Cloudian's Samurai S3-clad object storage warriors

Marching to commoditised scale-up/scale-out object storage glory


The software side

Besides this enormous hardware change, the HyperStore software development is relatively minor. To put it in context, the potted HyperStore version history looks like this:

  • 2011: v1.5 – Peer-to-peer scale-out, multi-tenant storage software
  • 2012: v2.3 – S3-compatible API and multi-region storage
  • 2013: v2.4 – Billing/chargeback by region/tenant, server-side encryption and Citrix CloudPlatform connector
  • 2013: v3.0 – Compression and a virtual appliance
  • 2014: v4.0 – Erasure coding and OpenStack connector, NFS support and archiving to any S3 cloud
  • 2014: v5.0 – More scaling with vNodes, and monitoring/reporting
  • 2015: v5.1 – Hadoop integration, federated geo-replication, end-user credentials, hybrid cloud chargeback reporting and OpenStack Icehouse support

The latest v5.2 adds user self-service storage policies for quality of service (QoS), data protection and durability at the bucket level, plus, obviously, FL3000 support. The QoS involves monitoring, on a user and groups basis, the amount of storage bytes consumed, objects, requests/min, inbound and outbound bytes/min. If limits are reached then requests are held back until the next service window.

The software is available to run on commodity servers by the way.

Cloudian’s CMO, Paul Turner believes that S3 is going to be the way to access object storage. He says there are 50-60 applications using the Atmos API, very few using SWIFT and none using CDMI, compared with more than 4,000 S3-based apps.

He said: "5.2 software will enable a Cloudian admin to manage double the capacity of the previous HyperStore software version."

Overall Cloudian pitch

Cloudian’s marketing pitch says your data is “forever live”, hence the FL moniker. It centres on HyperStore now offering 100PB+ scale computing with no downtime, at a fraction of the cost of traditional storage arrays, and it being suitable for small, medium and large enterprises.

“Large” means large, as Japan’s NTT has 2.3 million users storing data on a single HyperStore system, and service provider Nifty has 3,500 businesses storing their data on a single HyperStore as well.

No downtime means the system can tolerate component, node and rack failures.

Here is a canned quote from Turner: “Cloudian HyperStore is the only fully S3-compliant, multi-tenant, multi-data centre solution that is ‘forever live.’ Enterprises require always-on access to business-critical data and the FL3000 series delivers on this. An enterprise can deploy once and manage its data, on its own terms, forever.”

“Forever” is rather a long time, Paul, but let’s enjoy the hype without carping.

All object storage is scale-out: it’s the nature of the technology. But it’s possible that Cloudian has the most scale-up nodes available. With its NFS and S3 interfaces, it can say it offers a better filer and/or a better Amazon S3 system on-premises than anyone else, and on which you can run Big Data analytics.

Turner says Scality doesn't even come close to scaling up to 384PB and Cleversafe definitely doesn't scale up to that level. The 7U starter system has 1 cent/GB/month pricing. Compared to Isilon, Cloudian costs 65 per cent less on a $/GB basis and needs 25 per cent less cooling and power.

Is Cloudian better than Scality?

Turner claims the following advantages:

  • App support because we have S3
  • Faster data access because we have a distributed Cassandra database look-up, rather than hopping around the nodes of a RING
  • Our converged appliance model makes it simpler to buy and operate
  • Multi-tenancy QoS to avoid any tenant starving out other users

He claims that Cloudian also has a QoS advantage over both Scality and Cleversafe.

Cleversafe's tech is not as good as Cloudian's for small objects. It can only do erasure coding, doesn't do flash caching, and is not a peer-to-peer system like Cloudian.

There is no quantitative performance data but, judging by the hardware spec, the FL3000 ought to have decent data access latencies.

Cloudian has got itself an army of powerful Samurai object warriors. Can it make progress in the market, competing against other suppliers such as Cleversafe, Scality, HGST’s Amplidata, EMC’s ECS, Caringo, NetApp’s StorageGRID, HP’s object offering and more? Will its arguably better hardware tech enable it to build a channel capable of competing against these players? ®

Bootnote

* These are drive-managed shingled disks, not HGST host-managed shingled drives.

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading
  • FTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid's data
    Trade watchdog, and President, reminds that COPPA can ban ya

    The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

    In a policy statement, the agency said, "Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools."

    The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Continue reading
  • Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China
    Chinese joint venture's ousted CEO tries to hang on - who will get control?

    The saga surrounding Arm's joint venture in China just took another intriguing turn: a mysterious firm named Lotcap Group claims it has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 percent stake in Arm China from existing investors in the country.

    In a Chinese-language press release posted Wednesday, Lotcap said it has formed a subsidiary, Lotcap Fund, to buy a majority stake in the joint venture. However, reporting by one newspaper suggested that the investment firm still needs the approval of one significant investor to gain 51 percent control of Arm China.

    The development comes a couple of weeks after Arm China said that its former CEO, Allen Wu, was refusing once again to step down from his position, despite the company's board voting in late April to replace Wu with two co-chief executives. SoftBank Group, which owns 49 percent of the Chinese venture, has been trying to unentangle Arm China from Wu as the Japanese tech investment giant plans for an initial public offering of the British parent company.

    Continue reading
  • SmartNICs power the cloud, are enterprise datacenters next?
    High pricing, lack of software make smartNICs a tough sell, despite offload potential

    SmartNICs have the potential to accelerate enterprise workloads, but don't expect to see them bring hyperscale-class efficiency to most datacenters anytime soon, ZK Research's Zeus Kerravala told The Register.

    SmartNICs are widely deployed in cloud and hyperscale datacenters as a means to offload input/output (I/O) intensive network, security, and storage operations from the CPU, freeing it up to run revenue generating tenant workloads. Some more advanced chips even offload the hypervisor to further separate the infrastructure management layer from the rest of the server.

    Despite relative success in the cloud and a flurry of innovation from the still-limited vendor SmartNIC ecosystem, including Mellanox (Nvidia), Intel, Marvell, and Xilinx (AMD), Kerravala argues that the use cases for enterprise datacenters are unlikely to resemble those of the major hyperscalers, at least in the near term.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022