The Open vStorage future looks bright

Jason Ader, analyst at the William Blair & Company, released a new research document: The State of Storage – a 2014 Update. In this detailed report, which is a must-read for everyone in the storage industry, he discusses the biggest short and long term headwinds for traditional storage vendors. Some of these headwinds are caused by newcomers in the storage industry. He estimates that these newcomers will grow with a rate of around 40%, which will cause the combined impact to reach almost 10% of industry sales in 2014. These headwinds can not be ignored in terms of revenue or growth so it is worthwhile to discuss these headwinds in more detail and explain where Open vStorage fits in.

  • Object-Based Storage gets a second wind as migration of data to the cloud (private or public) is on the rise. Use cases and applications adjusted for Object Stores are still limited but on the rise. With Open vStorage you can turn your Object Store (Swift, Cloudian, …) into a block device for Virtual Machines and turn it into a high performance, distributed, VM-centric storage platform.
  • Emergence of Flash-Centric Architectures: Open vStorage leverages flash inside the ESXi or KVM hosts to accelerate reads and writes. It brings together the benefits of storage local to the server and external scalable storage by leveraging SSDs and PCIe flash technology inside the server for acceleration.
  • Software-defined Storage (SDS) will, according to report, “have the largest impact on the storage market in the long term as it will drive ASPs down and push toward the commoditization of specialized storage hardware platforms.” This trend is clearly to be seen in the rise of open-source file systems such as GlusterFS and Ceph and VMware’s vSAN. Open vStorage is a software-defined storage layer which brings storage intelligence into software that runs closer to compute with the ability to use multiple storage back ends in a uniform way.

Open vStorage 1.1

The Open vStorage team is on fire. We released a new version of the Open vStorage software (select Test as QualityLevel). The new big features for this release are:

  • Logging and log collecting: we have added logging to Open vStorage. The logs are also centrally gathered and stored in a distributed Search Engine (Elasticsearch). The logs can be viewed, browsed, searched and analyzed through Kibina, a very nice designed GUI.
  • HA Support: Open vStorage does with this release not only support vMotion but also the HA functionality of VMware. This means that in case an ESXi Host dies and vCenter starts the VMs on another Host, the volumes will automatically be migrated along.

Some small feature that got into this release:

  • Distributed filesystem can now be selected as Storage Backend in the GUI. Earlier you could select the file system but you could not extend it to more Grid Storage Routers (GSR). Now you can extend it across more GSRs and do vMotion on top of f.e. GlusterFS.
  • The status of VMs on KVM is now updated quicker in the GUI.
  • Manager.py has now an option to specify the version you want to install (run manager.py -v ‘version number’)
  • Under administration there is now an About Open vStorage page displaying the version of all installed components.

In addition, the team also fixed 35 bugs.