OpenStack: Red Hat Integrates Manila File Storage With Gluster

Red Hat on Tuesday said it has integrated OpenStack Manila shared file system services with its Red Hat Gluster Storage to provide enterprises with a scale-out file system for OpenStack clouds.

The integration allows Red Hat Gluster Storage to serve as a storage back end for Manila, giving the company's partners and customers a way to take advantage of file-based storage services in OpenStack environments, said Sayan Saha, director of product management for the company's Gluster solution.

Red Hat did the integration by adding Manila APIs to its Gluster offering.

[Related: Red Hat Targets Petabyte Scale, Big Data With Storage Server 3]

Sponsored post

Red Hat was a leading developer in IFS-Ganesha, a component of OpenStack Manila that allows file shares to be abstracted from underlying hardware, and grow, shrink or migrate across multiple vendors' storage hardware, Saha told CRN.

A lot of data center applications consume file storage, and Manila gives OpenStack a "cloudy" file system, Saha said.

"An OpenStack user can ask for a file share, use it as long as needed and then put it back into the storage pool," he said. "Users don't care who created the file, or where it is stored."

Before Manila, there was no "elegant way" to handle file shares in OpenStack, Saha said.

"You can put files on top of Cinder block storage, but you won't get such services as file resiliency," he said. "This has been a long-standing gap in OpenStack."

Red Hat offers other storage solutions for OpenStack cloud environments, Saha said. Red Hat Ceph Storage, based on Red Hat's 2014 acquisition of Inktank, is available as a back-end technology for the OpenStack Cinder block storage technology. That combination also provides object storage services in place of OpenStack Swift, he said.

The addition of OpenStack Manila to Red Hat Gluster Storage is important for Red Hat to position itself against companies like NetApp as a provider of file-based storage in the cloud, said Bradley Brodkin, president and CEO of HighVail Systems, a Toronto-based solution provider and Red Hat channel partner.

"It's a part of the move to adopt software-defined storage," Brodkin told CRN. "Everything will be software-defined in some manner, and Gluster will be Red Hat's entry into this market."

Red Hat is helping drive the adoption of OpenStack cloud environments by enterprises, Brodkin said.

"In HighVail's view, OpenStack is a more viable step to the cloud than more proprietary solutions like VMware," he said. "And Red Hat is saying, 'Yeah, we have Gluster, but it's compatible with a full range of requirements.' "