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NetApp StorageGrid enhanced for OpenStack deployments

NetApp's StorageGRID Webscale 10.4 object storage supports Docker containers and more simplified OpenStack deployments, and it gives admins more control of multi-tenancy in the cloud.

NetApp has beefed up its StorageGrid Webscale object storage platform, adding support for Docker containers without hypervisors and better security for OpenStack Swift deployments.

Released this week, NetApp StorageGrid Webscale 10.4 supports Docker containers on bare-metal servers, eliminating the need for a hypervisor. The software-defined object storage platform also has new capabilities that simplify OpenStack deployments, as well as new multi-tenancy functions that give service providers more granular administrative control at the tenant level in managing multiple Active Directory domains, identity and access management policies and storage consumption.

"All of this is for next-generation-type workloads," said Duncan Moore, director of the StorageGrid software group at NetApp. "We are seeing a lot of interesting workloads pop up [on object storage]."

NetApp StorageGrid and its container engine can run on VMware vSphere, OpenStack or on a hardware appliance. It also can be deployed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) CentOS servers in a Docker container.

"This is our first support for Docker containers on bare metal," Moore said. "We have built up a lot of experience with containers. Now, we are taking away the requirement for a hypervisor. The initial OS support is RHEL CentOS. Once we make the qualifications to a few OSes, it won't preclude us from adding other operating systems. It will be very easy for us."

All of this is for next-generation-type workloads.
Duncan Mooredirector of the StorageGRID software group, NetApp

StorageGrid now offers more security for OpenStack deployments with support for Keystone-v3-level authentication for Swift API users. Keystone multi-tenancy is integrated with NetApp StorageGrid tenants and supports Universally Unique Identifiers and Fernet tokens with token caching. The software supports Access Control Lists (ACLs) for access control with Keystone authentication.

The StorageGrid platform includes a new tenant administrator role. The tenant administrator is the person responsible for indemnity federation for multiple Active Directory domains, as well as the ability to handle configuration requirements for each tenant in a multi-tenant cloud environment. The administrator also sets consumption requirements and sets enforcement quotas for each tenant.

"These are features you see associated with service providers," Moore said. "You also see them in large enterprises."

Amita Potnis, research manager for file and object storage at IDC, said the NetApp StorageGrid enhancements make it a more robust product, but the vendor needs to build better brand awareness for its StorageGrid. NetApp picked up StorageGrid in 2010 with its acquisition of Bycast.

"I think they have to work on mind share," Potnis said. "They have a good product, [but] mind share is an area that needs improvement."

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