Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 19. My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event. Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.
Tiger Technology recently presented at Storage Field Day 19. You can see videos of the presentation here, and download my rough notes from here.
What’s A Tiger Then?
Tiger Technology has been around since 2004. It’s been primarily focused on the world of media and entertainment and the myriad of storage problems (opportunities?) associated with that market segment. Tiger Technology is:
- Privately held;
- Based in Bulgaria and the USA;
- Has around 50 employees; and
- Has more than 3000 customers worldwide.
As I mentioned earlier, they’ve been focused on the media and entertainment segment. This is on of the most demanding markets, with applications that are:
- Mission critical;
- Leveraging application specific functions + non-standard implementation;
- Time-sensitive; and
- Intolerant of data loss.
So what exactly does Tiger Bridge do? It might be better to think of it in terms of what it doesn’t do. There’s capacity management, cloud integration, hierarchical storage management, and some cool collaboration options. It’s a filter driver that lets you talk between all kinds of storage platforms via a global namespace. Key features include:
- Software only
- Unified storage space
- Multi-cloud, multi-tier
- Non-proprietary, no vendor lock
- No external cache
- Full Active Directory security features
Tiger Bridge Architecture
Alexander Lefterov took us through some of the initial technical and architectural choices that were made as part of the product development, including:
- File vs Block
- Internal to the data flow vs external
- Native vs cross platform
- File system vs database
- Open vs proprietary format on target
- System administrator vs end user
[image courtesy of Tiger Technology]
Thoughts and Further Reading
I first came across Tiger Technology when speaking to Backblaze about an integration that had been developed between B2 and Veeam. It strikes me that Tiger Technology is pretty good at gluing storage together to make it do what people need it to do. The appeal of cloud storage is that you can theoretically expand and shrink the capacity you consume based on your workload requirements on any given day. Unfortunately, it’s not always a simple exercise to put data where you need it in a timely fashion. Tiger Bridge enables you to easily access cloud storage, and move data between on-premises storage and the cloud.
There are a bunch of cool storage solutions available on the market, servicing all kinds of workload requirements. Some are fast, some are slow, some are expensive, and some are cheap. But sometimes you need to do stuff with storage that might reside both on-premises and in the cloud. In that case, you want the experience to be non-intrusive from a usability perspective. My father-in-law always talks about the importance of the user experience versus wasting time trying to get the technology working as expected. It strikes me that Tiger Technology has done a good job of ensuring that the bridge between on-premises storage and multiple cloud storage options is a fairly robust one.
People sometimes find themselves trying to do things that aren’t natively supported by the technologies they’re using. Oftentimes the response from the technology vendor is to change how the user is doing a particular activity. If you’ve worked in an enterprise service management environment, you may have heard this being trotted out by the service management consultant. But I think it’s a bit rich to expect that users should build their business activities based on the capabilities of the technology, and not the other way around. Solutions like Tiger Bridge are a nice compromise between how users want to work, and how the storage vendors deliver their technology to those users. It’s not a solution that’s going to work for everyone, but if you have the need, I think it’s worth checking out.