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Object storage specialist Cloudian has upgraded its HyperStore storage software to allow customers greater granularity of control over data protection, including the ability to constrain data to specific countries or even datacentres for compliance reasons.
The company has also upgraded its HyperStore appliances, designating them the FL3000 series.
The key software changes in the upgrade to version 5.2 of HyperStore delivers the ability for customers to assign levels of data protection via erasure coding, specifying the number of copies required and the frequency of replication – whether the consistency of data between copies is instantaneous or eventual.
To meet compliance requirements customers can also decide where copies of data are held – by specific country, region or datacentre, for example.
Cloudian is object storage based on the Apache Cassandra open-source distributed database. It can come as storage software that customers can deploy on commodity hardware to create a peer-to-peer private cloud with multi-tenancy functionality that allows access to many users while looking like their own domain.
It is accessed via the network file system (NFS) file access protocol and provides interfaces to Amazon S3 and other cloud services that can be used as a tier of storage off-premise.
Object storage is an emerging method of data retention. It doesn’t aim to compete with the highest performance block and file storage methods, but is well suited to large volumes of unstructured and, in some cases – such as with Cloudian – structured data.
In place of the traditional tree-like file system structure, object storage uses a flat structure with files given unique identifiers, something like the domain name system (DNS) on the internet. Those identifiers also contain metadata that allows for indexing of searches and data that can be interrogated for analysis purposes.
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Read more about object storage
- All but one of the big six storage suppliers have object storage products that target public and private cloud environments and/or archiving use cases.
- Object storage from specialist suppliers aims at cloud, archiving, high-performance computing and big data, with products that vary by features and between hardware and software-only products.
Cloudian chief marketing officer Paul Turner described the customers the company targets as those with the need for long-term retention of structured and unstructured data that may want to carry out big data-style analysis.
“We’re not competing with high-performance I/O storage. Cloudian is a NAS [network-attached storage] replacement optimised for bulk content – backup, archive, media content, long-term retention of patient databases, etc. It is object storage because it allows metadata, which is useful in that it allows for self-describing data. It’s indexed and the value is in being able to interrogate that data.”
Like most object storage products, Cloudian uses erasure coding, which makes multiple (often three) copies of data and distributes it across locations. Should any one portion of the data fail it can be reconstructed from information held elsewhere in the system.
Cloudian has also announced a rebranding of its HyperStore appliance hardware. These are now the FL3000 series – Forever Live – and come in 4U with eight micro-blade servers plus disk capacity of up to 480TB. Up to 3.84PB can be accommodated in a rack.
The distributed nature of Cloudian object storage allows users to upgrade nodes without disruption and the software automatically rebalances data between the new configuration.