Shared Filesystems in the Cloud

by dave on February 11, 2009



Earlier this morning, Scott Lowe posed the following question:  What if hypervisors shared a file system? The concept here is that most hypervisors (notably VMware and [soon] Hyper-V) have a clustered file system that is used to extend the capabilities of a group of hypervisors into such things as dynamic resource sharing, failover/failback, HA, etc.  The natural extention of this, when looked at from a longitudinal viewpoint, is extending the same basic model into the cloud.

A lot of focus these days within the cloud space is on creating “connectors” or “appliances” that connect clients to their data.  In order access data on X-platform, you need Y-API or connector.  So, the emergence of PaaS as “middleware” has realistically prolonged the state of heterogeneous filesystems (clustered or non) within the cloud.  Ideally, (and I think that Scott is going down this road), the emergence of a single cFS (Cloud File System) would enable complete multi-platform interoperability from the client side as well as data portability from the management side.  This would remove the need to “recode” or “re-hybridize” connector PaaS offerings and instead focus their abilities on streamlinging data flow and accesibility across multiple backend COSS systems.   In essence, your REST/SOAP/API connector can be promiscuous (in a way that can be controlled, I should note) across multiple backend cloud storage offerings, whether that be Amazon‘s S3, Nirvanix, GoGrid, etc. etc.  

To further delve into this, you have to understand that cFS offerings by their nature need to include data protection as a primary driver. By utilizing multiple services in the backend or, even more finely tuned COSS offerings (like EMC‘s Atmos with Global Namespace) for a more private cloud approach, you can have data protection and replication tied to the core cFS and even extended from a private namespace tied to VMware’s vCloud (or whatever it’s being called these days).

Anyhow, just thinking out loud (like Scott asked).

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  • http://www.smestorage.com Neil Shorey

    Interesting post. I am on the engineering team for SMEStorage.com. We actually have our product running in several virtual instances that share a common file system and which provides a “virtual” file system for Mosso, Amazon S3, Box.net, Evernote, GMail as a Cloud, and email-as-a-cloud. Our approach allows us to offer cloud mash-ups in which you can combine several storage providers into one file system. On top of this we have layered services and channels. We are currently considering whether to make the system available as an appliance in its own right for companies interested in mixed cloud storage.

  • http://www.smestorage.com Neil Shorey

    Interesting post. I am on the engineering team for SMEStorage.com. We actually have our product running in several virtual instances that share a common file system and which provides a “virtual” file system for Mosso, Amazon S3, Box.net, Evernote, GMail as a Cloud, and email-as-a-cloud. Our approach allows us to offer cloud mash-ups in which you can combine several storage providers into one file system. On top of this we have layered services and channels. We are currently considering whether to make the system available as an appliance in its own right for companies interested in mixed cloud storage.

  • Pingback: Private Clouds & Storage: Considerations — Dave Graham's Weblog()

  • dave

    Neil,

    Thanks for the comments. I would STRONGLY suggest that you look at releasing it as an appliance (as you’ll see in future posts from me) as this is an important first step in creating the blended private/public cloud concept!

    thanks!

    Dave

  • dave

    Neil,

    Thanks for the comments. I would STRONGLY suggest that you look at releasing it as an appliance (as you’ll see in future posts from me) as this is an important first step in creating the blended private/public cloud concept!

    thanks!

    Dave