Gluster Joins OpenStack With Scaled-Out Storage

The news comes one week after the Portland, Ore.-based company unveiled its GlusterFS3.3 file system which allows users to access the same data as either an object or as a file.

OpenStack is an open-source alterative to major public cloud infrastructure players like Amazon and VMware, and is a full-fledged, scalable cloud operating system software that comprises three compute, object storage, and image service components.

The Gluster Connector for OpenStack allows GlusterFS to work with the OpenStack hypervisor to allow the scaling-out and migration of large numbers of virtual machines in a cloud environment. That connector allows GlusterFS to serve as the file system within OpenStack under the Apache 2 open source license.

Gluster is one of several vendors which joined OpenStack this week.

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HP on Wednesday unveiled plans to work with OpenStack to bring together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure at the point where the cloud and connectivity converge.

Dell on Tuesday also joined OpenStack with its Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution IaaS play which includes the OpenStack cloud operating system; cloud-optimized Dell PowerEdge C servers; a new Dell-developed OpenStack installer called "Crowbar;" and services from Dell and Rackspace Cloud Builders.

The Gluster file system allows the management of massive numbers of files across public and private clouds, said Tom Trainer, director of product marketing for the company.

Instead of using metadata to manage those files, which slows down performance while the storage system searches the meta data journal for file locations, GlusterFS uses hash tags, Trainer said. "We use hash tags to encode the location of the file, which is a much faster way to locate a particular file," he said.

That makes GlusterFS useful in public storage clouds where customers can configure a NAS server in a cloud, deploy as much capacity as they need, and then shrink or turn the data off, Trainer said. "And it's portable between public and private clouds," he said.

The new GlusterFS 3.3, which is currently in beta testing, blends and integrates object storage onto a NAS file system. "This is the first and only integrated and unified file and object file system," Trainer said.

The result is an easy way to migrate legacy applications to public clouds without the need to modify those applications, Trainer said. This includes such public clouds as Amazon S3 via the REST interface, and to the OpenStack open source cloud, he said.

Availability of GlusterFS 3.3 has yet to be determined.