Gluster enhances open-source clustered NAS

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Gluster adds data storage management, virtual server support to open-source clustered NAS

Gluster is joining a recent wave of emerging vendors adding enterprise storage management features to clustered network-attached storage (NAS) systems based on commodity hardware with this week’s release of the Gluster Storage Platform.

Gluster came out of stealth in 2007 with GlusterFS, a scale-out file system for clustered NAS based on open-source code but reengineered “from the ground up,” according to senior director of marketing Jack O’Brien. Version 2 of GlusterFS came out last May with striping, data replication and management tools.

The Gluster Storage Platform, which became available this week, continues to build on those management features with a new software delivery model, an updated Web-based management GUI, and new support for virtual servers, including the ability to self-heal data errors in virtual server environments.

With the Gluster Storage Management Platform, users can now get GlusterFS, the Linux operating system kernel layer and management tools in one package loaded on a thumb drive. Gluster calls this “clustered storage on a stick.” This package also includes a two-step installation process with the goal of making the open-source software accessible to customers who aren’t used to working with code. “We call this release rated ‘E’ for everyone,” O’Brien said.

Similarly, the Gluster Storage Platform uses a Web-based GUI that’s added support for more of Gluster’s management features, such as event logging, which used to require a command line interface.

Finally, though not officially certified with any major server virtualization vendor yet, Gluster is offering support for running virtual machines (VMs) on its clustered NAS. Customers who choose this option can use the cluster’s internal replication to provide high availability (HA) failover for VMs running on the cluster, which is set up using a checkbox at the time of installation. From there, the file system automatically handles the replication using the underlying object-based storage system.

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