Scality is developing a software-defined storage controller (SDS) to archive objects off to the public cloud or tape using the S3 protocol.
The idea is to use policies to select objects that are streamed off to an S3-accessed target from an on-premises Scality RING storage system. Metadata about the streamed objects would be retained on-premises to aid searching. Policies could enforce sovereignty such that objects could be retained in a geographic region or country to comply with nation-state data storage requirements.
We understand that Scality will support S3 transfer to the Amazon cloud and also Google with a multi-cloud approach. Azure is on a list of target clouds to support, but IBM's Bluemix (the rebranded SoftLayer) is not. The S3 protocol will also provide to tape environments with SpectraLogic's Black Pearl mentioned as a potential target for onward tape transmission.
Scality wants the S3 access protocol to be freely available and has open-sourced its code. Recently hired CMO Paul Turner says there have been more than 8,000 downloads of it since the facility was announced and the current download rate is 500 a week.
He thinks the object storage market has matured to the point where only companies with a large enough number of customers at scale can grow, pointing to the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for distributed systems and object storage. Turner thinks it would have been better titled as a Content Storage MQ, with the two basic technology choices being scale-out file systems and object storage.
Many object storage vendors were not included in the Gartner MQ, and he thinks this is a sign that there is supplier consolidation with weaker vendors falling away – but then he would say that, wouldn't he.
The coming Scality SDS technology is similar to that of Quantum's existing StorNext and Cloudian's object storage product. StorNext can tier unstructured data off to either tape libraries or to Lattus object storage, which is actually Amplidata software OEM'd from Western Digital's HGST unit.
Cloudian recently announced its HyperStore can tier objects to Google's Coldline archive in the sky.
Clearly the vendors are seeing such a potential oncoming flood of unstructured data – from, for example, the internet of data-generating things – that streaming off sad old, low-access rate objects to cheaper, archival-class storage makes sense.
We might imagine that Scality partners, such as HPE, are on board with this strategy. ®
PS In passing Turner said he thought cheap, high-capacity flash storage would be a good fit for object storage software, when the cost per TB comes down. Possibly a lower-cost version of WD/SanDisk's Intelliflash towards the end of next year.