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Caringo Swarm upgraded with search engine for data analysis

Caringo Swarm now has a built-in search engine for cloud object storage data analysis. Caringo also added file-level protocols and a new management portal to the software.

Caringo Inc. today upgraded its Swarm object storage software, adding a built-in search engine, along with file protocol integration and object versioning.

Caringo Swarm allows users to search standard metadata within an object, such as the cluster identifier, data of creation and system versioning for targeted analysis. The search engine can list domain objects within a cluster, buckets within a domain or objects within a bucket. It also can search for objects with matching metadata. Caringo Swarm searches can organize content by keywords or descriptive content.

"We are doing full indexing of metadata. We don't get into the object itself," said Adrian Herrera, Caringo's vice president of marketing. "With this integration, there is no need to migrate data out of your system; no need to create a separate system. It's all available in a command-line interface, but we also have added a portal that allows you to create searches at the user interface level."

Caringo Swarm software has a new multi-tenant management portal that connects Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, Active Directory and Linux PAM, and uses token-based authentication with expiration dates for security. It's interoperable with HTTP, Amazon Simple Storage Service, NFS and SMB. The portal allows managed service providers to set permissions, tenants and tokens.

Herrera said users can do object versioning per bucket level or domain. It also allows for revision control, version-control rollback, and the reading and copying of old versions. The file protocol integration gives Caringo Swarm an object-renaming capability in a single operation. 

The file protocol integration gives Caringo Swarm an object-renaming capability in a single operation.

"Now, you can name objects like the way you name files," Herrera said. "We are starting to see file system protocols tying access to back-end object storage, and you start to assume you have all the capabilities that a file system has."

Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst at the Taneja Group Inc., in Hopkinton, Mass., said Caringo's latest version of Swarm demonstrates the evolution of object storage, which is merging with file system protocols.

"The new applications being written make object-level calls, but the existing applications make file-level calls," Taneja said. "Customers say, 'We love the object-scale concept, but don't make us buy a cloud gateway.' Object storage and file are merging. All object platforms are adding file protocols. The object guys are adding file interfaces, and the file guys are adding object interfaces."

The company last year announced FileFly for Caringo Swarm, which is a Windows-based application that plugs directly into Windows NTFS. 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.

"You have file system access on the front end and storage on the back end. FileFly is blurring the line for us," Herrera said.

Caringo 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 blocks. Each object is assigned a unique identifier for retrieving data from any location.

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