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How Red Hat beefed up its Storage plans with Gluster

describe the imageThe open-source software giant Red Hat has been powering its way forward with a wide array of enterprise and server level software including a server OS line-up, middleware, virtualization and cloud computing architecture to boot. Now with Red Hat Storage Server 2.0, it has a production-grade network attached storage operating on a scale-out clustered architecture. This new development stems from Red Hat's acquisition of the GlusterFS file system, which was a spin-off from a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory project circa 2005.

The GlusterFS file system prototype has been changed from an open-core approach to an open source implementation. Unlike the usual clustered file systems that carry a single metadata server at their core, Gluster employs a no-metadata server model. Thanks to its elastic hashing algorithm, GlusterFS is able to scale across approximately 500 x86 servers, conveniently bypassing the performance and scalability bottlenecks that plague other clustered file systems. Thus, the Gluster network-attached storage (NAS) is able to hold petabytes of data across its distributed storage architecture.

With the NAS market expected to cross $7 billion mark in 2015, Red Hat needed an NAS software that fit the bill while being compatible with their open source standards. With Gluster having an open-core approach with a well developed community of over 2000 developers and 100 consumers, it proved to be the perfect option for the software company.

In the NAS arena, along with scalability, compatibility issues regarding existing standards and services also matter. The better it integrates atop services like the Amazon Web Services EC2 Cloud Compute services, the related S3 object, and EBS Block Storage, the more viable and attractive it becomes as a truly scalable NAS service. Gluster already has a virtualized instance that can saddle onto S3 and EBS. As a result, the Red Hat Storage options as of now include Storage Servers for both On Premise as well as Public Cloud platforms.

Red Hat seems to be basing its NAS Storage options largely on the x86 server architecture currently. With the current version 2.0 of Red Hat Storage, customers get geo-replications fallbacks, REST API, as well compatibility with 50-plus x86 servers (dual socket). Plans for future releases of Red Hat Storage include multi-master geo-replication and storage virtualization enhancements. An Apache Hadoop plug-in to provide API compatibility for existing Hadoop deployments is in technology preview.                

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.

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