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Cloudian's new load balancer targets object storage sprawl

Cloudian customers can simplify support needs and hardware misconfigurations with the new HyperBalance load balancer, the result of a new partnership with LoadBalancer.org.

Cloudian has licensed technology from Loadbalancer.org Inc. for a new vendor-supported load balancer software and appliance targeting users looking to avoid DIY storage challenges when creating a private cloud.

HyperBalance, Cloudian's new load balancer, enables Cloudian customers to automate the placement of applications across several servers to eliminate single points of failure and automate maintenance tasks. The load balancer, also known as an application delivery controller, is generally available today and sold as virtual machine software or an appliance.

The offering makes sense for companies developing a private cloud using Cloudian's object storage, but it targets a niche target market, said Ray Lucchesi, president of Silverton Consulting.

"You could have always done this on your own, but now it's preconfigured," he said. "It's not really expanding Cloudian's user base, but it's expanding Loadbalancer.org's use case. … There are customers out there that are very hesitant to put their data on the [public] cloud, but they still want the accessibility and flexibility."

Balancing act

There are customers out there that are very hesitant to put their data on the [public] cloud, but they still want the accessibility and flexibility.
Ray LucchesiPresident, Silverton Consulting

The HyperBalance products are intended for those handful of existing customers who may have previously used a homemade load balancing setup or for customers who want all their storage support questions answers by a single vendor, according to a Cloudian spokesperson.

This isn't the first hardware and software partnership Cloudian has made, as the company has teamed with Seagate and VMware in the past. The company's flagship HyperStore object storage has also partnered with hyperscaler AWS.

Most customers bring their own load balancers, meaning customers are responsible for uptime, or manage their application workloads through a DNS round robin setup across their servers. The latter networking strategy places applications into the next available server in the queue.

There are some drawbacks to round robin or improvised load balancing, however. It can include ignoring ways to split up applications for better performance and creating multiple points of failure to investigate should an issue arise but isn't expensive to implement.

Cloudian customers that require load balancers typically handle multiple petabytes of data and are within industries such as finance, government or managed service providers, according to the vendor. HyperBalance will also integrate with Cloudian's HyperIQ storage observability and analytics tool.

HyperBalance, essentially a rebranded Loadbalancer.org technology, uses Cloudian's S3-compatible API for interoperability between other cloud and on-premises storage hardware. Cloudian enables a single file namespace for users to share and collaborate on files using granular policies and other features.

HyperBalance pricing is based on individual contract agreements with Cloudian.

Preaching to the choir

Although Cloudian touts new capabilities and simplified ownership using HyperBalance for its own storage, Loadbalancer.org's products work with numerous object storage products already, such as Dell Technologies, Hitachi and NetApp, said Dave Raffo, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group.

"Most of the object storage [companies] are already using them," Raffo said.

Adding a load balancer to object storage configurations can help control data scaling and sprawl more associated with object storage than file or block, he said, as well as make recovery of lost data due to an error or outage easier.

Network security should also be a consideration when using a load balancer, Lucchesi said, as the device attaches storage to an IP address rather than a direct fiber or SCSI connection.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living in the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news for TechTarget Editorial.

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