InfoWorld: And since I'm all about virtualization, I have to ask you, what's unique about how Gluster addresses the problems of providing storage for virtual machine environments?
Gluster: Gluster excels at storing and managing file data, and virtual machine images are just that -- files. Managing VM environments presents several specific challenges that the Gluster Storage Platform addresses. First is the complexity of managing storage for hundreds or even thousands of VM images. In a typical environment, an administrator would provision storage and I/O every time a VM is created. This requires management of many individual volumes and LUN connections. Gluster provides a unified global namespace that virtualizes the underlying storage resources. That single volume can support thousands of VMs while automatically distributing data and load balancing the I/O. A second major challenge is ensuring good performance in an environment where many VMs are simultaneously accessing data. This often results in I/O bottlenecks and poor performance. With the Gluster Storage Platform, data access is scaled horizontally across multiple storage nodes with automatic I/O scheduling and load balancing to eliminate choke points. A third issue is the current cost of storage systems and the common need for multiple storage silos, required to deliver the necessary application performance and reliability. Gluster provides a solution that combines open source software with commodity hardware for compelling cost savings. Additionally, the Gluster file system includes replication to survive hardware failures and self-healing to ensure VMs are always on.
Again, I'd like to thank Jack O'Brien from Gluster for taking time out to speak with me about this latest announcement.