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OpenIO dives into object storage with shared-nothing grid architecture

Source:  miakievy/istock
Designer: Linda Koury

With its shared-nothing approach, OpenIO is trying to find footing in a packed object-storage market. The company's technology has its origins in email and messaging, expanding recently to address cloud archiving, video files and voice recordings.

Some data storage industry experts claim object storage provides an alternative to traditional scale-out NAS file storage. To capture adherents, OpenIO has to ward off more than a dozen established object vendors.

OpenIO is an eponymous software-only product that aggregates x86 server capacity from flash, disk and tape. The servers are organized as a massively distributed grid that shares compute storage and compute under a single global namespace linearly scaling to petabytes of capacity.

Each OpenIO object node participates in directory management and storage services. The grid-based architecture distributes metadata to eliminate a single point of failure.

Detection is automatic when a new node joins the OpenIO cluster. The new servers contribute immediately without the need to rebalance data.

Hyperscale cloud service providers, content delivery networks and long-term archiving are among OpenIO projected use cases.

Central to the OpenIO software is its application-aware Conscience technology for dynamic data placement. The Conscience algorithm continuously collects metrics on the node cluster, calculating a score for each node based on the available compute, memory and I/O. Metrics determine where data objects are written based on an application's performance requirement.

OpenIO is based in France, although it recently opened a U.S. office in San Francisco. Software versions are available for email, enterprise and video storage. The enterprise edition builds file services on the OpenIO open source core engine, including a REST API that supports Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift metadata access. Data objects are protected on the fly using Reed-Solomon erasure coding.

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