Random Short Take #46

Welcome to Random Short Take #46. Not a great many players have worn 46 in the NBA, but one player who has is one of my favourite Aussie players: Aron “Bangers” Baynes. So let’s get random.

  • Enrico recently attended Cloud Field Day 9, and had some thoughts on NetApp’s identity in the new cloud world. You can read his insights here.
  • This article from Chris Wahl on multi-cloud design patterns was fantastic, and well worth reading.
  • I really enjoyed this piece from Russ on technical debt, and some considerations when thinking about how we can “future-proof” our solutions.
  • The Raspberry Pi 400 was announced recently. My first computer was an Amstrad CPC 464, so I have a real soft spot for jamming computers inside keyboards.
  • I enjoyed this piece from Chris M. Evans on hybrid storage, and what it really means nowadays.
  • Working from home a bit this year? Me too. Tom wrote a great article on some of the security challenges associated with the new normal.
  • Everyone has a quadrant nowadays, and Zerto has found itself in another one recently. You can read more about that here.
  • Working with VMware Cloud Director and wanting to build a custom theme? Check out this article.

Cloudian Announces HyperStore 7 – Gets Super Cloudy

Cloudian recently announced HyperStore 7, and I was fortunate enough to grab a few minutes with John Toor to run through the announcement.


The Announcement

The key features of HyperStore 7 include:

  • Multi-cloud access via a common API: Manage all cloud and on-premises storage assets, including Amazon AWS, Google GCP, and Microsoft Azure via a common API
  • Merge Files and Objects:  Combine file and object management to a single namespace, accessed via SMB (CIFS) / NFS protocols and the S3 API
  • Scale-out architecture: Multiple distributed controllers can manage a single namespace across on-premises and cloud environments for performance scaling, increased availability and simplified data access
  • Converged Data Access: Permits data stored as files to be retrieved as objects, or vice versa, providing full data interchangeability

I’ll run through these in a little more detail below.


Multi-cloud via Common API

The cool thing about HyperStore 7 is that it’s delivered as a single software image. This means you can manage your HyperStore environment from a common interface, regardless of whether it’s an appliance located on-premises, or a virtual image running in Azure, GCP or AWS.

[image courtesy of Cloudian]


The common image also means you can start out small and build up. You can deploy on-premises first, then work up to a hybrid cloud deployment, and then, if you’re so inclined, you can deploy HyperStore 7 natively in the cloud. The best thing about this feature is that you don’t need to undo the work you’ve already done on-premises, you can just build on it.


Files and Objects, Together

Once of the most exciting features, in my opinion, is “Converged Data Access”. The recent introduction of HyperFile ramps up the file and object play considerably, with a single namespace across multiple environments, and files and objects being stored in that namespace. You can access data in object or file format interchangeably as well.

[image courtesy of Cloudian]


Note also that data stored in its native cloud format. So if you’re using Azure, for example, your data is stored in blob format, and is thus accessible to other applications that can leverage that format.


Other Notes

The basic edition of HyperFile is included with HyperStore at no charge. The hardware appliance remains the primary model for on-premises deployments, with Cloudian noting that a lot of customers are still most comfortable buying hardware from a vendor for their storage deployments.



With the introduction of HyperFile, Cloudian made some leaps ahead in terms of breadth of offering. In my opinion, the ability to deploy HyperStore 7 on your favourite public cloud platform, and have it running a shared data pool with your on-premises HyperStore storage, is simply icing on the cake. A lot of people are talking about how they are all in with multi-cloud solutions, but it seems that Cloudian have come up with a fairly simple solution to the problem. You’ll need to do a little work to make sure your networking is set up in the way you need it to meet your requirements, but you’d need to do that if you were looking to do file or object in public cloud in any case. There are a bunch of use cases for this type of technology, and it’s nice to see that it’s not a bunch of different products glued together and called a solution.

It’s no secret that I think Cloudian have been doing some pretty cool stuff in the object space for a while now. The addition of HyperFile capability last year, and this multi-cloud capability in HyperStore 7, gets me all kinds of excited to see what they’ve got in store for the future. If you’re after a scalable object (and file) solution works well on-premises and off-premises, you’d do well to check out what Cloudian has to offer.

SwiftStack 6.0 – Universal Access And More

I haven’t covered SwiftStack in a little while, and they’ve been doing some pretty interesting stuff. They made some announcements recently but a number of scheduling “challenges” and some hectic day job commitments prevented me from speaking to them until just recently. In the end I was lucky enough to snaffle 30 minutes with Mario Blandini and he kindly took me through the latest news.


6.0 Then, So What?

Universal Access

Universal Access is really very cool. Think of it as a way to write data in either file or object format, and then read it back in file or object format, depending on how you need to consume it.

[image courtesy of SwiftStack]

Key features include:

  • Gateway free – the data is stored in cloud-native format in a single namespace;
  • Accessible via file (SMB3 / NFS4) and / or object API (S3 / Swift). Note that this is not a replacement for NAS, but it will give you the ability to work with some of those applications that expect to see file in places; and
  • Applications can write data one way, access the data another way, and vice versa.

The great thing is that, according to SwiftStack, “Universal Access enables applications to take advantage of all data under management, no matter how it was written or where it is stored, without the need to refactor applications”.


Universal Access Multi-Cloud

So what if you take to really neat features like, say, Cloud Sync and Universal Access, and combine them? You get access to a single, multi-cloud, storage namespace.

[image courtesy of SwiftStack]



As Mario took me through the announcements he mentioned that SwiftStack are “not just an object storage thing based on Swift” and I thought that was spot on. Universal Access (particularly with multi-cloud) is just the type of solution that enterprises looking to add mobility to workloads are looking for. The problem for some time has been that data gets tied up in silos based on the protocol that a controller speaks, rather than the value of the data to the business. Products like this go a long way towards relieving some of the pressure on enterprises by enabling simpler access to more data. Being able to spread it across on-premises and public cloud locations also makes for simpler consumption models and can help business leverage the data in a more useful way than was previously possible. Add in the usefulness of something like Cloud Sync in terms of archiving data to public cloud buckets and you’ll start to see that these guys are onto something. I recommend you head over to the SwiftStack site and request a demo. You can read the press release here.