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Cloudian Inc., which bills itself as a software-defined storage vendor, today upgraded the hardware that its software runs on as it tries to move into the enterprise.
Cloudian's new modular array series scales to 384 PB in a 100-rack footprint and is built with hot-swappable micro-node servers, so the array keeps running even when a node fails.
The FL3000 series, built on the company's Forever Live platform, starts at 3.8 PB in a single rack and scales into hundreds of petabytes for the software-defined data center. The arrays operate on Cloudian HyperStore software-defined storage (SDS), which has been enhanced with new, self-service data protection policies for cloud storage.
The FL3000 appliances come with eight nodes in a 3U chassis and modularly scale as more capacity is needed. Each node holds 128 GB of memory, Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors and dual flash drives to optimize metadata and run the operating system. The data storage is provided in 60-drive, 4U capacity expansion storage shelves. One expansion JBOD shelf contains 60 8 TB Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) hard drives for a maximum 480 TB on each shelf. The micro-node server has two Gigabit Ethernet network ports.
The FL3000 arrays can scale up to 384 PB within 100 racks. Cloudian will continue to sell its HSA 1000 and HSA 2000 appliances to small and medium-sized customers, while the new FL3000 targets enterprise-level companies.
"This is a total overhaul," said Paul Turner, head of product management and business development at Cloudian, based in San Mateo, Calif. "This is for the petabyte-scale environment. It's very dense and we have separated the data drives from the compute, so that you can pull out compute nodes and replace them on the fly. No single component can bring the system down. Every failure is isolated."
Paul Turnerhead of product management and business development at Cloudian
Turner said replacing nodes does not require any data movement. Cloudian's software uses erasure coding or replication to protect data.
"One of the biggest challenges is that once a node fails, you have to move a lot of data around," he said. "In this design, you don't have to. We rebalance live data across all the other drives in the system. Our software spreads data across the drives and nodes."
Chris Wilder, analyst for cloud services and enterprise software at Moor Insights and Strategy, said Cloudian's enterprise arrays now bring it into competition with the large storage vendors. Not only is the enterprise storage hardware market crowded, it is also an area where there has not been much growth.
"The modular approach they are taking is pretty cool," Wilder said. "It's hot-pluggable and removable components. But I see challenges with the appliance as a service model. It's an uphill battle. The hardware business is a hard business to be in. You start competing with the big guys."
Cloudian also rolled out HyperStore software. The new self-service storage capabilities for Cloudian HyperStore 5.2 allow administrators to set data durability and protection policies per application. The IT department still manages data distribution and protection at the data center level.
"Our belief is you have to move from administrator-control to more self-service, like the cloud," Turner said.
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