Object Storage with High Performance and Security

If object storage and the S3 API interests you, but you are holding back because of concerns about performance or security, Scality would like to introduce RING 6.0. Scality is advertising it as the first object storage system with enterprise grade performance and security.

Some may look at this offering and wonder why it needs to exist, since what many people are storing in object storage systems is fixed content that they rarely use again after creation. The whole selling point of object storage is “why pay for the performance of tier 1 storage for data that does not require it?” Therefore it seems odd that an object storage system would advertise high-performance.

When asked about this, the Scality representatives mentioned that not everybody is using object storage for seldom-used data. Some companies abandoned traditional NAS systems for all unstructured content. Scality states that its file system on object storage can be used instead of NAS systems for well-defined workloads and use cases. The key aspects are requirements to store big file data, accessed through applications rather than interactive user access. For example in media, online content delivery of video files is a proven use case for its object storage solution where NAS was previously used. Just as NAS systems were better than what came before them, they believe that it is time for unstructured data to move to a different kind of storage that offers better resilience and scale. If you’re going to do that, you are going to expect enterprise grade performance and security.

Object Storage That, Finally, Addresses Enterprise Concerns

The enterprise is slow to adopt object storage in all but a few limited use cases. One of the biggest features they are looking for is integration with known user authentication systems. This is why object storage systems typically sit behind a single authorization and authentication system. In addition, such systems do not tend to offer the performance a large scale implementation might need.

RING 6.0 offers full integration with Active Directory, including ACLs for buckets and objects, and multi-tenant accounts with groups and roles. It supports the AWS IAM multi-tenancy model, ADFS/SAML 2.0 and Signature v4 and v2 authentication. It also offers a scale-out filesystem with NFS, SMB and Linux FUSE access. All of this allows it to serve a wide range of custom and ISV enterprise applications including leading backup, archive and content management solutions, and for machine driven data such as IoT data.

Scality’s new S3 Connector also supports scale-out access to an individual bucket across multiple geographic sites for site protection and availability reasons. (The initial support is only for two sites, but they plan to expand this in later versions.) The scale-out support is optimized for metro city deployments, with low latency and high bandwidth networks, supporting fast access and listing of objects. This should allow RING 6.0 to offer as much performance and access as an enterprise should need.

The Scality representatives also mentioned compliance with SEC 17a-4 and other certifications, which cover long-term archives. They also claim to have been validated with over 95 applications and industry certifications, especially in the healthcare and financial services industries. Ring 6.0 offers support for retention management, immutability (WORM), and encryption. The solution is designed to scale to petabytes of data and across multiple sites. This is without tying you into a single hardware solution, as it is a software defined platform that allows you to pay as you grow on the hardware of your choosing.

In addition to RING 6.0, Scality is also releasing Scality S3 Server, an open-source project for those wanting to experiment with S3 storage. It is delivered as a single Docker container and supports all standard S3 API methods and is compatible with all S3 API tools. It stores its data inside local Docker volumes.

StorageSwiss Take

It remains to be seen if the S3 API will replace more traditional ways of storing unstructured data, but there are certainly those who believe this is the case. Those customers looking for a high performance, highly secure object storage system should definitely examine Ring 6.0. Those who are still experimenting with object storage can do so with their free open-source product, the Scality S3 Server.

W. Curtis Preston (aka Mr. Backup) is an expert in backup & recovery systems; a space he has been working in since 1993. He has written three books on the subject, Backup & Recovery, Using SANs and NAS, and Unix Backup & Recovery. Mr. Preston is a writer and has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the world. Preston’s mission is to arm today’s IT managers with truly unbiased information about today’s storage industry and its products.

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One comment on “Object Storage with High Performance and Security
  1. Thanks for the article! (Full disclaimer: CTO @scality)

    Here’s a few links for those interested in S3 Server:
    Website http://s3.scality.com
    Github https://github.com/scality/s3
    Docker: https://hub.docker.com/r/scality/s3server

    Cheers!

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