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December 11th – Today’s announcement from Cleversafe concerning its two new Slicestor appliances and its Cache Vault software validates what Scality has had on offer for a long time.

One of the Slicestor models is packed with SSDs to deliver high IOPS, or more accurately, objects per second (OPS) for small objects that require one copy only (simple replication). The second element in the new Cleversafe offering is Cache Vault, a free software option available with ClevOS 3.1. The idea behind these products is to address the poor IO performance behavior Cleversafe has had with storage and retrieval of small objects. The Cleversafe comfort zone is an environment where objects are large, erasure coded, consumed by an Object API, but more suitable for Tier 2 or Tier 3 configurations with very low update frequencies.

Problems that the new offerings are meant to address involve mixed demands, with the need to support both small and large files and still deliver a good, or at least consistent, response time. In practice, earlier Cleversafe deployments have been plagued by high latency for small objects due to the coding and decoding phases of its Erasure Coding techniques. Small objects should be protected by replication to guarantee fast rebuilds and maintain the quickest access time possible.

Cleversafe Cache Vault is used in association with new Slicestor appliances to build a hybrid dsNet configuration. Control seems to be at the API level, which suggests it may require application changes. With this announcement, Cleversafe is hoping to close the gap with more flexible solutions such as Scality Ring, which offers a mixed mode of Replication and Erasure Coding and provides an employment of SSDs more closely aligned with real market needs. However, as this is just announced, there is no real return of experience as yet, at least not any public ones…

Philippe Nicolas, Product Strategy (pn@scality.com)

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