If you’ve not heard of SwiftStack before, they do “object storage for the enterprise”, with the core product built on OpenStack Swift. I recently had the opportunity to be briefed by Mario Blandini on their 4.0 announcement. Mario describes them as “Like Amazon cloud but inside your DC and behind your firewall”.
New SwiftStack 4.0 innovations introduced today (and available now or in the next 90 days) include:
- Integrated load balancing reducing the need for expensive dedicated network hardware and minimizing latency and bandwidth costs while scaling to larger numbers of storage nodes
- Metadata search increases business value with integrated third-party indexing and search services to make stored object data analytics-ready
- SwiftStack Drive is an optional desktop client that enables access to objects directly from desktops or laptops
- Enhanced management with new IPv6 support, capacity planning and advanced data migration tools
One of the key points in this announcement is the metadata search capability. Object storage is not just about “cheap and deep”, and the way we use metadata can have a big impact on the value of the data, often to applications that didn’t necessarily generate the data in the first place.
Like all good scale out solutions, you don’t need to buy everything up front, just what you need to get started. SwiftStack aren’t in the hardware business though, so you’ll be rolling your own. The hardware requirements for SwiftStack are here, and there’s also a reference architecture for Cisco.
SwiftStack have plans to introduce “Swift File Access” in 2016
Some of the benefits of this include:
- Scale-out file services; SMB and NFS – minimizes the need for gateways
- Fully bimodal > files can come in over SMB and accessed through object APIs and visa versa
- Integrated into the proxy role > performance scales independently of capacity
SwiftStack also have plans to introduce “Object Synchronization” in 2016
This will provide S3 Synchronization capability, including
- Replication of objects to S3 buckets
- Policy-driven > protecting and accessing files using centralized policies
- Supporting any cloud compatible with the S3 API
This is pretty cool as there’s a lot of momentum within enterprises to consume data in places where it’s needed, not necessarily where it’s created.
Object storage is hot, because folks love cloud, and object is a big part of that. I like what object can do for storage, particularly as it relates to metadata and scale out performance. I’m happy to see SwiftStack making a decent play inside the enterprise, rather than aiming to be just another public cloud storage provider. I think they’re worth checking out, particularly if you have data that could benefit from object storage without necessarily having live in the public cloud.