This is one of a series of posts discussing the presenters at Storage Field Day 10, occurring 25th-27th May 2016 in Silicon Valley, at which I am an attending delegate.  See links at the end of this post to other presenting vendors.  Details of the event can be found on the Storage Field Day 10 page at techfieldday.com and on the dedicated events page on this site at Storage Field Day 10.

Cloudian is a startup vendor of software defined storage (SDS), specifically focused on scale-out object storage.  I used the term SDS, although Cloudian’s HyperStore platform can be purchased as an appliance or as software that can be deployed either on dedicated hardware or within virtual machines.

There are lots of object store solutions available in the market today, many of which directly support the S3 API protocol, a de-facto standard established by Amazon Web Services for accessing their Simple Storage Service (S3).  Cloudian claims that HyperStore provides the most complete S3 compatibility, to the extent that vendors can replace their S3 endpoint with one running the Cloudian software and make little or no changes to code.  HyperStore also provides tiering to S3 and AWS Glacier, allowing an on-premises solution to be extended to S3 for long term retention at reduced cost.

The interesting thing about providing full S3 support is that features can be applied onto an S3 environment to provide additional functionality without compromising the protocol itself.  For instance, this could be more comprehensive replication or data protection, or the ability to have many more tiers of storage.  This allows vendors to deliver compatibility and enhance the feature set that would be available with S3, to deliver a product more suited to the enterprise.

The object storage market is pretty competitive, with IBM Cleversafe, Scality, EMC ECS and Cloudian HyperStore leading the pack, at least according to Gartner’s Critical Capabilities report.  However there’s a number of other vendors fighting for market presence (DDN, Caringo, SwiftStack, NetApp, HGST, Ceph, Huawei) as well as others that aren’t so well known (like OpenIO and NooBaa).  Many of these vendors offer the same levels of functionality, with platform capacity sold on a per TB basis – a metric for continuing reduction in cost.

I wonder how object storage vendors will differentiate themselves in this market, especially for general object data.  We may find that the only separator for vendors is price.  Alternatively, solutions may choose to support industry verticals and be the best solution for say Media or Oil & Gas. Software-based solutions certainly offer the ability to ship with per TB licences and for large-scale object storage deployments this is a simple model to support.

Further Reading

You can find further details on a recent series of posts (that are still ongoing) through the link below (note, Cloudian is a client of Architecting IT).

Comments are always welcome; please read our Comments Policy first.  If you have any related links of interest, please feel free to add them as a comment for consideration.  

Disclaimer:  I was personally invited to attend Storage Field Day 10, with the event teams covering my travel and accommodation costs.  However I was not compensated for my time.  I am not required to blog on any content; blog posts are not edited or reviewed by the presenters or the respective companies prior to publication.  

Copyright (c) 2009-2016 – Chris M Evans, first published on https://blog.architecting.it, do not reproduce without permission.

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Written by Chris Evans