I had the opportunity to speak to Jason Lohrey and Robert Murphy from Arcitecta a little while ago about the company’s Mediaflux announcement. It was a great conversation, and I’m sad that I hadn’t heard about the company beforehand. In any case I figured I’d share some thoughts on the announcement.
What Is It?
The folks at Arcitecta describe the Mediaflux Universal Data System as “a convergence of data management, data orchestration, multi-protocol access, and storage in one platform”. The idea is that the system manages your data across all of your storage platforms. It’s not just clustered or distributed storage. It’s not just a control plane that gives you multi-protocol access to your storage platforms. It’s not just an orchestration engine that can move your data around as required. It’s all of these things and a bit more too. Features include:
- Converges data management, orchestration and storage within a single platform – that’s right, it’s all in the one box.
- Manages every aspect of the data lifecycle: On-premises and cloud, with globally distributed access.
- Offers multi-protocol access and support. The system supports NFS, SMB, S3, SFTP and DICOM, among many others.
- Empowers immense scalability. Mediaflux licensing is decoupled from the volume of data stored so organisations can affordably scale storage needs to hundreds of petabytes, accommodating hundreds of billions of files without the financial strain typically associated with such vast capacities. Note that Mediaflux’s pricing is based on the number of concurrent users.
- Provides the option to forego third-party software and clustered file systems.
- Supports multi-vendor storage environments, allowing customers to choose best-of-breed hardware.
Seem ambitious? Maybe, but it also seems like something that would be super useful.
Global Storage At A Worldwide Scale
One of the cool features of Mediaflux is how it handles distributed file systems, not just across data centres, but across continents. A key feature of the platform is the ability to deliver the same file system to every site.
[image courtesy of Arcitecta]
It has support for centralised file locking, as well as replication between sites. You can also configure variable retention policies for different site copies, giving you flexibility when it comes to how long you store your data in various locales. According to the folks at Arcitecta, it’s also happy to make the most of your bandwidth, and able to use up to 95% of the available bandwidth.
Thoughts And Further Reading
There have been a few data management / orchestration / unified control plane companies that have had a tilt at doing universal storage access well, across distances, and with support for multiple protocols. Sometimes the end result looks like an engineering project at best, and you have to hold your mouth right to have any hope of seeing your data again once you send it on its way. Putting these kinds of platforms together is no easy task, and that’s why this has been something of a journey for the team at Arcitecta. The company previously supported Mediaflux on top of third-party file and object systems, but customers needed a solution that was more flexible and affordable.
So why not just use the cloud? Because some people don’t like storing stuff in hyperscaler environments. And sometimes there’s a requirement for better performance than you can reasonably pay for in a cloud environment. And not every hyperscaler might have a presence where you want your data to be. All that said, if you do have data in the cloud, you can manage it with Mediaflux too.
I’m the first to admit that I haven’t had any recent experience with the type of storage systems that would benefit from something like Mediaflux, but on paper it solves a lot of the problems that enterprises come across when trying to make large datasets available across the globe, while managing the lifecycle of those datasets and keeping them readily available. Given some of the reference customers that are making use of the platform, it seems reasonable to assume that the company has been doing something right. As with all things storage, your mileage might vary, but if you’re running into roadblocks with the storage platforms you know and love, it might be time to talk to the nice people in Melbourne about what they can do for you. If you’d like to read more, you can download a Solution Brief as well.