Scality Ring object storage improves data protection, security

Sonia Lelii

Scality Inc. is upgrading its Ring object software with improved data protection for clusters, enhanced security with support for Kerberos authentication, and the ability to cache large stripes of data to boost response times.

Scality Ring software uses a de-centralized distributed architecture, providing concurrent access to data stored on x86-based hardware. Ring's core features include replication and erasure coding for data protection, auto-tiering, and geographic redundancies inside a cluster.

Ring 4.3 natively supports OpenStack Swift object storage and Cinder block storage. It has been designed for a 30% performance gain for mixed small and large files over the previous version. The improvement comes from intelligent caching and faster metadata operations, said Philippe Nicolas, Scality's senior director of industry strategy.

"The system tries to anticipate the next read operation," Nicolas said. "We have more cache for larger stripes of data. The data is stored in memory, which can retrieve it faster and acknowledges the application for better restore time."

Nicolas said the directory operation also has been improved with an asynchronous function. When files are created and updated, the software updates the status in the directory.

"Instead of doing every operation synchronously, we collect all the operations and we sync back in only one operation," Nicolas said.

The new geo-redundancy function uses erasure coding along with replication for the target cluster in cluster-to-cluster replication. Previously, the target site cluster could only replicate for data protection.

Ring also now supports the Seagate Kinetic Open Storage platform for Ethernet drives.

The Kerberos network authentication protocol lets users request encrypted tickets to request a service from a server. It's designed on a client-server model that requires the client and the server to verify each other's identity to protect against eavesdropping and replay attacks. Nicolas said Kerberos support was added for users who want to isolate tenants in a multi-tenant configuration.

Future releases of Scality Ring will include integration with real-time policies and quality of service, big data analytics and content indexing, Nicolas said.

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