SwiftStack's Multi-Cloud DM Has Universal Access to Single Namespace

Cloud-native storage on-premises and across public clouds enables freedom of mobility and scale for new and classic data-centric applications.

SwiftStack contends that it can make automated data storage—whether it needs to be on-premises, in a cloud service, or a combination of both—actually work every time in production situations.

This sounds simple, but it's really not. In fact, this is far more of a guarantee than 99 percent of data storage providers will offer while negotiating for services. But this kind of efficiency doesn’t happen in the real world often enough.

The 6-year-old San Francisco-based storage startup, which specializes in object and file storage for multiple-cloud data management, on Dec. 5 released a new product called Universal Access for classic and cloud-native applications in Version 6 of its platform.

For the record: An object-based storage device implements the standard in which data is organized and accessed as objects, where object means an ordered set of bytes (within the OSD) that is associated with a unique identifier. Objects are allocated and placed on the media by the OSD logical unit.

The Key to It All: Single Namespace for Unstructured Data

SwiftStack’s multi-cloud offering features a cloud-native, single namespace for unstructured data. This is a highly desired addition, because classic data-centric applications that use file protocols can now use SwiftStack without the need for refactoring.

This file access—combined with SwiftStack Cloud Sync—enables policy-based data placement, giving applications the freedom to run wherever IT deems the workload can run best. SwiftStack says this all happens without altering the user experience and while maintaining governance and control.

SwiftStack Chief Marketing Officer Mario Blandini describes this approach as cloud-service “hardening.”

“By hardened cloud services, we’re not talking about anything to do with security; it has everything to do with the fact that it actually works and doesn’t break,” CMO Mario Blandini told eWEEK.  “Every (cloud storage) vendor says they can back up to Amazon S3. Every vendor has a feature that does that. But if you actually try to do it, with any type of actual production workload, you find that it fails more often than not.

“This is one of the dirty little secrets as to why people don’t do it—because it doesn’t work.”

Introduces Integrated File Access

In SwiftStack 6, the company introduced integrated file access, which enables users to use Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol and/or Network File System (NFS) file-access protocols to read and write to the single namespace without needing a gateway. This will be music to a CFO’s ears, because gateways cost extra money for licensing.

An important distinction of SwiftStack File Access is that data can be read and written in both formats, Blandini said. For example, ingest data via file, read via object, and distribute via file, and vice versa. Universal Access including Cloud Sync, also included in SwiftStack 6, extends this capability of accessing unstructured data from any cloud location independent of the access method required by the user or application.

SwiftStack brings the consumption experience and fundamental attributes of public cloud storage to enterprises: scalability, agility, elasticity, and pricing based on consumption. Legacy applications with large unstructured data sets can now access and consume the same data from a single namespace via file protocols without the need for a gateway or application refactoring.

Data managed by SwiftStack is always stored in cloud-native format. Policy-based data placement combined with Cloud Sync opens new opportunities to scale on-premises file workloads in IaaS providers including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. 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, Blandini said.

SwiftStack sells into industries that include media and entertainment, life sciences, SaaS, and web-based business. It also sells solutions such as active archive, compute bursting, and collaboration across multiple locations. SwiftStack has more than 100 customers including eBay, Pac-12 Networks, Verizon, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

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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...