Some vendors move faster than others when it comes to integrating products from an acquisition.

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) acquired storage vendor startup Gluster in October for $136 million. Now Red Hat is already out with its first Gluster-based product, The Red Hat Storage Appliance. The new appliance integrates components from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with Gluster.

“Red Hat Storage Software Appliance (SSA) consists of RHEL and GlusterFS packaged together and installable via an ISO image on Red Hat tested, certified and supported hardware configurations,” Tom Trainer, storage product marketing manager at Red Hat, explained to

From a software perspective, the SSA includes the GlusterFS 3.2 release running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1. GlusterFS 3.2 is the most recent stable release of Gluster, as developers are currently pushing forward with the 3.3 release, which will provide additional Big Data capabilities. On the Linux side, however, Red Hat updated RHEL to version 6.2 earlier this week.

Trainer did not specifically state why the SSA is not using the most recent version of RHEL.

“RHEL 6.1 is the release level in the current SSA release,” Trainer said. “Red Hat will continually provide updates to the levels of components within the SSA.”

Trainer added that the SSA is tested, certified and fully supported on hardware configurations. It is available with support options for 9 x 5, 5 days per week; or 24 x 7, 7 days per week. Users buy support on a subscription basis and per-storage node. Initially, Dell, HP, and Super Micro servers are tested and certified for use with the SSA as well as HP and Dell storage hardware products. Trainer noted that Red Hat will continually add tested and certified hardware to the Hat Storage Hardware Compatibility List (Storage HCL).

From a use-case perspective, Red Hat sees much potential for the SSA.

“The SSA is perfect for unstructured data environments and is well suited for a wide variety of workloads,” Trainer said. “Common deployments include environments such as: digital media serving, content delivery networks, large scale unstructured storage, near-line storage, backup and restore, private cloud file sharing, infrastructure as a service providers storage layer, and high performance computing environments.”

While there are multiple storage vendors that help to address those issues, Red Hat sees the primary competition in the unstructured storage space as products such as EMC’s Isilon array.

“Users are clamoring for storage for unstructured data environments, which is much less costly and far more easy to deploy — and which provides high availability and high performance,” Trainer said. “The SSA is the perfect alternative to those more costly storage arrays.”