Gluster: Massive Storage Scalability In Minutes11:00 AM EST Fri. Mar. 26, 2010
Headquarters: Milpitas, Calif.
Technology Sector: Storage
Key Product: Gluster Storage Platform
Year Founded: 2005
Number of Channel Partners: 12 worldwide
Ideal Channel Partner: Enterprise-Focused Solution Provider
The Lowdown: When it comes to building multi-petabyte clusters, Gluster doesn't care what hardware customers have -- DAS, JBOD, SAN, 10GbE, InfiniBand, Fibre Channel -- as its software does the trick in any case.
Gluster is the developer of an open-source storage solution, the GlusterFS file system, on which it bases its Gluster Storage Platform.
The software scales both in terms of capacity and performance just by adding new hardware, said Jack O'Brien, senior director of marketing for the company.
"It's modular and easy to configure," O'Brien said. "When you need new features, just add a new module. You get great performance with small or large files, with random files, and so on."
The Gluster Storage Platform is at its best with unstructured file data and can handle I/O-intensive and multimedia applications working with millions of files, O'Brien said.
In virtualized environments, Gluster eliminates I/O bottlenecks and stores virtual machine images and application data on the same storage, making it a potential building block for cloud storage, he said.
"We drastically simplify the configuration and deployment and management of clustered storage," he said.
Keeping things simple has been a company mantra since day one. O'Brien said that in 2004 the founders of Gluster were working at Lawrence Livermore Labs where they built a supercomputer, the "Thunder," out of open-source components. "Thunder" eventually hit No. 2 on the list of the 500 fastest supercomputers, he said.
About 25 percent of Gluster's sales now go through indirect sales channels, but the company expects that number to grow to more than 50 percent by year-end, O'Brien said. It is looking to recruit solution providers who understand open source, understand storage, and can add their own value on top of the product, he said.