Gluster (see previous CloudAve coverage), the open source storage vendor, announced the availability Scale-Out NAS Virtual appliance for VMware and Amazon Web Services. GlusterFS has been used by some of the hot startups like Pandora and Box.Net and their open source nature makes them more attractive to many companies, big and small. Gluster Virtual Storage Appliance, mainly targeted at enterprise customers, offers them the ability to treat physical storage as a virtualized, standardized shareable pool that can scale on demand as the need increases. Essentially, they have made cloud storage look similar to compute resources in virtual and cloud environment.
Right now, they have packaged GlusterFS as virtual appliance in a VMware container and also as Amazon Machine Image. They may extend support for other environments in the future. Gluster Virtual Storage Appliance is a standard NAS based on commodity hardware which can be deployed on both public and private clouds. This release closes the gap between virtual storage and virtual servers giving enterprises an easy way to port their existing applications to the cloud.
The advantage of Guster in the AWS cloud is that it completely abstracts the Amazon API layer, giving users a POSIX compliant interface or mount point. This means that the existing applications can use the storage without any changes to the code. As an example of how Gluster adds value to the Amazon cloud, I would like to point out to how Gluster can aggregate multiple EBS blocks into a single shared pool. This not only overcome some of the AWS restrictions on the size of EBS blocks, it also allows users to attach the storage to multiple virtual machines. Thus Gluster brings in HA to Amazon Cloud Storage.
Briefly, the Gluster Virtual Storage Appliances include the following features:
- Tailored for VM and Cloud environments
- Easy to deploy and scale with a central management of storage across many workloads
- Supports multiple platforms. Right now, it supports VMware and Amazon Cloud and we can expect support for more environments in the future
Gluster takes advantage of the fact that they are a software company without any allegiance to hardware and this helps them in being flexible to support packaging for many different environments. I had a chance to talk to some of the Gluster customers and the common theme among them are
- Tremendous cost savings offered by Gluster
- Open Source nature of Gluster helps them try out GlusterFS in their environment without any investment. Once they are production ready, they just buy support services
- Ease of deployment. I found that their customers consider this on par with the cost savings while evaluating Gluster
Gluster is an interesting company in the storage space. Watch them as they go about helping organizations take advantage of the cloud storage without any disruption.
- Gluster Pushes Storage Software to VMware, Amazon (pcworld.com)
- imabonehead: Gluster Pushes Storage Software to VMware, Amazon – Yahoo! News (news.yahoo.com)
- Gluster goes virtual with storage appliances for VMware, Amazon (infoworld.com)
- $8.5M for Gluster (xconomy.com)