIs, meta-data, data integrity guarantees, immutability, flat name-space and single management entity, HC2 promises to automate or simplify storage management operations stable since the 80s.

Extreme Data Mobility: A storage system built using HC2 has two levels of hierarchies. Multiple storage nodes make up a cell, and multiple cells make up a hive. The architecture allows for heterogeneous cells that are geographically separated thus allowing operations such as cloud-bursting, ILM, geographic replication, dispersal (community cloud storage).

Ability to run 3rd Party Storage Apps: Storage apps are light weight applications that operate on the data e.g. long term data integrity checking (built-in app called “Data Doctor”), transcoding, virus scans, search, format conversions, equivalency check, meta-data extraction etc. The HC2 architecture allows for 3rd party storage apps. A combination of HC2 plus 3rd party apps promises to exceed the functionality of any proprietary solution available.

What End-users are Saying about HC2

Oxford University

“The rise of the Web and, more recently, the Semantic Web, has driven the rapid growth of digital libraries and archives to preserve and share the vast volumes of research and governmental data that is now being generated,” said Neil Jefferies, R&D Project Manager Bodleian Libraries of Oxford University. “The Bodleian Library already holds millions of digital objects running into hundreds of terabytes and anticipates increasing growth into the future. To effectively meet these requirements, storage needs to become smarter and more abstracted, combining scalability, resilience and low latency with a level of content-awareness. HC2 is poised to become exemplar of this approach.”

University of Geneva

“The HC2 project brings about clever cloud concepts, which open up new perspectives in data management whenever distributed processing and OAIS-compliant archiving of multi-component objects are both desired,” said Pierre-Yves Burgi, Head of ICT Unit at University of Geneva.

University of Southampton

“The paradigm of cloud computing is now beginning to make its way into standard organisational practice,” said David Tarrant, Research Fellow at University of Southampton.”Here an organisation uses commodity hardware to build a single cloud of services, expandable on demand. HC2’s vision represents a leap forward in storage technology in the cloud, a RAID on steroids, where your data is not just safe from disk failure but can also be geographically located providing disaster recovery. Along with load balancing, no single point of failure and storage apps services, HC2 is a technology worth watching.”

Other emerging solutions are also trying to solve the same problem as HC2. This project though, brings a set of powerful differentiators that sets it ahead from alternatives. In summary,

  • HC2 is an open-source software-only path to build enterprise class cloud storage
  • HC2 is the only architecture that allows for extreme data mobility and 3rd party storage applications

Source code for the first release of HC2 is now available on TierraCloud’s web-site under a GPLv2 license and contains BSD licensed code from the Sun Microsystem, Inc. Project Honeycomb. The alpha release is feature complete undergoing quality assurance testing. The release supports Duraspace Fedora Commons and EPrints repositories.

Follow TierraCloud @

About TierraCloud

TierraCloud Technologies, Pvt. Ltd. is the main contributor to the HC2 open-source project. TierraCloud’s goal is to provide software support and services to enable enterprise class private cloud storage and slash storage management costs by 10x. TierraCloud is based in Bangalore, India and funded by leading storage-industry angel investors. For more information, visit

SOURCE: TierraCloud Technologies, Pvt. Ltd.

CONTACT: TierraCloud Technologies, Pvt. Ltd. (