This week I have been at VMworld USA, always a busy time with lots of technology and making lots of videos. I did spend one afternoon attending the Tech Field Day Extra (TFDx) at VMworld, where I was briefed by a few vendors. As it is a TFD event, please refer to my standard TFD disclaimer. NooBaa was one of the vendors at TFDx, they also reached out a while before and briefed me a little ahead of the event. NooBaa has a software-based object storage platform. There are three layers to the software, storage nodes, access nodes, and a master control node. The storage and access nodes use a scale out architecture, while the control node is kept out of the data path. The access node provides S3 object and file access. It can even be installed onto application servers to remove the first network hop to access objects. The storage node software can be installed onto any existing Windows or Linux host and use any local storage on that machine. Storage nodes are combined into pools and storage buckets are built on the pools. Bucket data can be written to multiple pools and pools can have different levels of mirroring. You can even use an external S3 store, like AWS S3, as a pool.
I like the flexibility of building an object store out of whatever hardware I want, just installing software. For production use, I would want to use bare metal Linux installs as the platform, light on the CPU count and plenty of RAM and disks. But there is a heap of interesting uses that aren’t really replicating a big object store. One possibility is using trapped disk capacity in servers or desktops, machines with large disks that will never fill the disk. Another is easily building dedicated object stores for development. NooBaa has a (free) community edition that may suit a lot of non-production use cases. The free edition allows up to 20TB of data stored, and there is an option to buy support for the free edition too. The full edition is licensed per TB of data stored, not the physical disk size, or provisioned size of pools or buckets.
A challenge for me is that I don’t have anything that consumes object storage, so it is hard to work out how to test the community edition. Maybe I need a coding challenge that includes some object storage.
© 2016, Alastair. All rights reserved.