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OpenStack wranglers release Atmos-on-a-budget object store

SwiftStack touts object store for dollars per terabyte

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Software-defined storage company SwiftStack has announced the general availability of its OpenStack-based object store, and claims it already has "multiple petabytes" under management.

The company announced the general availability of its software on Tuesday, and hopes that the management and controller features it has added to OpenStack Swift are good enough for companies to fork over cash and have the firm manage their data for them.

SwiftStack wraps OpenStack's distributed ring-based Swift storage layer with a drag and drop web interface, deployment support for Red Hat, CentOS and Ubuntu, disk inventory system and monitoring support for both SwiftStack and Nagios, and an out of data path storage controller.

The controller is what SwiftStack thinks will entice people into forking over $249 pr month for each 25 terabytes under SwiftStack management.

"It's more like a software-defined networking controller where it's an out of band system so it's not in the datapath," SwiftStack chief executive Joe Arnold, says. "We have high availability for that controller, but if that controller goes down the cluster doesn't get interupted. We have the ability to have a hot standby or a warm or cold standby. Also, we can run the controller as a service for the customer, for the deployments."

The controller handles configuration and deployment of storage nodes based on admin-set preferences, and is fed diagnostic information from the storage via a VPN to help it spot bottlenecks. It is available both as an on-premise deployment and as a cloud service.

Typical SwiftStack deployments see the technology replacing EMC Atmos, Arnold says. The company has "dozens" of customers and is managing "multiple petabytes", he claims, while SwiftStack is targeting "people who are building out businesses on Amazon or other cloud providers and wanting to bring more infrastructure in-house for cost and control reasons."

Some of its main competitors include EMC Atmos, the CEPH storage system, Basho's free Riak distributed database, and Scality. When not battling Atmos, SwiftStack may find tougher competition when set against Riak Cloud Storage – an open source technology based on Amazon's seminal “Dynamo” paper (PDF, 16 pages, rather dense).

SwiftStack has a major development community thanks to its use of OpenStack's Swift, but Basho has notched up a large amount of media and telco customers for services relating to Riak and Riak CS. And as anyone knows, competing against something free can be tricky. ®

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