Swedish startup Compuverde AB entered the object storage market today with software that runs on any commodity hardware and a software gateway that delivers file services.
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The company's Linux-based gateway works as a network attached storage (NAS) head to expose CIFS, NFS, Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) and open source OpenStack interfaces to the object storage software. The gateway can also host virtual machines (VMs) and cache data on solid-state drives and NVRAM.
Compuverde Object Store can run with the gateway or any commodity hardware. Besides delivering file services to the object storage, the gateway’s cache is synchronized with the object storage to speed performance. Compuverde uses an erasure coding algorithm for data redundancy.
Bernbo said thousands of Compuverde gateways can be connected, with numerous VMs running within each gateway. The cache is replicated among the gateways, so if one goes down the data is still available.
“When we started to design the software, we thought about reliability and availability as a top priority,” Bernbo said. “We heard the requirements from ISPs and they have high demands for storage. If you run commodity servers, you'll have failures more often, so reliability and availability are a priority.”
They've [Compuverde] architected the software cluster to deliver good performance even when it runs on power-saving hardware. The object storage has high availability and reliability at good performance while it runs on cheap, low-powered hardware.
Mike Matchett, senior analyst and consultant, Taneja Group
Compuverde designed the cache in the gateway because VMs typically generate a lot of I/O demands on storage. “The virtual machines write to the cache and you can configure our software to ensure data is stored in at least two gateways before the write is committed to the virtual machine. If a physical node breaks, they can bring up a virtual machine image without losing data,” Bernbo said.
The Object Store software stores file metadata inside the object storage. The local cache is also written to the object storage “so at any point a gateway goes down, you don’t lose anything. There's no permanent local storage in the gateway,” said Mike Matchett, senior analyst and consultant at Hopkinton, Mass.-based Taneja Group. “They've [Compuverde] architected the software cluster to deliver good performance even when it runs on power-saving hardware. The object storage has high availability and reliability at good performance while it runs on cheap, low-powered hardware."
Matchett said object storage is designed more for high availability than performance. “No one expects object storage to be blistering fast,” he said.
The ability of the gateway to host VMs means administrators can “run applications next to storage so you can do interesting things for big data analysis,” Matchett added.
The first-generation software suite supports VMware and Red Hat KVM, but not Microsoft Hyper-V. The software is available now to OEM partners and resellers. Pricing for the gateway software is on a per-server basis, while the object storage is priced on a per-capacity basis.
Compuverde joins Amplidata, Caringo, Cleversafe, EMC (Atmos), Hitachi Data Systems (Hitachi Content Platform), NetApp (StorageGRID) and Scality as vendors selling object storage.