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Caringo Swarm refines migration with FileFly software

New FileFly software for Caringo Swarm lets Windows Storage Server and NetApp filers migrate data to Caringo object storage systems.

Caringo this week came out with software that lets customers move data back and forth between file-based primary storage and Caringo Swarm object storage software.

FileFly for Caringo Swarm is a Windows-based application that plugs directly into the Windows NTFS file system. FileFly uses policy-based automation to identify and migrate aged data from primary NetApp file servers and arrays running the Windows Storage Server operating system to Caringo Swarm on the back end. No changes are required to applications or end user workflows.

FileFly for Swarm works with version 7.5.2 of Swarm, which the vendor released in July.

FileFly replaces Caringo Content File Server, a Linux-based archiving tool that provided an NFS mount on top of Swarm. Content File Server required storage admins to have some familiarity with Linux storage.

"FileFly is designed to more closely match the performance of native file servers," said Adrian Herrera, Caringo vice president of marketing.

Swarm presents data as objects. The vendor claims the combination of Swarm and FileFly helps reduce primary storage costs and retain the performance of standard file storage.

"Filers are becoming junk drawers filled with data that hasn't been accessed in months or years, but no one wants to delete it," said Tony Barbagallo, Caringo vice president of product.

"That's the specific use case we set out to solve: an automated way to transparently archive data from primary storage into lower-cost secondary storage," he added.

That's the specific use case we set out to solve: an automated way to transparently archive data from primary storage into lower-cost secondary storage.
Tony Barbagallo, vice president of product at Caringo

Caringo Swarm scales to support more than 100 PB of object storage. Swarm evolved out of Caringo's CAStor, a content-addressed storage system.

Unlike file and block storage, object storage uses a flat address space to store files, images and data blocks as individual objects. Each object is assigned a unique identifier for retrieving data from any location. Object storage software uses erasure coding for data protection.

Adoption of object storage has been slowed by the labor-intensive process of migrating metadata from legacy storage systems. Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting in Beaverton, Ore., said FileFly for Swarm should help Caringo narrow the gap with object storage leaders Cleversafe and Scality.

"It's always a pain to move data," Staimer said. "The biggest barrier to moving data to object stores is relinking them and maintaining chain of ownership. Caringo is doing it in an automated fashion that maintains chain of ownership. That's pretty clever, and it should help them sell more object storage."

Caringo said it does not plan to bundle FileFly in upgrades of Swarm object software. Swarm customers can download FileFly software directly for Windows and NetApp file storage from Caringo. The vendor is making available a FileFly starter kit for new customers that scales to 140 TB of raw storage (100 TB usable) for $35,000.

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