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Using the Cloud is getting cheaper all the time. And it should get cheaper with the announcement by Softlayer (news, site), a provider of on-demand virtual data center services, as it starts to deploy Isilon’s (news, site) scale-out NAS to power its cloud infrastructure.

While neither company is exactly new, the combination of the two products will allow Softlayer to offer its enterprise clients scalable storage according to their needs. What this means is that enterprises will really only have to pay for what they use.

Anyone that has looked at the possibility of pay-as-you go options will be aware that there are a number of them on the market, but this offering is lockstepped into customer demand, which means your storage space is fitted exactly to your needs.

Softlayer And The Cloud

SoftLayer has been racking hardware together in secure locations across America since 2005 for remote access by enterprise users. In keeping with this, SoftLayer has picked the appropriate title of CloudLayer for its range of new services to ensure CIOs know exactly what it is selling.

Highly scalable, clients can get as much storage, bandwidth and processing power as required from SoftLayer. Besides operating as stand-alone solutions, every CloudLayer service can interface with SoftLayer’s dedicated servers and automated services to create a fully integrated system.

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The Softlayer Cloud

Computing costs go from US$ 99 for a single core, 1GB RAM and 100GB of storage to US$ 299 for eight cores, 8GB RAM and 100GB storage. Plain storage goes from just US$ 10 for 50GB.

Isilon Scale-out NAS

However with the introduction of scale-out NAS and its OneFS operating system even these costs could be reduced again. By deploying Isilon's scale-out NAS, Softlayer has unified all of its cloud-based operations onto a single high performance pool of storage and increased efficiency across storage facilities in three geographically disparate regions.

Scale-out NAS is part of Isilon’s fifth-generation storage , which gives enterprises easy-to-manage storage infrastructure at reduced capital and operational expenditures.

Designed to seamlessly scale on-the-fly as business needs dictate, it can add hundreds of terabytes of storage in just minutes.

Users can take on larger projects immediately, creating new and more content, and perform more in-depth research by instantly scaling storage performance and/or capacity -- all without requiring additional IT staff.

Once racked, Isilon says you can have a cluster online in less than 10 minutes without having to use integration services. And every Isilon cluster is a single pool of storage with a global namespace, eliminating the need to support multiple volumes and file systems.

At the heart of it is Isilon's OneFS operating system, which is behind all Isilon IQ scale-out NAS solutions, which pulls every system component, or node, into a seamless, unified system.

Softlayer itself admits that before the introduction of Isilon Scale-out NAS, they were not properly able to deliver scalable storage according to enterprise need. With this new storage system they can. It will be interesting to see how this is reflected in storage pricing once it is fully in gear.