Remember when gigabyte drives were big? Recall when a terabyte of storage was enormous? Those days are long gone when your business is moving to petabytes. To manage that kind of storage you need a program that can handle "scale-out" file storage. For your colossal storage needs, Red Hat has a new open source, software-defined storage manager: Red Hat Storage Server 3 (RHSS).
This new RHSS can run on your commerical off-the-shelf (COTS) x86 servers, and on OpenStack or Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. It's based on open source Red Hat's GlusterFS 3.6 file system and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6. Red Hat claims that RHSS 3 can "easily scale to support petabytes of data and offer granular control of your storage environment while lowering the overall cost of storage."
Its new features include:
Red Hat recommends RHSS 3 for the following workloads:
The company also comes right out and admits that RHSS is not for every file system job. How refreshing! The workloads to avoid are those that are:
The net result of all this, according to a statement by 451 Research's storage research VP Simon Robinson, is that since enterprises now want their IT stack to look and act like a cloud, "the storage infrastructure must support this change. Within many enterprise IT departments, this is prompting a fundamental rethink of storage strategy. Red Hat's software-defined storage portfolio offers an open-source alternative to proprietary technology stacks to address mounting challenges around the growth of enterprise data."
This is more than just a product release. Red Hat also announced that it's partnered with Splunk, Hortonworks, and ownCloud to create RHSS 3-based enterprise programs for log and cyber-security analytics, Apache Hadoop, and enterprise file sharing and collaboration programs, respectively.
OwnCloud, an open source cloud company, which is using RHSS3 to integrate with its own private Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud, is a living example of Robinson's point. Together, ownCloud and Red Hat enables you to leverage your existing straphe infrastructure, with such local server standards as LDAP/AD, SAML, Database, NFS, CIFS, while being able to scale out to RHSS storage.
In a study run on HP ProLiant SL4540 servers, the two companies found that their paired storage options with 40,000 concurrent users saw excellent cost of ownership (TCO) improvement by converging the application server and storage server tiers onto the same servers, compared to traditional solutions with separate storage server appliances.
Want to see it for yourself? The companies have published a reference architecture so you can try deploying ownCloud Enterprise Edition and Red Hat Storage Server 3 for yourself.
So, if you're interested in serious storage management, I recommend giving RHSS 3 a long, hard look. It will be worth your time and attention.