Availability of Red Hat Gluster Storage in Microsoft Azure

Sayan Saha, head of Product Management, Red Hat Gluster Storage and Big Data, Red Hat

Today, we announced our plans to make several Red Hat offerings, including Red Hat Gluster Storage, available in Microsoft Azure as fully supported offerings. Red Hat Gluster Storage offers Azure users a scale-out, POSIX compatible, massively scalable, elastic file storage solution with a global namespace.

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GlusterFS among the elite!

Score one more for Red Hat Storage! In case you didn’t hear, GlusterFS is the proud recipient of a 2015 Bossie Award, InfoWorld’s top picks in open source datacenter and cloud software. Highly influential worldwide among technology and business decision makers alike, the IDC publication selected GlusterFS as one of its top picks for 2015.

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How to Combat Cloud Sprawl

According to Irshad Raihan of Red Hat Big Data, “When you’ve got a ton of sensitive data, both enterprise data as well as customer data that’s sitting out there, outside of your organizations boundaries, and you’ve not really got a single security or governance model to govern that data, you’ve got a huge problem.” But how can CIOs manage this growing problem? And how can Red Hat help? Come listen to Brian Chang of Red Hat interview Irshad Raihan as they examine the growing issue of Cloud sprawl.

Red Hat Summit 2014, Day Two Recap

Have you seen our coverage of Red Hat Summit 2014 day one? It’s just a click away.

First thing’s first

Like most people, the team at Red Hat Storage started the day with breakfast. A breakfast hosted by our GM/VP Ranga Rangachari:

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Taxis, Zipcars and Cloud Storage

Ben Golub has a new blog post up, titled Taxis, Zipcars and Cloud Storage. Not sure how those things are related? Well, when having a recent discussion on the topic of what kind of car will we be driving in the year 2020, Ben got this interesting insight:

One person, however, suggested a more novel idea. “The car I will be driving,” he said, “is one that I will not own.” Instead, he argued, we’d all be using rent-by-the-hour cars such as those provided by Zipcars and others. Gas, maintenance, insurance, parking, and other costs would all be taken care of by others.

In other words, the biggest innovation would be in the form of provisioning, management, and ownership, rather than any underlying technology.

As in, forget the ownership society – we’re moving to a rental / timeshare society. Remember mainframe computers? Everything old is new again.

The question is not whether these models are viable, but to what extent. After all, the fact that these types of services are proliferating is a testament to their filling a gap in the market:

There is no question that cloud storage, like Zipcars or other rent-by-the-hour car services such as taxis, has a great deal of utility and a great deal of appeal. However, it is interesting to speculate about the extent to which these services can replace the more traditional user-owned and operated models.

For fun, I compared the price of storing 100 GB in various cloud services for one month to the cost of using on-premise storage. To make the comparison more apples-to-apples, I divided the cost of the on-premise storage by 36, assuming they had a three-year life span.

On the surface, the cloud storage seems ridiculously expensive — as much as 20 times the price of on-premise storage.

And therein lies the rub – is there a place in the world for a service that is, on the surface, more than double the price of its nearest competitor? As Ben goes on to note, the premium you pay is for the flexibility – the ability to buy a service whenever you want, however much you want. There are no permanent costs, and you’ll only pay for the time you use the service. In this context, the taxi cab model is a useful analogy. Obviously, riding everywhere in a cab would be prohibitively expensive, but that’s not how one uses a cab. We don’t know whether cloud storage will “take over the world”, but we do know that there are times when it’s superior to other alternatives, depending on the parameters of a given project. Do you use cloud storage services? What do you think?

Read Ben’s full blog post here. 


Webinar Recording: What's New in GlusterFS 3.2

If you weren’t able to join 200 of our closes friends and attend the super-popular webinar on “What’s New in GlusterFS 3.2” here’s your chance to view the recording. Craig Carl, our uber-SE, does a great job walking through the headline features: geo-replication, elasticity, global namespace, et al.

Just go to the webinar page (registration req’d).

Gluster Releases Continuous Data Replication Enabling Business Continuity in the Cloud

Today marks an important milestone in the evolution of Gluster as the storage operating system for public and private clouds. As part of our release of Gluster 3.2, we now have the ability to support Continuous Data Replication (CDR).

As I discussed in my previous post, failures of one form or another are endemic to data center operations.  Most frequently—the failures are limited to systems within a data center;  disks or servers fail, administrators trip over power cords, networks get segmented, etc.  Gluster has long had a series of internal features to minimize the frequency and impact of those failures, including our no-metadata architecture, self healing features, support for RAID 5 &6  within a node, and—of course—the ability to do n-way synchronous replication between nodes.

On occasion, however, failures affect an entire data center. Power lines can get cut, blizzards can keep employees from the data center, and fires, floods, or other natural disasters can take out the entire data center. Of course, the recent issues at AWS illustrated this point.

To prepare for such data-center level failure, it is necessary to support data replication across geographic regions. Gluster’s recently announced Continuous Data Replication allows our private cloud customers to asynchronously replicate a) between data centers across the WAN or b) between their data centers and a public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services. Similarly, Gluster’s public cloud customers can now not only replicate between availability zones in a geographic region, but also between regions.

Gluster Continuous Replication

Generally speaking, the connectivity between geographic regions is slow, expensive, and subject to interruption. If you are storing hundreds of terabytes or petabytes, you need to be sure that replication is both continuous and efficient.  Replication should be continuous because a) it is impractical to snapshot and replicate terabytes of data on a regular basis, and b) because the time required to either back up or restore in the event of an incident is often too long for the real-time availability requirements of most enterprises. Similarly, replication should be efficient, because the cost of snapshotting and replicating large data sets can be extremely expensive in terms of both storage and I/O.

Gluster’s Continuous Data Replication meets both requirements. Gluster’s CDR provides continuous, asynchronous and incremental replication service from one site to another over local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and across the Internet. Only incremental changes are replicated, eliminating the need for snapshot-like copies of whole files or volumes. In addition, 3.2 features intelligent asynchronous replication in which GlusterFS tracks changes to the primary data and replicates in real time across a WAN. Changes are tracked and queued to ensure data stays synchronized regardless of latency or potential network interruptions.

Ultimately, the significance of CDR goes beyond availability. For the vision of hybrid clouds to fully develop, we must support the ability not only to migrate applications from one data center to another (e.g. VM Migration), but also must make sure that application data is available. While it may be practical to migrate Virtual Machine images on a moment’s notice, it is not practical to migrate terabytes or petabytes of application data at a moment’s notice. Therefore, we need to make sure that that application data is available and waiting in multiple data centers, and that the costs of doing so are not prohibitive.  More information on that in a subsequent post.

Gluster Hybrid Cloud Stack Diagram

Getting Practical With Cloud Storage

One of the things we like to say at Gluster is we are not a cloud storage company, we are a storage company that can ‘do cloud’. With all of the confusion swirling around definitions and descriptions of what a cloud is (and isn’t) you can define yourself as something nebulous. Recall that less than a year ago Gartner described the hype around cloud ‘deafening‘, and it’s only gotten louder. What really matters to us when we talk to a company that is considering cloud storage is the problem they are trying to solve – that get you to focus on a practical solution, and the cloud gets defined in that way.

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