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Cloud firm scales Cloudian object storage to 2.5PB for GDPR

Calligo expands Cloudian Hyperstore from three nodes to 30 at worldwide datacentres, with object storage deployed for file-level and metadata capabilities suited to GDPR

Jersey-based cloud service provider Calligo has expanded object storage from Cloudian to around 2.5PB as it rolls out services to help customers with the impending arrival of the European Union’s (EU’s) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018.

The move comes alongside an expansion of its Solidfire-based primary storage capacity to near 1PB.

Since commencing deployment of Cloudian two years ago with three nodes, the company now has 30 nodes rolled out in datacentres in Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg, London, Jersey and Guernsey and Bermuda, with further hardware due to go live soon at two Canadian sites.

Calligo offers a range of cloud services including infrastructure, storage, desktop, backup and archiving from VMware-based datacentres to customers worldwide, of which half are in the financial and legal verticals.

It sells these customers datacentre resources such as storage, RAM and CPU, which the client manages from a single self-service AWS-like screen.

Calligo moved to deploy Cloudian Hyperstore object storage in response to customer demand for object storage-based services that are compatible with Amazon S3 and other major cloud providers’ application programming interfaces (APIs) and protocols.

Now the company has developed a set of services around GDPR that can only be delivered by object storage.

These include GDPR Jumpstart and GDPR Enablement, which allow customers to formulate the data storage requirements that GDPR places on them.

These are one-off assessments, with ongoing offerings following these that include GDPR Cloud and Data Protection Officer-as-a-service, which is made up of workflow processes and human management.

Read more about object storage

Key to GDPR is the importance of personally identifiable data and the ability to find it, work with it and delete it where necessary.

Object storage makes this easier, said Calligo CEO Julian Box, because it has rich metadata capabilities that mean data can be dealt with at the file level rather than higher levels of abstraction, such as the server or LUN.

“The vast majority of access to Solidfire is to files with personal data that exists within agreed timescales. But as data is moved to the second tier, object storage is a better way,” he said.

“Things are more on a file level, an individual record level with the ability to see and manage each file. You can do things at the file level from a classification perspective and deletion perspective,” he added.

Cloudian object storage is based on the Apache Cassandra open-source distributed database that can come as storage software that customers deploy on commodity hardware to create a peer-to-peer private cloud with multi-tenancy functionality.

It can be accessed through the network file system (NFS) file access protocol and provides interfaces to Amazon S3 and other cloud services.

Object storage is an emerging method of data retention. It doesn’t compete with the highest performance storage tiers, 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, object storage uses files with unique identifiers, similar to the domain name system (DNS) on the internet but which also contain rich metadata capabilities that make it well-suited to indexing of searches and for data analysis.

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