Getty Images

Hammerspace reaches everywhere with erasure coding

Hammerspace has sped up its global file system everywhere it touches, even on white box hardware, with the addition of erasure coding technology it gained through an acquisition.

Hammerspace, the software-defined global file system, is expanding its global data environment to enable customers to run it anywhere and on anything they want, including commodity hardware.

To do this, the Hammerspace Global Data Environment will now use high-performance erasure coding, Mojette Transform, which came from an acquisition of Rozo Systems in 2022, made public last year. The erasure coding will increase data resiliency while expanding options of what Hammerspace can run on, now including nearly all commodity hardware, according to the vendor.

Erasure coding is the process that breaks up units of data, files or objects into multiple data blocks along with parity blocks that allow for recovery in the event of failure. Erasure coding is widely used in object storage to make it more resilient, according to Mike Matchett, an analyst at Small World Big Data.

"Hammerspace has erasure coding that [has enough high performance] to work over file systems, which is an interesting advance," he said.

Addition and subtraction erasure coding

Mojette Transform is what Hammerspace calls an extremely CPU-efficient erasure code that uses addition and subtraction to reduce computational complexity, Matchett said.

"It's computationally efficient, which is an interesting advantage over other erasure coding schemes," Matchett said, noting that this takes a smaller toll on compute, thus leading to higher overall performance.

The added resiliency addresses any concerns users may have about putting a software layer over a bunch of different heterogeneous systems.
Mitch LewisAnalyst, Futurum Group

This is a feature add for Hammerspace's current offering, according to Mitch Lewis, an analyst at Futurum Group. It addresses issues that customers might have about adding Hammerspace to multiple environments.

"The added resiliency addresses any concerns users may have about putting a software layer over a bunch of different heterogeneous systems," he said.

Commodity hardware, high performance

With different systems, Hammerspace now claims it can run over any x86-based system, including white box storage, in a higher-performance manner. Previously, Hammerspace was able to run just about anywhere, including on premises -- with partners such as Infinidat or Pure Storage -- or in the cloud through Cloudian or hyperscalers such as Meta and AWS. The global file system also reaches across all types of infrastructure, including servers, arrays, NAS, SAN, flash, hard disk drives and recently, tape.

On the performance side, commodity hardware was the one piece of the puzzle that was missing, according to Molly Presley, senior vice president of marketing at Hammerspace. Hammerspace was using mirroring to run on commodity hardware, but that just maintained performance. With the new erasure coding, the performance has been increased, she said.

While something like Hammerspace isn't for everyone, there are certain customers that have data on a multitude of different systems that can use this to see all of it, Lewis said.

"In certain situations, a customer has a whole lot of different systems. ... [Hammerspace can now] address data management and data orchestration," he said.

The addition of the erasure coding, or its faster performance on commodity hardware, isn't going to be the thing that attracts people to Hammerspace, Matchett said. File systems typically aren't bought due to their erasure coding; there are several ways to speed up file systems, such as memory caching.

"Instead, Hammerspace will have to make the argument [that] this allows you to effectively use a lot of old commodity storage and put a more performant file system on it," he said.

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

Dig Deeper on Storage system and application software

Disaster Recovery
Data Backup
Data Center
and ESG