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Scality object storage rings Cisco as hardware partner

Customers can get Scality software for object storage on Cisco Unified Computing System hardware. Raw capacity tops 3 PB per six-node chassis, with Cisco sales and support.

Scality object storage software is now being packaged on validated Cisco Unified Computing System storage servers.

Ring software has been compatible on UCS servers for more than a year, but the vendors today took their relationship to the next level with a jointly developed reference architecture. Cisco and Scality engineers partnered to design, document and test version 6 of Scality's RING object architecture as a Cisco Validated Design.

Although not as dense as a high-capacity JBOD, the configuration packs compute and high-density disk storage in a 4U rack form factor. Scality said customers can scale a single RING deployment to hundreds of nodes and 50 to 100 petabytes.

The recommended base configuration uses six Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Servers and two Cisco C3X60 M4 servers per chassis as dedicated Scality storage nodes, or 12 nodes in total. A single S3260 chassis can take 60 high-capacity SATA HDDs.

Each Scality node is configured with 26 HDDs, along with two 480 GB SSDs to mirror the operating system and two 800 GB SSDs to offload disk metadata. Raw capacity per a six-blade S3260 enclosure tops 3 PB.

Three C220 M4S rack servers run as connector nodes and a fourth M4S is a supervisor node. Two Cisco Nexus 9332PQ network switches and two UCS 6332 Fabric Interconnect devices provide a redundant communications backbone. Cisco UCS Manager automates orchestration and management across chassis and racks.

Unstructured data growth fuels Scality object storage

The deal is not exclusive for either side. The Scality RING integration is the second object storage move by Cisco, which last year incorporated SwiftStack on S3260 appliances as part of its Cisco Metapod for OpenStack-based private cloud.

The RING architecture is what enables Scality to provide high levels of data availability and redundancy.
Lynda Stadtmuellerprogram director of the cloud computing practice, Frost & Sullivan

Scality's object storage is already sold on HPE Apollo and Dell EMC PowerEdge servers though OEM deals with those vendors.

"Being purely in software still requires great hardware," said Scality CMO Paul Turner.

Scality RING runs on Linux-based x86 servers. The scale-out file interface allows customers to write to a back-end object store. About half of Scality's customers deploy RING for both file and object data, according to Turner.

Object storage is gaining popularity as an alternative to file storage for unstructured data. Objects are protected with erasure coding and stored with pieces of descriptive metadata.

Growth in unstructured data is disrupting how enterprises manage and plan their storage, said Lynda Stadtmueller, program director of the cloud computing practice at San Antonio, Texas-based Frost & Sullivan.

"The RING architecture is what enables Scality to provide high levels of data availability and redundancy. You set it up with as few as six servers and get a fully meshed environment. That is what enables the scaling, performance, data protection and durability," Stadtmueller said.

Early returns: A customer deploys Scality object storage on Cisco

Telecommunications provider C Spire, which claims nearly 1 million customers in the southeastern U.S., built an internal private cloud on the Cisco-Scality combination.

The platform supports a streaming TV service set to launch in May, which would eliminate set-top boxes. The proof of concept involved three rounds of testing.

Jared Baumann, C Spire's manager of market development and deployment, said Cisco will provide end-to-end support to scale Scality object storage across data centers.

"This is a multi-petabyte array today and we expect it to grow dramatically," Baumann said. "One of the beauties of the Scality platform is the ability to grow exponentially and manage it all on a single plane. When you need fast storage for consumer products that don't have a lot of margin, you have to be very cautious with the way you spend money on these types of resources."

Scality said customers can get pricing and integration details about Scality object storage from Cisco resellers.

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