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Amplidata updates AmpliStor, rewrites erasure codes

Object storage vendor Amplidata launches its next version of AmpliStor, with revamped BitSpread erasure codes for better scalability and performance.

DALLAS -- Amplidata today unveiled AmpliStor XT, an optimized version of its object storage software with improved erasure codes and management and increased speed of its storage controllers.

The enhancements were announced at spring Storage Networking World (SNW), a year after the vendor launched its first AmpliStor product.

Amplidata’s AmpliStor object storage platform is designed for cloud archiving of media and entertainment files, and ‘big data’ file storage. The Belgium-based vendor did not change its AmpliStor controller hardware but enhanced its BitSpread erasure coding software and BitDynamics storage management technology.

Amplidata said the new version speeds performance, adds support for Microsoft .NET applications, and improves management with a new GUI for reporting and monitoring. AmpliStor XT also has a new object caching capability that supports variable-sized object caches in either solid state (SSD) or hard drive-based caches.

XT stands for eXtreme Throughput, and the startup claims an AmpliStor controller delivers up to 750 MB per second of aggregate throughput due to BitSpread enhancements. Previously, the controllers maxed out at 400 MBps per controller.

Amplidata’s BitSpread technology is an algorithm that splits up a given block of data and spreads the blocks across nodes. Paul Speciale, Amplidata’s vice president of products, said most of the changes in XT involved improving BitSpread durability and performance.

“In BitSpread, we have tuned the algorithms for higher performance. We are able to fill a 10-Gigabit Ethernet pipe per controller,” Speciale said.  “The key part of this is scalability. You can have as many controllers as you want.”

In previous AmpliStor versions, frequent calculations were required to handle slowed erasure code performance.

“Before you had to take objects and mathematically encode them,” Speciale said. “You have a lot of calculations and that computation required a lot of overhead. And it stood in the way of doing things fast. We made it linear and it lets us go faster in one controller so then you can scale up as added you controllers. In erasure coding, there is a lot of overhead. We really solved that problem.”

BitDynamics provides automated out-of-band storage management functions such as data integrity verification, self-monitoring and automatic data healing. BitDynamics detects and repairs missing or damaged nodes. In XT, Amplidata tweaked BitDynamics to encode and decode at a much faster pace for faster rebuild times.

The startup also added support for the Microsoft software development kit (SDK) for .NET environments and the ability to customize metadata tags on top of object stores.

Robin Harris, chief analyst for StorageMojo, said Amplidata’s support for Microsoft .NET means the system can make calls from .NET frameworks instead of using REST.

“This opens it up to people who have a lot of Microsoft applications,” Harris said. “They are maturing the product and making it more accessible to a broader audience, especially with the .NET enhancement.”

In addition, the management software GUI has been customized for more reporting and trending capabilities for disk capacity, CPU rebuilds and disk failures.

Amplidata also added SNMP traps to allow alerting and browsing in frameworks such as Hewlett-Packard OpenView and Nagios.

Amplidata is among the many vendors announcing new products or upgrades at the four-day event, produced by Computerworld and co-owned by Computerworld and Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).

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