Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/09/object_paucity/

Damn you, world! WHY can't I have an object store on my desktop?

Who will rid me of these hostile cloud mutterings

By StorageBod

Posted in Storage, 9th April 2013 12:44 GMT

Storagebod Another year, another conference season sees me stuck on this side of the pond watching the press releases from afar, promising myself that I’ll watch the keynotes online - or "on demand" as people have it these days. I never find the time and have to catch up with the 140 character synopses that regularly appear on Twitter.

I can already see the storage vendors pimping their stuff at NAB, especially the Object storage vendors who want to push their stuff. Yet, it still isn’t really happening …

I had a long chat recently with one of my peers who deals with the more usual side of IT, the IT world full of web developers and the like. He’d spent many months investigating Object Storage and putting together a proposition firmly targeted at the development community. You know: Object APIs, S3 compatible, storage-on-demand, all built on solid technology.

And what has he ended up implementing? A bloody NFS/CIFS gateway into their shiny new Object Storage setup because it turns out what the developers really want is a POSIX file-system.

Sitting here on the broadcast/media side of the fence, where we want gobs of storage provisioned quickly to store large objects with relatively intuitive metadata, we're finding the same thing. I’ve not gone down the route of putting in an Object storage solution because finding one which is supported across all the tools in today’s workflows is near impossible. So it seems that we are looking more and more to NFS to provide us with the sort of transparency we need to support complex digital workflows.

I regularly suggest that we put in feature requests to the tools vendors to at least support S3; the looks I generally get are one of quiet bemusement or outright hostility and mutterings about Amazon and Cloud.

Then again, look how long it has taken for NFS to gain general acceptance and for vendors to not demand "proper" local file-systems. Give it 20 years or so and we’ll be rocking.

If I were an object storage vendor and I didn’t have my own gateway product, I’d be seriously considering buying/building one. I think it’s going to be a real struggle otherwise and it’s not the Operations teams who are your problem.

Personally, I’d be thrilled if someone put an Object storage gateway into the base operating system. I’d love to be able to mount an object-store and have it appear on my desktop. At least then I might be able to con some of the tools to work with an object-store.

If anyone has a desktop gateway at which I can point my own S3-like store, I’d love to have a play. ®