Cleversafe adds object-based storage to dsNets

By Kevin Komiega

-- In an effort to capitalize on the growth of unstructured data, Cleversafe has announced the addition of object-based storage to its Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet) platform.

The company claims its new Object Store technology allows for the direct storage of digital content by bypassing file systems, as well as scalability into the exabyte range.

Cleversafe's dsNets are built using three interconnecting, appliance-based components. The CS Slicestor (also referred to as the Dispersed Storage server), the CS Accesser Dispersed Storage router, and the CS Manager Dispersed Storage network manager. The dsNet slices data into secure slices and disperses them via secure network connections to multiple storage nodes on the dsNet for later retrieval.

Until now, dsNet's have been block-based. The addition of an object store means data can be accessed through an HTTP/REST API, and a Java SDK.

The dsNet Object Store creates a storage container that can grow as needed by scaling capacity, allowing for virtualization of the usable storage from the underlying hardware and infrastructure.

Customers can use existing CS Accesser and CS Manager appliances to retrieve and manage data, but Slicestor storage appliances must be initialized as either block- or object-based. Both block- and object-based appliances can coexist in the same dsNet.

Julie Bellanca, Cleversafe's director of marketing and communications, says the addition of object-based storage to Cleversafe's dsNet creates a tighter coupling between applications and storage.

"Object-based storage is much more scalable than block storage. With object-based, the metadata is split from the content and stored closer to the application, which is beneficial because it allows the metadata to have pointers directly to where content is located and bypass the file system," says Bellanca.

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This article was originally published on September 18, 2009