open source storage

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: The evolution of data center storage architecture
Contributor(s): Sarah Wilson

Open source storage is any storage system that is based on an open source platform. 

Open source storage is beneficial because there is a lower upfront cost, and the source code is available should developers want to modify it for the specific needs of their business. It is common for an enterprise that implements an open source storage model to do so by purchasing pre-configured hardware from a vendor who builds its products with open source software. 

Open source storage isn't limited to one type of storage infrastructure -- it can be used for a storage area network (SAN), network-attached storage (NAS) or object storage. Examples of open source platforms include OpenStack Swift Object Storage, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and GlusterFS.

This was last updated in December 2013

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