DataDirect tunes up Web Object Scaler cloud storage platform

DataDirect Networks launches Web Object Scaler 2.5, adding the ability to use erasure codes and replication in its cloud storage platform.

DataDirect Networks (DDN) today took steps to improve data protection and performance of its Web Object Scaler (WOS) cloud storage platform, adding the ability to apply replication and erasure coding in the latest version.

Previous versions of the object-based storage platform required customers to choose between replication and erasure codes. WOS 2.5 uses replication among data centers in conjunction with erasure coding within one data center so if a drive fails, rebuilds are done locally.

The vendor claims the combination reduces latency and accelerates performance. By replicating data and incorporating the ObjectAssure erasure code-based protection algorithm, WOS can recreate an object locally 4,000% faster without depending on the wide area network (WAN), according to Jeff Denworth, DDN's vice president of marketing.

"Today, object storage distributes data across three data centers to get good data protection," Denworth said. "It’s called dispersal. The challenge with that is as you read a file, you have to talk to a number of data centers to assemble a file. That is very communication heavy across the WAN. Also, when you lose a node, it adds activity across the WAN for rebuilds. That has added to costs and also creates a performance hit across the overall network."

DDN’s WOS 2.5 performs local erasure coding dispersal in one cloud storage system in a data center, so objects are distributed across a cluster of drives in an eight-plus-one configuration. Users can choose to replicate files to another data center or keep files in one data center.

"In our case, we do retrievals in a data center. All the reads and writes exist in one data center so we never go through the WAN," Denworth said. "You get much better performance."

DDN originally developed WOS in 2009 as a cloud storage system that could scale to petabytes. It competes with EMC Atmos, Dell DX, NetApp StorageGrid, Rackspace OpenStack, HP Cloud Object Storage, Hitachi Data Systems’ Hitachi Content Platform. Startups Amplidata, Basho, Caringo, Cleversafe, Compuverde and Scality also sell object storage.

Most object storage is used for the cloud or archiving. However, Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Terri McClure said WOS has the performance to be used for primary storage in some cases.

"WOS is highly scalable object storage with high performance," she said. "DDN targets more active data sets. In some cases, they are taking on Isilon [EMC’s clustered NAS] use cases. Other use cases are for service providers offering bundled compute and WOS storage offering for good performance."

Other performance and feature upgrades in WOS 2.5 include support for 256 billion objects and the ability to deliver performance of more than 8 million file retrievals per second with less than 8,000 high-capacity 7,200 rpm disk drives. It has full Microsoft Active Directory integration across Linux, Mac and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

DDN also has broadened its support for API interfaces. WOS 2.5 supports Server Message Block1 (SMB1) and SMB2, along with NFS, REST/HTTP, DDN’s Web Object Scaler API for high performance and Amazon S3. It also supports Android and Apple iOS devices.

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