OrionVM & TidalScale Unveil Unprecedented Performance for Big Data and Analytics via Cloud-Enabled Large DRAM Tiers

Unique technology partnership provides on-demand instances far larger than those available from ordinary cloud vendors

2017 Open Compute Summit, Santa Clara and San Francisco, Calif., March 7th, 2017 TidalScale, the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers, and OrionVM, an award-winning next-gen Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, today announced a partnership to deliver hosted TidalScale Software-Defined Servers via the OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Platform.

This partnership will give organizations struggling with Big Data, analytics and memory-intensive computing challenges on-demand access to a suite of TidalScale Software-Defined Servers ranging in capacity from 1.3TB to 13TB of DRAM and up to 400 cores. The large-scale Software-Defined Servers are assembled from standard physical server hardware running on the OrionVM Cloud Platform. These instances are far larger than any available from ordinary cloud vendors, yet they are available at lower cost per gigabyte of memory.

TidalScale’s HyperKernel™ software empowers OrionVM to easily aggregate processors, memory and storage into very large virtual servers. These Software-Defined Servers can flexibly scale to match the requirements of essentially any application, with no changes required to application software or operating systems.

Working closely with OrionVM, TidalScale is now able to provide an on-demand model for their Software-Defined Servers. This partnership allows for the easy deployment of traditional cloud infrastructure alongside the high memory TidalScale instances, all tightly interconnected by a high speed, low latency network.

“Through this partnership with TidalScale, we are now able to deliver very large memory virtual machines on demand by leveraging our Metal-as-a-Service products bundled with the TidalScale HyperKernel,” said Sheng Yeo, CEO, OrionVM. “The ability for OrionVM to use standard servers and assemble them into a Software-Defined Server of any size allows our customers to easily scale their application past the boundaries of a single physical machine – and well beyond the limits of servers available from AWS. The TidalScale HyperKernel on OrionVM’s Wholesale Cloud Platform makes it easy to run memory-intensive applications like data mining, machine learning and simulation in the cloud.”

“TidalScale’s ability to pool physical servers into a single virtual server is unique in the industry and provides breakthrough performance while requiring zero modifications to applications,” said Gary Smerdon, CEO, TidalScale. “Making the TidalScale service available via OrionVM’s innovative cloud technology will significantly reduce friction and complexity for a wide range of clients by eliminating the need to purchase their own hardware and manage a datacenter. This is by far the most cost-competitive solution available for running memory- or core-intensive applications natively on systems that well outclass ordinary servers.”

To learn more about the TidalScale offering, click here to schedule a free demo. TidalScale is a sponsor of the 2017 Open Compute Summit and will be exhibiting Wednesday and Thursday, March 8 and 9 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.

For more information on OrionVM, click here. Follow OrionVM on Twitter (@orionvm) and Facebook (


About TidalScale, Inc.: TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that simplify the way companies can apply computing resources to tackle big problems. TidalScale solutions deliver in-memory performance at any scale, are self-optimizing, use standard hardware and are compatible with all applications and operating systems. TidalScale is making it possible for more organizations to draw insights from big data faster, more easily, and with greater flexibility than ever before. Find out how TidalScale transforms the economics and time constraints of working with big data at

About OrionVM: OrionVM is a wholesale Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider. The company’s revolutionary technology suite (virtual storage, compute, orchestration and virtual networking) enables the delivery of high-performing, highly resilient cloud solutions at market-leading price-to-performance ratios. The OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Platform supports private, public, hybrid & bare-metal cloud deployments and is built either for internal consumption or resale. Global customers include tier-1 telcos, publicly listed SaaS companies, and government agencies. The OrionVM company headquarters are in Sydney, Australia and in the San Francisco Bay Area. More information can be found


TidalScale Contact: Chuck Piercey, Product Management, TidalScale, Inc. +1-650-492-6108

OrionVM Contact: Daniel Pfeiffer, VP Marketing & Partnerships, OrionVM +1-415-805-8030

OrionVM CTO and Co-Founder Named Hills Young Innovator of the Year For Cloud at 2014 iAwards

Alex Sharp, architect of ground-breaking next-gen IaaS platform, distinguished in premier technology awards program

OrionVM® (, a leading provider of wholesale Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and next-gen cloud technology, announced today that Alex Sharp, OrionVM Co-Founder and CTO, has received the Hills Young Innovator of the Year Award in the Cloud category at the 2014 iAwards. The iAwards is Australia’s premier technology innovation awards program for the ICT industry.

Alex Sharp accepting the Hills Young Innovator of the Year Award, CloudAlex and OrionVM CEO Sheng Yeo co-founded the company from a University of Technology Sydney dorm room in 2010. Together, they hatched an idea to build an IaaS company using a completely new technology blueprint. As CTO, Alex engineers and manages the innovations that keep OrionVM on the leading-edge of cloud computing. Alex drives OrionVM’s technical vision with a focus on simplicity in product design, and achieving extreme efficiency of the platform’s underlying architecture.

“I’m honoured to be a part of this inspiring group of talented young professionals,” said OrionVM Co-Founder and CTO Alex Sharp. “Innovation is more than just about making money, it’s about finding a path and doing something even when others tell you it cannot be done. Our team takes great pride in the hard-fought victories and tireless efforts needed to build a better cloud.”

OrionVM’s breakthrough Cloud 2.0 technology dramatically reduces the overall power and hardware footprint needed to produce enterprise cloud services by 50% or more. Software-defined networking and storage, modelled on supercomputers, fundamentally advances how stable, secure, and cost-effective premium cloud IT can now be built and deployed. With investment and technical validation from tech luminary Gordon Bell (founder of Microsoft Research), OrionVM is poised to completely disrupt the global IaaS market by enabling businesses to easily and affordably launch high-performing, enterprise-class cloud services. Global customers include Tier 1 telcos, large MSPs, and SaaS and PaaS vendors, with notable enterprise clients including Fastly®, D-Link®, and Vodafone®

The Hills Young Innovator iAward is a new addition to the Pioneer Domain of iAwards for 2014. The award recognises the most outstanding innovations from an individual 25 years or younger in three categories: Mobile, Big Data and Cloud. A $5000 cash prize was awarded in each category for the concept with the most innovative thought processes having the greatest potential for impact in the industry, irrespective of what stage of implementation has been achieved. The Hills Young Innovator of the Year was awarded to Elliot Smith (one of three winning entries) who received an additional $10,000 cash prize, taking the Hills Young Innovator of the Year winner’s prize money to $15,000 cash.

Submissions were judged by a panel of expert judges who shortlisted 15 finalists who were then mentored by the industry’s top employers. They worked together to develop and refine their innovation or idea and then delivered a final pitch to judges at NICTA’s TechFest in at the Melbourne Convention Centre on 28-29 August as part of the 2014 iAwards

The Hills Young Innovator of the Year is sponsored by Hills in alignment with their continued commitment to Australian innovation and inspired by the outstanding achievements of Lance Hill, who invented the Hills Hoist clothesline in 1945.

Hills Chief Technology Officer, Leica Ison said that she was delighted the company famous for the Hills Hoist was spearheading and supporting innovation in ICT.

“These young people have applied technology in clever ways to solve common problems. Their ideas and innovations are an incredibly promising sign of what’s to come for our sector,” Ison said.

For more information on OrionVM, please visit Details about the Hills Young Innovator of the Year iAwards and the list of winners and finalists in all categories are available at

About OrionVM®

OrionVM is a wholesale Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider. The company’s revolutionary technology suite (virtual storage, compute, orchestration and virtual networking) enables the delivery of high-performing, highly reliable cloud solutions at market-leading price-to-performance ratios. The OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Platform supports private, public, and hybrid cloud deployments and is built either for internal consumption or resale. Efficient and distributed enterprise-grade architecture allows clients to provide their own cloud offerings at margins of up to 80% off Amazon. Partners have full control—from a complete white-label rebranding to billing integration and flexible account management. OrionVM’s technical vision represents a fundamental advancement for Cloud 2.0 infrastructure, which inspired tech luminary, Gordon Bell, to become a company angel investor. Global customers include publicly listed telcos, IT service providers, and leading enterprise SaaS companies. OrionVM company headquarters are in Sydney Australia and in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit or follow the conversation on Twitter @orionvm.

About the iAwards

iAwards is the premier technology awards platform in Australia delivering the most comprehensive program that recognises the achievements and innovation made in ICT across all facets of the economy. The iAwards program’s goal is to provide external stakeholders from business, industry and government with a clear view of the people leading ICT in Australia and the quality of innovation being produced. The iAwards honours both companies at the cutting edge of technology innovation as well as leading professionals across the industry. Most importantly, the iAwards honours the achievements of home-grown Australian innovators. For more information, please visit or follow the conversation on Twitter @theiawards.

Behind the Curtain of OrionVM’s Next-Gen IaaS Platform

By now, you’ve probably seen a great deal about our IaaS platform making business sense. Our Wholesale Cloud Platform provides a turnkey cloud computing infrastructure you can use to launch your own cloud, complete with a white label rebrand, integrated account management and no CapEx.

We think it’s pretty cool. But how did we build it? How does the underlying technology work? Today we thought we would give you a look under the hood of our distinctive cloud architecture.

Industry standard

Firstly, we use the industry standard Xen Hypervisor to run your customer’s virtual machine instances. Xen is a microkernel hypervisor that allows us to run multiple instances on the same physical server, all with complete isolation and security. We host this equipment in our Equinix data centers around the world. Compared to other hypervisors, Xen provides the performance we were looking for, along with the rock solid reliability and security that our customers demand.

On most of our instances, we take advantage of a specific mode in Xen called PVHVM – which stands for Paravirtualised Drivers on HVM. This delivers the best of both worlds, the operating system support and CPU performance of HVM (Hardware Virtual Machine) with the Network and Disk performance of a PV (Paravirtualised) driver.

Utilizing Xen, we are able to run almost any operating system within our environment, including Linux, Windows Server and FreeBSD.

Logo of the Xen project

But then we do more!

For those well versed in Xen, IaaS and cloud infrastructure, none of what we’ve discussed so far may sound new. Where we differentiate ourselves from other cloud computing infrastructure or IaaS providers is our breakthrough, InfiniBand-backed architecture.

In traditional Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) systems, instance storage and compute are often physically located on different servers. Storage is placed in a storage area network (or SAN) cluster, and is connected to the compute nodes with some form of network (usually Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet). This design has worked reasonably well for Amazon’s IaaS platform, so other providers have tended to emulate it.

While this segregated approach sounds reasonable, easy to maintain and cost effective in theory, it comes with several shortcomings. Our intimate knowledge of Ethernet, informed even further with Gordon Bell‘s mentorship and investment in our platform, tells us it’s not ideal as a storage conduit. In a nutshell, the best-effort approach and variable latency of Ethernet was simply not designed for sustained, high speed, reliable data transfer. At the level it operates, it lacks the capacity to determine packet loss, link level flow control, and can’t be efficiently used to aggregate bandwidth.

This traditional, EC2-clone approach also turns out not to be that cost effective either. SAN controllers and drive arrays are substantial investments, which would have to be passed on to your customers. They also represent a single point of failure and create points of storage contention within the cluster. This all leads to inconsistent and slow performance, while still being relatively expensive.

Enter our world-class, high speed fabric

Rather than work around these issues, or retrofit existing infrastructure to fit as so many others have done, we redesigned the entire system from scratch and removed these issues from the equation entirely.

Firstly, our cloud infrastructure platform is built around a decentralized and distributed architecture. We utilize a homogeneous node architecture, where each node has compute, memory and storage assets. By utilizing homogeneous servers we are able to deliver greater performance at a reduced cost. Traditionally using direct attaches storage has introduced issues such as reduced flexibility and redundancy, but OrionVM has overcome this issue by utilizing a distributed storage architecture over InfiniBand, creating a virtual SAN across our cluster.

This architecture reduces latency, is more cost effective, and mitigates the points of contention and failure that Centralized SANs can cause. The virtual disk of each server can be mounted on any physical server (allowing us to move the instances around the cluster) and is also replicated across multiple servers for redundancy.

InfiniBand was designed specifically for low latency and sustained data transfer, making it perfect for a high performance cloud to be built on. Benchmarks and figures aside, it has also allowed us to design and develop some great features that regular Ethernet and Xen would not have afforded us.

Would you like a slice of “high-availability” with that?

With this redundant, decentralized InfiniBand fabric, we’re able to continuously replicate storage across several nodes while maintaining performance. It allows us to distribute storage efficiently across our cluster, as well as remove hot-spots without impacting performance for customers.

As for your instances, having network backed storage allows us to automatically migrate your instances to different nodes in the event of a physical server failure, rather than having to wait for a technician to enter a data center and perform recovery operations on a physical node.

This design drastically reduces downtime, simplifies the deployment of instances, and provides more immediate feedback to customers.


Great, so how can my cloud be administered?

This industry leading infrastructure is accessible for your customers through several channels.

Central to this is our completely pre-built web panel. When you deploy your cloud using our platform, you can customize the entire front facing experience your customers will have, including logos, colors, page layout and support links. See how an Australian Telco (AAPT) deployed their CONNECT system with us.

From this panel, your customers can create, administer and remove instances and their associated resources.

For simpler tasks, they can be up and running with one our predefined operating system templates in minutes, with only the RAM and storage space they require specified.

For more customized instances, clients are free to allocate storage and IP addresses and then pull them together into a new instance. Instances can be assigned storage and IP addresses during advanced configuration, or indeed any time they’re shut down. As you’re probably already aware, this elastic provisioning provides far more flexibility than traditional hosting providers.


So, there you have it. At OrionVM, we’re proud of what we’ve built and feel the unique combination of features and functionality can help you attain your cloud computing infrastructure goals. We look forward to seeing the solutions you build using the platform.

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