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With the release of Gluster Storage on Google Compute Engine this month, Red Hat has made its distributed file-system software available on three major cloud platforms.
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Red Hat released Gluster-based file storage for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud customers in 2012. Last November, the company forged an agreement to enable Linux users to run Red Hat Gluster Storage on Microsoft's Azure cloud.
The partnerships allow customers to deploy Red Hat's supported distribution of the open source Gluster file system entirely on premises, in the public cloud or in a hybrid scenario. With the latter option, they could use the same storage technology on premises and in the public cloud.
"Some customers might start on a public cloud, and the other half might start on a local physical infrastructure or private cloud. But, eventually, I'd say the vast majority of them end up being a hybrid cloud environment," said Ranga Rangachari, Red Hat's vice president and general manager of storage and big data.
He said customers have the flexibility to move an application from on premises to the cloud, or vice versa, without the need for an application rewrite. "Because Gluster is POSIX-compliant, all your file system calls are fairly immutable, regardless of whether you run it on premises or in a public cloud," Rangachari said.
New Red Hat-Google storage option
Google has offered customers several ways to store, access and archive data, including its object-based Google Cloud Storage, Datastore NoSQL database and BigQuery analytics database.
The Red Hat Gluster Storage option on Google Compute Engine (GCE) enables users to create a scalable, persistent file-based storage pool in the cloud, with hard disk drives and/or higher-performance solid-state drives. Each node in the cluster can use disks of up to 64 TB in capacity, and up to 15,000 IOPS, according to Google.
"GCE does not have a native, scale-out file system. That's the gap this [Red Hat] solution fills," Rangachari said.
Rangachari said he expects customers to use Red Hat Gluster Storage on GCE, with net new workloads geared for file-based storage, such as video rendering, log files and unstructured user data. He said one of the most common use cases for public cloud is disaster recovery, enabling a customer to bring up systems in the public cloud if their primary data center goes down.
Red Hat Gluster Storage can synchronously replicate data across multiple zones in the same region and asynchronously replicate the files to separate regions for disaster recovery.
Red Hat offers an on-premises storage management console, but it does not have native tools to manage storage in the Amazon, Google or Microsoft public clouds, according to Rangachari. He said Red Hat is working on management enhancements.
Customers purchase a Gluster Storage subscription from Red Hat for use on GCE. The starting list price for the subscription is $5,000 per node, or in the case of a cloud deployment, per virtual server, according to Rangachari.
Rangachari said Red Hat uses a performance-focused sizing guide to help determine the number of nodes, but the vendor is looking into on-demand, capacity-based pricing and other options for the cloud.
Google has been a member of the Red Hat Certified Cloud Provider program since November 2013. Red Hat Enterprise Linux became available on Google Compute Engine the following month to give customers the option to move eligible subscriptions from their data centers to Google's cloud. The addition of Red Hat Gluster Storage marks a follow-up to the broader relationship between the two companies.
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