17 July 2003 Storage systems giant EMC is to unveil a utility computing strategy that will enable users to pay only for the storage they use.
The company plans to introduce a new service called OpenScale that will measure the amount of storage used, transmit that to EMC over the Internet and bill customers accordingly. The software will be launched before the end of the month.
EMC has been testing OpenScale for some time, said Tony Marzulli, vice president of open software marketing at EMC. “We have been doing this for some of our customers for almost a year,” he told CNet News.
Traditionally, EMC’s rivals IBM and HP have enabled customers to ‘turn on’ extra storage capacity, pre-loaded with the device, as and when they need it.
EMC’s OpenScale software will offer a more refined alternative. It monitors an organisation’s storage usage and reports back to EMC for billing — the more storage capacity deployed, the more users will pay.
OpenScale works with EMC’s Celerra, Clariion and Symmetrix arrays as well as its Connectrix switches. Hewlett-Packard (HP) is also developing a metered storage program that will work with the company’s own storage arrays.
Marzulli said that EMC has no plans to use the software to enable it to move into the outsourced storage services market.
However, the actual costs of such schemes for users remains shrouded in mystery, with vendors reluctant to reveal how much individual customers will pay as that would depend on a wide variety of factors, such as their credit rating and how big a customer they are.