Gluster, maker of the open source file system GlusterFS, has unleashed the Gluster Storage Platform
, which packages the file system with a Linux OS to let customers quickly deploy a petabyte-scale storage solution on commodity hardware. Along with a dedicated OS, the update also addresses high availability and new self-healing capabilities.
The Gluster Storage Platform provides an open-source global namespace for unstructured data. Like other file virtualization products, the global namespace lets organizations add storage hardware without having to reconfigure clients or applications. The Gluster Storage p=Platform serves as a front end to both direct-attached hard disks as well as other network attached storage. Unlike competing products, Gluster does not rely on building a large metadata collection to track file locations, but instead uses an algorithm to manage the data stores, providing improved performance and eliminating the need to replicate metadata between servers in the cluster.
The most significant change to the Gluster solution its addition of an optimized Linux OS. With a purpose-built OS, Gluster optimizes the product to its specific needs. Potential customers and resellers can also benefit from the pre-packaged OS. Customers can deploy the software faster without having to pre-install their own OS. Resellers can easily create what amounts to Gluster appliances from a single image and commodity hardware. In fact, even evaluations of the product will be easier to deliver, as the Gluster platform could be quickly installed on a test machine without the prep work required by the application. The company claims it can be installed on a server from a USB device in 15 minutes or less.
To support this new platform, Gluster has built a Web interface to handle installation and management of the storage cluster. Along with the shift to a dedicated platform, the high availability and self-healing features of the Gluster solution are likely to be compelling to customers, particularly those in virtual environments. That's because the platform can store images of virtual machines. In addition, Gluster claims that its platform can repair a damaged virtual machine in real time without actually shutting down the VM.