The beta version of Red Hat Storage 2.0 has a number of new features that make managing unstructured CIFs, NFS, and GlusterFS mount points easier. It allows both file and object-based access to data within a single storage pool, support for Hadoop deployments in big data environments, and performance enhancements such as rebalancing of workloads, tuning improvements, and NFS optimization. Its Software Appliance global namespace capability aggregates disk and memory resources into a unified storage volume that is abstracted from the physical hardware.
Red Hat Storage 2.0 is deployed in bare metal industry-standard servers and uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. The appliance can be scaled for performance or capacity by adjusting the server configuration on which it is installed. It supports multi-tenancy by partitioning users or groups into logical volumes on shared storage. In addition, the appliance is POSIX-compliant, resulting in an interface that abstracts vendor APIs and that does not require modification to applications running on it.
Instead of using a metadata server, the Red Hat Storage 2.0 uses a hashing algorithm to locate data in the storage pool. This capability allows it to remove I/O bottlenecks and a single point of failure.
[ Read more about Red Hat's success as an open source company. See Red Hat: First $1 Billion Open Source Company. ]
Version 2.0 offers extended update support and support for the XFS file system. Red Hat Storage 2.0 is also Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization-ready and includes improved management capabilities, including support for Network Lock Manager, improved visibility into self-healing, and proactive self-healing.
Further, the Red Hat Storage 2.0 provides synchronous and asynchronous local and geographically distributed replication for data protection and disaster recovery. According to Red Hat, the file system allows scalability to 72 brontobytes. (A brontobyte is equivalent to 1,024 yottabytes or 1,237,940,039,285,380,274,899,124,224 bytes of data. Only the geopbyte--1,000 brontobytes--at present surpasses it.)
The Red Hat Storage 2.0 appliance is also available in a virtual appliance edition, which allows deployment in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the aggregation of Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances.
The company came by Red Hat Storage 2.0 with its $136 million acquisition of Gluster in October 2011. Red Hat has not announced when the final release of the product will be available.
Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.
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