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Scality boosts Ring with easy deployment and lower node count

Object storage maker Scality upgrades software-defined storage to give unified deployment, provisioning and management while cutting minimum nodes required to three

Software-defined object storage specialist Scality has released updates that include simplified install to more than 45 reference architectures and a reduction in the minimum deployment from six server nodes to three.

The aim of the ease-of-use features in this four-year long term support upgrade – the last in its version 7 Ring product – is to get deployment times down to around one hour, said Scality chief product officer Paul Speciale.

Software defined-storage has many advantages, but ease of deployment and operation is not always one of them. With Ring we’ve got a proven system, but we want to make it easy to deploy,” said Speciale.

The new simplified installer will allow deployment in less than one hour on more than 45 Scality-certified reference architectures, with a converged installer for all Ring components.

The new Ring Supervisor UI has a Rest application programming interface (API), unified trending and forecasting metrics and KPIs, monitoring, alerts, server and disk monitoring. It will also provide point-and-click provisioning of S3 and file access services on Scality Ring.

A new service provider portal provides secure management of integrated AWS-compatible identity and access management (IAM) multi-tenancy services, including provisioning of new accounts, users, groups and policies, plus an S3 browser with management of S3 buckets and object data.

Scality has also cut the minimum number of nodes required for a Ring deployment from six to three (on HPE Apollo 4200/4510 servers). The key reason for this is to allow customers to better equip starter deployments, said Speciale.

“For customers that want to start at around 250TB to 300TB, it can be costly with six servers. So, customers would often reduce the spec of servers, cutting down on memory, for example,” he said.

Scality Ring software runs on commodity hardware and uses object storage to scale as a single distributed system across multiple sites and potentially thousands of standard x86 servers. Its architecture provides concurrent access to data.

Scality and other object storage suppliers use the representational state transfer (Rest) protocol to store very large amounts of data in a flat system where files are identified solely by metadata.

This contrasts with traditional file systems that use a tree-like hierarchical structure. This places limits on file systems because performance overheads increase as the file system grows towards billions of files.

In March, Scality released Zenko, its “multi-cloud data controller” that allows customers increased hybrid cloud operations; to move, replicate, tier, migrate and search data across on-premise, private cloud locations and public cloud.

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Well, starting with just three storage servers usually precludes the use of erasure coding unless it supports taking each object and dividing it into two data fragments and one partiy fragment. I recall that Scality claimed to have made its RING installation much easier several years ago when the company first partnered with HPE. Back in the day, Scality required a ten-day professional services engagement to get a Scality RING running. One hour for setting up a three-node Scality RING makes it comparable to the time needed to complete a 3-node Cloudian HyperStore cluster. Starting with a 3-node cluster has advantgages for many SMB customer who don't necessarily want to invest in a 6-node cluster just to get started. After all, the whole point of having an object-based storage cluster is the ease of adding new nodes when you need them.
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