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OSNexus unlocks Ceph object storage in QuantaStor v4

Software-defined storage maker OSNexus adds Ceph-based object storage to its QuantaStor product, adding it to block and file storage from ZFS, Gluster and Ceph

Software-defined storage supplier OSNexus has added Ceph-based object storage capability to QuantaStor that sits alongside file and block access in the software product.

Previously, OSNexus offered only block and file storage functionality, but with version 4 of its QuantaStor product it now includes object storage capability.

OSNexus used to offer file access storage via ZFS and scale-out file access via Gluster, while block storage came via Ceph. Now, OSNexus has enabled object storage functionality in Ceph.

OSNexus comes as software-defined storage for deployment on commodity x86 servers or as a virtual appliance and can be scaled up to 64 nodes.

It decided on an approach that sees it incorporate existing file systems into its software stack, said CEO Steve Umbehocker.

“Rather than invent a file system, we’re taking standards that exist in open source and customers are not locked into hardware,” said Umbehocker.

Ceph object capability is managed from a web-style GUI that allows the customer to format grids of QuantaStor nodes and create Ceph clusters. QuantaStor clusters can comprise groups of nodes that provide Gluster, Ceph and ZFS storage simultaneously.

OSNexus nodes can be all-flash but with object storage. Umbehocker said the customer will more likely choose large capacity spinning disk HDDs.

Read more about object storage

Object storage is a relative newcomer to enterprise storage. It is aimed as a replacement for large scale NAS deployments and its target workload includes use cases with large volumes of unstructured data.

In place of the tree-like file system of NAS, object storage has a flat structure and objects have unique identifiers similar to the DNS system of the internet. This allows much larger volumes of files to be held because object storage is unencumbered by a hierarchical file system.

Having said that, object storage systems do not generally provide rapid input/output (I/O) performance and are generally used for relatively static data. They are currently quite a niche interest. In this year’s ComputerWeekly.com IT priorities survey, only 5% said they planned object storage implementations in 2016.

Umbehocker said: “With object storage we expect lots of write-once-read-many type activity. Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift are designed to create files and then deliver them out and that works very well with spinning disk.”

“OSNexus with object storage capability is aimed at larger volumes of unstructured data, for customers that want to build their own in-house private cloud object store at a better price and with better performance than they could get from Amazon.”

OSNexus can also use cloud services (Amazon, Google, IBM Softlayer) as a storage tier by setting up an appliance in the grid as a NAS gateway and creating an NFS or SMB share to the cloud. Version 4 of OSNexus also saw the company introduce AES256 encryption.

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