Introducing GlusterFS 3.3 beta with Unified File and Object Storage

Today we announced our public beta program for GlusterFS 3.3 (download link), and while I’m excited that Gluster continues its cadence of bringing new features to market, I am elated to be able to deliver the next big thing in software-based converged storage by unifying file and object storage.

With this release Gluster continues to lead the evolution in information storage and management. Delivering software-based unified file and object storage frees enterprises to deploy this combined solution anywhere that best fits their IT demands – on-premise, virtualized, private and public clouds.

Traditional enterprise storage vendors have tried to integrate their product portfolios to accomplish this unification of file and object storage but have taken a fundamentally different approach than Gluster. They attach storage to the component assemblies and then carve out specific disk drives and capacities in order to dedicate storage to each component, basically bolting together physical components that enable NAS, SAN and object capabilities. While this hardware approach may work, it does come with added costs and risks. Due to this bolt-on approach, in many cases, users are purchasing much more storage capacity then they need separately for either file or object storage. With the inherent risks associated with common power, cooling and cabling failures, users are exposed to the whole combinational assembly failing with complete loss of access to their data.

Here’s what the typical enterprise storage approach to unified storage looks like:



We have taken a different approach, a software approach that lets users store objects and then access those objects as files; the reverse is true as well, you can view and access files as objects. GlusterFS 3.3 blends in object storage easily and seamlessly. Why? Because we started with a NAS file system that leveraged the object approach via the creation of hash tags the complete removal of metadata. Our approach is the elegant, seamless approach whereby we are easily able to create object and have them instantly viewable as objects and the contents (files) within them viewable and accessible by the NAS file server access route. We believe this unified file and object capability will enable users to accelerate their migration to object storage and greatly reduce the cost of having to rewrite legacy enterprise applications to take advantage of cloud based storage.

Here is a basic look at our file and object access.

Our customers and community have requested this functionality and told us that with this capability they will be able to:

  • To build their own cloud services within their private cloud, or data center
  • Transfer objects between the private and public cloud and can even create and S3 like environment on Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Elastic Block Storage.
  • Move legacy file-based applications to the cloud
  • Build new cloud based applications which can leverage both object and file storage

We are looking forward to working closely with our beta participants on the new and creative ways in which our unified file and object capability can be deployed.

As always, we are eager to expand our beta program and you have interest in participating, please contact us at glusterfs3.3beta@gluster.com or at http://community.gluster.org/t/3-3-beta/posts/. We will post additional updates on the status of beta testing and we will characterize the solutions being enabled by our truly unified file and object storage.

Additionally, you can find a resource page for the beta release on our wiki.

Dave Garnett

VP Product Management

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