SwiftStack Adds Multiple-Region Scope to Multi-Cloud Data Management

Data management platform update enables broader use cases and consumption for unstructured data on-premises and across public clouds.

Cloud storage software provider SwiftStack on Oct. 31 upgraded its capabilities for public cloud archiving, synchronization and multi-region data management in the latest version of its frontline product.

“I know that object storage is the category we’ve been put into, but I'd love if we were put into the emerging category of “multicloud data management” instead, because we’re a lot more like that,” SwiftStack Marketing Vice President Mario Blandini told eWEEK. “Storage used to be thought of as something you have to migrate off of every three to five years. But the concept of migrating is gone now that we have public cloud.

“You never have to migrate anything anymore. In VMware, the best thing it’s used for is to migrate off to other servers so you can do server maintenance.”

As the second major product update this year, SwiftStack multi-cloud data management now includes new capabilities in its Cloud Sync tool for public cloud archiving and on-premises data rehydration based on policies governed and managed by IT. Version 5.9 also includes new choices for multi-region data durability and policies in its single namespace, among many additional enhancements.

AWS Has 'Plowed the Ground' Ahead of SwiftStack

“Amazon has sort of plowed the ground for us already because they have compliant cloud buckets guaranteed to be in certain countries if you specify public cloud,” Blandini said. “In a private cloud, you can be specific where storage goes into each server and where it’s located, if you want. With SwiftStack, you can policy storage down to the drive level. But usually people signify to the region or zone level.

“Our system is smart enough to identify where everything is; for example, if you are using Google Cloud and it’s nearline storage on the East Coast, we’ll ask you: ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’”

SwiftStack multi-cloud data management includes new capabilities in its Cloud Sync tool for public cloud archiving and on-premises data rehydration based on policies governed and managed by IT. Version 5.9 also includes new choices for multi-region data durability and policies in its single namespace, among many additional enhancements.

Six-year-old SwiftStack also has enhanced features that enable application workflows or parts of those workflows to operate across multiple different public clouds, placing data close to the compute resources that can better execute parts of workflows that can benefit from hybrid cloud.

IT maintains control and governance of policy management, and users simply consume storage from the single namespace in the same way they would in the public cloud, choosing which policy is best for their application. SwiftStack’s single namespace responds to requests from the data location that can respond most quickly with that data.

Enhancements include the following:

Improved public cloud compute and archiving workflows: Organizations using public cloud resources for inactive data see cost benefits as well as reduced risk, SwiftStack said. SwiftStack allows auto-tiering to the public cloud based on IT-defined policies. Since data remains universally accessible in a single namespace, applications and users do not need to be aware of where the data is physically stored; archived data is automatically rehydrated to on-premises infrastructure when requested. Repatriating a workload from public cloud to private cloud is especially complex at scale, but SwiftStack now manages the process seamlessly even while applications are online and maintains uninterrupted access to data.

End-user access to a multi-cloud namespace with the SwiftStack client: As SwiftStack moves data across multiple clouds based on policy, the SwiftStack Client gives end users transparent access to the data they need to utilize. If data is archived to a remote cloud, the data structure in the eyes of the user remains the same. The only difference they see is the addition of a simple icon noting that the data is at rest somewhere else. When they need to interact with the data, it behaves as if it was still on-premises.

Multi-region erasure coding: Typically, organizations that use erasure coding as a protection option have been limited to a single geographic region, particularly if they require high performance. Using erasure coding across locations has historically required significant investment in hardware for redundancy, and SwiftStack users now can now achieve efficient ratios of capacity across multiple global regions while maintaining durability that does not impose unnecessary demand on the WAN when recovering from failures. Rather than spread parity bits across all available regions, SwiftStack uses the nodes in each region and keeps the data whole in each global location. This makes data more likely to remain available even if an entire server node goes offline, and reduces the need to transfer large amounts of data from another region in the event of a request or rebuild.

Deterministic placement: Organizations with standalone data centers or clusters geographically dispersed across data centers can now set extremely granular data placement policies. IT can specify how many replicas of the data should be kept in each region, and which nodes within regions to store the data based a tiering strategy that combines high-capacity nodes and low-latency nodes with solid state drives. If a region goes down or an application has to be moved, data is automatically accessed on nodes in another region without requiring any changes.

SwiftStack pricing is based on consumption of storage. Legacy applications can access and consume the same data from the single namespace via file services, and cloud-native applications via object APIs. Users gain the freedom of workload placement between private data centers and public clouds like Amazon or Google, and from cloud to cloud, according to administrative policies.

Whether on-premises or in public cloud, data remains under the management control of internal IT, residing wherever it is needed by users and applications.

SwiftStack uses standard commodity hardware and choice of server hardware, drives and networking; it scales linearly.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...