Gluster 3.3 Advances Open Source Object and File Storage
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The Gluster open source distributed filesystem is out with version 3.3 after a long development cycle. Gluster 3.3 unifies file and object storage and provide a Hadoop HDFS compatible API for Big Data Storage.
GlusterFS 3.3 was originally expected to be released by the end of 2011. John Mark Walker, Community Leader for Gluster.org explained to InternetNews.com that Gluster 3.3 was an unusually long release, for several reasons, including the fact that the scope of the release was fairly large.
"Between HDFS compatibility, Unified File and Object storage, self-healing improvements, granular healing, quorum enforcement and other improvements, a lot went into this release," Walker said. "We also retooled our community for open governance and transparency and were able to put more resources into QA and release management."
Walker added that all those changes have improved the project in significant ways, but that may have delayed things for this particular release. Among the significant changes are unified File and Object storage. Walker explained that both object storage and file storage have their pros and cons.
"The file Interface -- a low-level rich API, a la POSIX, allows the developer to do many things, but for some operations it is overkill," Walker said. "Object storage does not give developers nearly the same level of functionality because it is, by design, a simplified data access interface."
On the other hand, object storage allows you to access data via remote, high-latency environments, where a chatty, low-level file interface would perform poorly. In his view, the modern enterprise needs both file and object storage, which is what Gluster 3.3 now delivers. Having both also enables an easier migration to the cloud for enterprise applications.