Google adds Elastifile to cloud arsenal

The battle for cloud dominance is heating up. Google, by most accounts in third place after Amazon and Microsoft, is adding the advanced storage software from Elastifile. Here's what it means for cloud-using Enterprises.

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Elastifile has been shipping their Cloud File System for over two years. But this morning they're announcing, in conjunction with Google Cloud Platform (GCP), that they are now fully integrated with GCP.

"Fully integrated" means:

  • The UI, deployment, and monitoring are fully GCP native.
  • Billed as part of a single GCP bill.
  • Provision turnkey file storage capacity in minutes.
  • Accesses internal GCP APIs (e.g. security, monitoring, and availability)
  • As usual in clouds, pay-as-you-go, consumption-based pricing
  • Any GCP zone, any GCP region

Elastifile features

Most of what we store today are files, so scale-out file storage is a no-brainer. GCP already has Cloud Filestore, their own system, but the Elastifile Cloud File Service is considerably more flexible, and, in many cases, can be much more cost-effective.

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  • Aggregates performance & capacity of many VMs.
  • Elastically scale-out or -in; on-demand.
  • Multiple service tiers for cost flexibility.
  • Hybrid cloud, Multi-zone/region and cross-cloud support.
  • Suite of enterprise features (e.g. snapshots, standard protocols, multi-zone access)

My favorite feature

Most of this is table stakes today, but Elastifile brings another feature, ClearTier, that is a winner. ClearTier offers intelligent tiering between file and object storage.

What's that mean to you? Object stores cost considerably less, thanks to efficient erasure codes and commodity hardware.

So while your hot files can remain on whatever GCP tier you choose, ClearTier's user defined policies

. . . control the ratio between file and object and applications able to transparently access all data via standard file system protocols (e.g. NFS), with no application refactoring required.

For example, perhaps you want to frequent snapshots, which Elastifile supports. With ClearTier you can store the snapshots on object storage, transparently to your applications, and access them as you would any other file.

Early access for the Elastifile Cloud File Service on GCP starts today, with general availability in Q1, 2019.


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The Storage Bits take

The cloud industry is still in its early days. But it is wonderful to have three powerful competitors - Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and GCP - investing heavily in creating innovative services and capabilities.

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Google whiffed back in the aughts, when they failed to bring their rumored Google cloud storage product to market, leaving the market to Amazon. But they've wised up, and are pushing hard.

As users of cloud infrastructure, whether we're conscious of it or not, we all benefit when smart and well-funded engineering teams compete to improve their services. The next 10 years of cloud evolution will be even more interesting than the last.

Courteous comments welcome, of course.

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