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Elastifile ClearTier allows cloud tiering for burst workloads

Elastifile adds ClearTier to its CloudConnect to bring enterprise NAS access in the cloud with the ability to tier data between object storage and file system

Cloud storage specialist Elastifile has added ClearTier to allow customers to tier between classes of cloud storage by moving data between cheap object storage and file access storage in the cloud for burst workloads.

Elastifile’s core offer is enterprise NAS storage for customers that need to burst workloads to the cloud. It majors on file access because so many applications are written to NAS protocols and can’t natively use the object storage prevalent as bulk storage in the cloud.

Jerome McFarland, vice-president of marketing at Elastifile, said: “We are quite clear that we provide storage that is file storage in the cloud. It’s not an adjunct to on-premises storage.”

ClearTier builds on the company’s existing CloudConnect product, which stores file system data in object format. When customers want to access that data they check it out of the object storage and into the Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS).

Now ClearTier removes the need to make a decision about checking that data out. All data is now visible via its metadata and so application access is automatically routed.

Data tiering in ClearTier can be set by user policy. For example, a customer could choose to retain 80% of data on object storage and 20% in ECFS, or data could be demoted from ECFS to object after a certain period of inactivity.

The company offers five tiers of storage in the cloud that range from high-performance flash to object storage, with the latter – with compression – being as cheap as $0.03 per GB per month.

Elastifile aims at enterprise use cases where customers want to burst workloads out to the cloud and carry out compute there with cloud storage.

Ideal use cases are those where a customer seeds data over time to the cloud and then carries out burst processing, with perhaps results coming back but not the bulk of data. The company cites customer eSilicon, a fabless semiconductor maker that uses Elastifile to burst periodic processing workloads to the cloud.

Elastifile CloudConnect can be deployed in connection with existing storage hardware on-premises or as software-defined storage on commodity hardware. In the cloud, it can be bought in the marketplaces of Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, with Azure currently in pre-production.

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