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MinIO bolsters commercial storage with new console, firewall

MinIO's Enterprise Object Store is aimed squarely at enterprises and reflects how object storage has evolved over the years, one analyst said.

MinIO is expanding its commercial license for its object storage offering, pushing the once open source vendor deeper into enterprise territory.

Available now for new customers and as an upgrade for existing customers, MinIO Enterprise Object Store is separate from MinIO Object Store, open source object storage and its original product. The enterprise version includes new features such as granular cataloging and observability, a new console, a new caching service to create an in-memory object-store for high performance, and a new firewall aimed at protecting data at the object level. MinIO Enterprise Object Store offers two service level agreements: one for large-scale deployments of MinIO at 1 pebibyte or more, the other for smaller deployments of 200 tebibytes to 1 pebibyte. It costs $.02 per GB per month.

MinIO was founded in 2014, releasing a commercial version of its open source offering in 2018. Now it's building out an enterprise product, which shows how object storage has evolved to meet customer demand, according to Simon Robinson, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

"Originally, object storage was good for cheap and deep. But now we are seeing it move to where it can drive performance workloads," Robinson said.

Enterprise expansion

MinIO Enterprise Object Store has several enterprise features, including the MinIO Catalog, which uses the open source query language GraphQL to index and search objects. A new observability suite allows users to see software and hardware components of a system running MinIO storage to identify issues. The vendor added a MinIO-specific key management server to manage billions of cryptographic keys while supporting multitenancy.

MinIO now has a purpose-built firewall for data. Instead of blocking traffic at the network layer, the data firewall focuses on the object storage layer, giving a company more control over who has access to and how fast they can access the storage layer, MinIO said.

For performance, MinIO is using a new cache feature that utilizes server DRAM to increase the storage's performance needed for AI workloads.

Mitch Lewis, an analyst at Futurum Group, said the feature additions are good for enterprise use cases but that most do not have to be specifically tied to AI workloads.

"This is MinIO ramping up their enterprise offering and adding things that make it more robust," he said.

While the features support AI workloads, Lewis said this product update is more about MinIO building out its commercial license offerings for enterprises.

Open source support

This is MinIO ramping up their enterprise offering and adding things that make it more robust.
Mitch LewisAnalyst, Futurum Group

MinIO was founded as an open source object storage system in 2014 that is API compatible with Amazon S3. MinIO said it will continue to support and update MinIO Object Store, its open source storage offering, even after the release of MinIO Enterprise Object Store. The open source version will get updates first, and the enterprise will get updates later when features have been proven and hardened.

In recent years, MinIO has begun to scrutinize how companies are using its open source license. In 2022, MinIO revoked Nutanix's license when the hyperconverged infrastructure vendor failed to disclose its use of MinIO's tech. In March of 2023, MinIO accused Weka of violating the open source license through lack of disclosure. Nutanix initially denied wrongdoing before admitting the omission. Weka stated that it was fully in compliance with Apache 2.0 license.

MinIO does not report finances publicly, but company executives point to Docker or GitHub pulls as evidence of its success. MinIO currently claims over 1.5 billion Docker pulls since inception and five times the number of GitHub stars -- a measure of favorable ratings -- compared with other open source object storage. MinIO gets these pulls because it is a containerized lightweight object store that developers use for projects. But this doesn't show what it can do for large companies, he said.

"What MinIO actually needs to show is that they're doing exabyte enterprise deployments," Lewis said.

Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware, and private clouds. He previously worked at

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