Unstructured Data Storage For The Mid-Market

Unstructured data (data that’s outside of databases), is growing at an out-of-control pace in organizations of all sizes. Large cloud service providers and some larger enterprises have dealt with this challenge by embracing object storage. For smaller data centers and regional, managed service providers, this kind of investment is out of the question, both in terms of money and people. They need a scaleable cloud-like solution that will simply and affordably address their unstructured data needs.

Exablox’s OneSystem is a storage system designed specifically to provide these organizations with the ability to tackle their unstructured data storage problems head on. The OneSystem Software runs on 2U appliances that Exablox calls a “OneBlox”, each of which can hold 8 x 3.5″ drives and supports 4TB disk drives.

One of the challenges to a cloud or object based file system is getting data into it. Most prefer to use REST APIs which require changes to software. While many object storage vendors have developed a NAS Gateway, this gateway often becomes a bottleneck and a single point of failure.

For these reasons, plus cost, object storage is not typically seen in mid-market companies. It’s far more common for a mid-sized data center to try and stretch the capacity of a traditional NAS system to handle unstructured data. But for these data center managers their legacy NAS solution can quickly run into scaling, space efficiency, data protection and disaster recovery problems.

Exablox promises to change all that by providing a simple, approachable, object storage system designed specifically for the unstructured data problems of mid-market companies. It can start with a node count as small as one – most object storage systems need three – and has the ability to grow to 6 nodes in a “ring”. Total potential storage capacity of a single Exablox ring is 192TB of raw storage.

Data is protected by object replication instead of RAID, which, while increasing the capacity needed, makes recovery much faster. To help with capacity utilization Exablox provides inline deduplication. And, all data is encrypted, replicated and redistributed across drives and/or nodes.

Storage Swiss Take

Exablox hits a point in the market that no other object based storage system has, that we know of – unstructured data in the mid-tier data center. It approaches this market with a system built from the ground up to meet the needs and budget of these mid-tier organizations, not with a stripped-down enterprise object storage system. Companies in this market with a need to store a lot of unstructured data should give Exablox a hard look.

Exablox is a client of Storage Switzerland

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note
One comment on “Unstructured Data Storage For The Mid-Market
  1. […] a cost structure that they can still build a business around. But vendors are now coming out with object-based storage systems capacities as low as few tens of terabytes, something we expect to see more of. With tape and now disk drives being designed with a REST […]

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