Data Direct Networks (DDN) announced its entry into the Cloud with Web Object Scaler (WOS), a clustered storage system based on an object-based file system that was three years in the making.
WOS is targeting the Web content and storage market with a particular focus on Internet and Web 2.0 sites, healthcare, document imaging, online game development and geospatial information services. DDN has clearly identified the content distribution network (CDN) space with its cost and ownership issues as a prime opportunity, and despite the EMC Atmos claim that it is not in this space, DDN obviously has Atmos in its sights.
Some key features:
- The object-based WOS file system intelligence is delivered on DDN-engineered storage appliances, allowing tight integration. DDN says this will enable optimal system performance, eliminating any compatibility compromises. Atmos is similarly configured, but it only supports the Atmos storage platform with all other hardware pushed into the Cloud, whereas DNN can accept all storage services as resident.
- Performance claims are impressive, with a single WOS cluster capable of storing more than 200 billion files in a single global object repository and access performance scaling to millions of file reads per second.
- WOS has outstanding scalability with a 2-node, 14.4TB cluster as a starting point scaling up to 6PB in a 200-node system. DDN says that it will support even larger configurations over time. Atmos takes a different approach, starting at 120TB but says it can scale to much larger configurations.
- WOS uses policy-based replication to distribute content. A single WOS cluster can have nodes that are geographically dispersed but operate and are managed as a single system. Replication is synchronous.
- Redundant copies of information provide data protection and enable the distribution of content close to the network edge, where it can be served with low latency.
- A single Web-based GUI delivers the ease of use of a storage cloud that could span multiple data centers in multiple geographies.
- DDN claims that it has no bottleneck or single point of failure.
- WOS implements the notion of zones. These are a collection of nodes that can be used to define geographically distinct portions of the cluster or distinct functional areas such as a zone for high performance or for archive.
- Any system that wants to access the information resident in a WOS cloud must be running a software component called a WOS-LIB. This is what communicates with the cloud and maintains knowledge of where content lives within the cloud, facilitating direct in-memory lookups of content location information.
- As expected in an enterprise-class clustered solution, WOS has self-healing capabilities.
- An API is available to simplify integration with user applications. Current languages supported are, C++, Java, and Python.
- WOS is not designed for compliance and archiving but for global content distribution.
The DSS documentation describes how WOS works as follows:
“WOS clusters are made up of multiple nodes in communication with each other through standard Ethernet/Internet Protocol (IP) networks. New objects are automatically load-balanced across available nodes, and the WOS cluster automatically rebalances when new nodes are added. As objects are stored, WOS ensures that they replicated according to their policy settings. When objects are retrieved, WOS ensures that they are serviced locally if possible, facilitating the best page load times. If content is unavailable locally, WOS automatically retrieves it from a remote node in the cluster. WOS uses a simple API to interface to your applications to provide functions such as GET a file, PUT a file, and DELETE a file. WOS is easy to use whether you have a small cluster or a global network.”
Action Item: This is one of the more exciting announcements I have heard in the cloud space, which to be honest I find very cloudy – pun intended. As described by Josh Goldstein, VP Product Marketing, when DDN embarked on this development it engaged with customers on what proved to be an ongoing dialog to understand what the users really needed to compete in the evolving WEB 2.0 world. Listening to Josh present WOS, I think they listened very well.
My one gripe is the acronym DDN is introducing, HGLT². To the uninitiated this might mean data that is high growth, low turns and long tail. PLEASE………….