New and emerging workloads are straining traditional storage solutions. To address this, Gluster has developed a flexible architecture that can be configured to support a very broad range of applications, whether they require performance for small files, large files, random access, or sequential access. By virtualizing storage resources into a single pool, Gluster provides an ideal storage solution to complement virtual machine environments. Our solution is based on open source software paired with commodity hardware, providing compelling cost savings compared to existing proprietary offerings.
InfoWorld: You mentioned massive amounts of unstructured file data. We're hearing more and more about the explosion of unstructured file data lately. How are datacenter managers trying to deal with this issue?
Gluster: This is a big challenge driven by the growth of Web computing, applications that rely on "big data," the exponential growth of multimedia, and the adoption of virtualization technologies. Many times the approach is to throw hardware at the problem since disks are perceived as inexpensive. While the cost per gigabyte of disk drives continues to fall, the systems and software to manage them are still expensive. This is compounded by the fact that scaling existing systems is expensive or sometimes not even possible in the face of existing limitations.
InfoWorld: So what is the latest around the Gluster Storage Platform?
Gluster: The main focus is on ease of use and making it simple for customers to deploy petabyte scale clustered storage. Gluster Storage Platform integrates the file system, an operating system layer, and a Web-based management interface and installer. Installation is a simple process that enables customers to deploy a few hundred terabytes of clustered storage in two steps and just a few mouse clicks. File system features have also been added and enhanced, the most significant of which are optimization for VM environments and providing always-on availability for VMs.
InfoWorld: One of the interesting things I find about this is its open source model. How does it benefit customers?
Gluster: The open source business model and products have matured to the point where enterprises are running mission-critical areas of their business on open source.
The primary benefits are from lower costs and the flexibility provided from reduced vendor lock-in. The nature of the open source subscription model inherently demands that the vendor provide ongoing value over the course of the relationship with the customer vs. the more transaction-oriented process of software licensing. It is common for us to work with companies with a mandate to adopt open source products. The reluctance of the past has nearly faded completely.