Product Review: Red Hat Gluster Storage
Most enterprises are drowning in data and are looking for the best management system to help them manage all of it. As the data management system begins to straddle beyond the computing power of the hardware available, users need to be able to entrust the management system interconnecting all the necessary parts.
“Red Hat Gluster Storage incorporates an elastic hashing algorithm to locate data in the storage pool (by calculating a hash on the filename). By doing so, it strives to remove a common source of I/O bottlenecks and vulnerability to failures for superior performance.”
In 2011, Red Hat acquired Gluster, Inc. It then incorporated the GlusterFS program with Red Hat Enterprise Linux so that the Linux system supports it. The Gluster Storage has been developed into an open, software-defined scale-out storage platform meant to help easily manage unstructured data for physical, virtual and cloud environments. Gluster is able to deliver rich functionality without specific hardware dependencies.
The storage system combines both file and object storage with a scale-out architecture, designed to be a cost effective storage and management system for petabyte-scale data growth. Red Hat Gluster Storage is devised to deliver a continuous storage fabric across physical, virtual and cloud resources to help customers transform their semi-structured and unstructured data into beneficial and controllable information.
Working on the Red Hat Linux operating systems allows the Gluster Storage to deploy cost-effective and highly available storage without compromising performance or scalability. It wants to help enterprise businesses eliminate storage silos by empowering global access to the data through several built-in file and object protocols in the solution. The technology was also designed with the idea that it would work seamlessly with industry standard x86 commodity servers.
Red Hat Gluster Storage can be used for storing various kinds of unstructured data including:
• Rich media content like videos, images and audio files
• Big data—Log files, RFID data and other machine-generated data
• Virtual machine (VM) images
The storage system was fashioned to be optimized by enterprises to manage storage-intensive enterprise workloads including: archiving and backup, rich media content delivery, enterprise drop-boxes, cloud and business applications, and virtual and cloud infrastructure storage. Gluster Storage also offers network file system (NFS), Server Message Block (SMB), co-resident applications, and big data Hadoop workloads for analytics.
Red Hat Gluster Storage also supports erasure-coded storage volumes to act as preparation and support for disaster recovery as well as enhanced network encryption for better network security. Erasure coding also decreases the per gigabyte cost for cold storage. “Hot” and “cold” data are tiered separately in the proper places in storage; it makes the more frequently accessed data easier for admins to locate and reduces capacity requirements.
Additionally, the replication system has been conceived to support both synchronous replication within a data center and asynchronous replication for disaster recovery. Bit-rot detection has been included to preserve the integrity of data assets in storage by detecting any source of silent corruption. These are inclusive, preventative measures for more data protection especially for clients with private clouds.
For companies with their own private cloud, Gluster utilizes an ISO image install on a server or supported hypervisors (for example, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and VMware vSphere/ESXi) for quick deployment for users. It also incorporates an elastic hashing algorithm to locate data in the storage pool (by calculating a hash on the filename). By doing so, it strives to remove a common source of I/O bottlenecks and vulnerability to failures.
For hybrid cloud users, the Red Hat Gluster Storage uses replication to provide high availability across the datacenter and public cloud. Furthermore, easy migration of data into the cloud is POSIX-compatible so applications do not need to be rewritten when moving information from the datacenter to the public cloud. Files and objects can also be created and extracted simultaneously in various application environments. Files can be stored as such but retrieved as an object and vice versa, eliminating need for separate storage silos and further reduce costs of file and object storage. This is especially important for companies that utilize Linux for writing applications.
For public cloud uses, Red Hat Gluster Storage users have several options: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform. All of the different systems have advantages that allow Gluster Storage to enhance their offerings to fit the needs of customers.
For AWS users, they can aggregate both Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances within AWS environments to develop a virtualized, protected storage pool. This will also decrease capacity limitations of single devices and generate an even supportive standard so Amazon EC2 customers experience greater availability and performance.
Azure customers may utilize Gluster nodes within Azure to construct a similar storage pool by attaching Azure data disks to an Azure VM. The pool may also be located outside the cloud and can be connected by a common virtual network. Red Hat’s Gluster Storage can be used to enhance Azure’s Geo-Redundant Storage capability to make data available for asynchronous replication to another Azure Region; the second region data in the Azure nodes normally cannot support read workloads.
Google Cloud Platforms can serve as backup or disaster recovery solutions by replicating the data from on the premises into the Google cloud. Similarly, by combining multiple Google Persistent Disks, Red Hat Gluster Storage can fashion that protected, virtualized storage pool for Google cloud.
For technical support, Red Hat Director of Product Marketing, Ross Turk, noted that Red Hat has “established specific life-cycle policies for the Red Hat Storage product family that will allow customers and partners to plan their test cycles, roll-outs, deployments, and implementations. This policy is applicable to all Red Hat Gluster Storage variants (e.g., on-premise and public cloud). The life cycle is divided into two phases: Active Development and Maintenance.”
Their updates are released like most software updates for consumer goods with general availability and applicable at the convenience of the customer. Turk continued that “Red Hat delivers asynchronous updates that include critical and important security errata advisories and urgent priority bug fix errata advisories as they are available.”
Finally, the offerings that Red Hat has expands into the whole host of managing data with offerings like Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, which allows customers a single vendor to support a seamless and painless experience instead of multiple vendors.
For similar scale-out, file-based (NAS) storage vendors competition, there is EMC Ilison, HP Ibrix, Dell FluidFS, and IBM GPFS. Red Hat also addresses compustorage, which streamlines the compute and storage platform for easier data access like Nutanix and SimpliVity.
During the process of researching the offerings of Red Hat, the company actually has two separate offerings in the storage industry. Red Hat also offers the Ceph Storage system for enterprise businesses, which focuses more on OpenStack cloud infrastructure storage management. For those that want to understand the difference and are unsure on how to proceed, then Red Hat has provided a comparative chart that only begins to highlight the differences; this, however, is a great way place for businesses to start.
For enterprises seeking a file-based software defined systems, Red Hat Gluster Storage is a comparative, competitive and successful choice with the support and vision to help enterprise’s unstructured data management.
Red Hat Gluster Storage Data Sheet