With Amazon S3’s native search capabilities, users are limited only to searching the name of the object. Most people however, want to search by many things in addition to the name of the object. Specifically, they would like to be able to search against metadata they store with the object. Currently, this is not possible without some kind of outside system or custom code. In addition to search, many cloud customers are interested in the ability to use multiple storage providers.
Scality recently released its new Zenko product, that builds on its already popular Scality S3 Server, an open-source implementation of the AWS S3 API. Zenko is the Japanese word for Fox, which is the logo that Scality chose for the S3 Server product. It is also free, like S3 Server was, and is available here.
This new product is available as a free download and is distributed as a Docker container. It allows customers to use a single API (S3) on the front-end, while storing data in the backend to a multiple of cloud storage services, including Amazon S3, Azure, and Google Cloud. Of course, it also supports sending data to a Scality Ring as well.
Each Zenko S3 bucket is associated with another bucket in an object storage system where its data will be stored. For example, one bucket might store its data in a Scality Ring, where another might store its data in Amazon S3, etc. It’s also possible to use policy-based replication to first send the data to a local cloud system, such as a Scality Ring, while having that data asynchronously replicated to something else such as a Google Cloud bucket.
A single system that can store data in multiple cloud providers allows a user to program to a single API, but write to multiple cloud providers – without having to program to their specific APIs. What is potentially more interesting in this announcement is Scality’s support for federated metadata search. Customers creating objects can assign multiple metadata tags, and the product is able to search against all objects stored in all providers using those metadata tags. For example, it could search for PDFs whose title contains “mathematics” and then find all the relevant documents no matter what cloud there are in. The fact that this open source, free system can perform a metadata search across multiple cloud providers is quite impressive.
Scality’s S3 Server product is apparently more popular than Scality thought it was going to be and it’s being used in all types of environments that are experimenting with S3. This addition to using this S3 system to write data to multiple cloud providers is impressive. Add to that it’s federated search and you have a truly unique offering. The fact that Scality is not making any money off of this – except for the marketing cachet of having a popular open-source product – is interesting indeed.