Caringo Intros Swarm 8, Adds Cloud Search To Object Storage

Object storage software developer Caringo unveiled a new version of its technology Tuesday that allows the metadata of storage objects across on-premise and cloud infrastructures to be easily searched.

The new version, Swarm 8, makes it easier for businesses to take action on data based on the value of the data regardless of where it is stored, said Tony Barbagallo, product vice president for the Austin, Tex.-based company.

Caringo's Swarm, combined with its New FileFly smart file movement technology introduced in 2015, makes it easy for solution providers to bring object storage to customers without really talking about object storage, Barbagallo told CRN.

[Related: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Invests In Object Storage Developer Scality, Expands Global Relationship]

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"Partners can just talk with customers about a storage environment that scales on the back-end or on commodity hardware," he said. "They never have to say the phrase 'object storage.' They don't have to get into the nitty-gritty of the technology."

New with Caringo Swarm 8 is the ability to do searches and queries on stored objects using object attributes or custom metadata, Barbagallo said. The results, which include insight on the relationship between objects, can be viewed in the Swarm 8 portal or exported.

Caringo Swarm 8 also automates the data life cycle of stored objects, Barbagallo said. "Users can specify how long an object lasts before it is automatically deleted," he said.

Swarm 8 also adds a number of analytics capabilities, including an integrated NoSQL search engine, a new user interface that does simple point-and-click searches, and the ability to roll back objects to previous versions.

"We found that customers moved a lot of data out of Swarm for further analytics," he said. "So we added the analytics capabilities."

Caringo Swarm 8 also includes atomic renaming of named objects, Barbagallo said. "Renaming objects traditionally requires the use of copy, paste, and delete," he said. "But there's a huge performance issue using those tools with object storage. We've taken care of it."

Also new is multi-tenant management, which provides chargeback information for service providers, he said.

Swarm 8's ability to work across on-premise and cloud environments is important to clients, said Tim Neary, owner and president of Strategic Storage Solutions, an Allen, Tex.-based solution provider and Caringo partner.

"I like how customers can push some applications to AWS while searching on the metadata," Neary told CRN. "This is great for medical images or body cameras for law enforcement, where data has to be kept for 90 to 120 days. With high-definition images and that kind of time scale, customers quickly need petabyte scale."

As such high-definition images increasingly go into large pools or lakes of data, being able to quickly search through those pools or lakes is important, Neary said.

"Other vendors require a variety of tools to do such searches," he said. "With Caringo, we can search for part of a patient image record and quickly find the entire record."

The multi-tenant feature is also very welcome as object storage moves to a recurring revenue model, Neary said.

"Object storage lends itself to a recurring revenue model because of its scalability," he said. "Selling object storage is not like selling a SAN or a tape library, which require big up-front capital expenditures. Object storage is more granular in its expansion, which is better for recurring revenue."

The object storage business is growing quickly, although getting specific market growth numbers is difficult, said Adrian Herrara, Caringo's vice president of marketing.

"We're seeing object storage starting to erode the NAS market," Herrara said. "I don't have specific numbers. But all object storage users are seeing fast growth. And the channel is a very big part of that."

Herrara did note that the growth in the object storage market has not been missed by traditional storage vendors. For instance, he said, IBM late last year acquired Cleversafe, while Western Digital's HGST early last year acquired Amplidata. Furthermore, Hewlett Packard Enterprise in January invested in Scality, he said.

"We're one of the few independents left," he said. "We support all the OEMs."