NetApp StorageGRID Webscale, the industry’s most mature object storage product, with a continuously developed architecture, is setting a new standard in ease of use with the latest release, version 10.3.

 

Ease of use begins right from the out-of-box moment, or in the case of a software-defined object store like StorageGRID, from the initial deployment experience. NetApp made this the theme of this release, and extended tests by internal and external beta users, including some with no prior StorageGRID experience.  The tests have demonstrated how easy it is to deploy the new 10.3 version of StorageGRID Webscale.

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From zero to one petabyte and serving I/O in 30 minutes

Installing StorageGRID Webscale 10.3 is fast and easy because deployment is:

 

Simple and flexible

Regardless of topology, deployment uses a common set of binaries: a virtual disk image and a set of OVF or YAML templates. The virtual disk image packages the operating system and containerized StorageGRID nodes for every node type; OVF and YAML templates guide which type of node is deployed. When planning a deployment, users can mix-and-match engineered object storage appliances from NetApp and virtual machine (VM) nodes that use NetApp or third-party storage in the same grid. The same deployment process enables users to rapidly deploy a StorageGRID Webscale system, across multiple sites, physical appliances and virtual machines, with 3 top-level steps:

  1. Deploy the Primary Admin Node, which host the single-pane-of-glass, web-based UI for system installation, expansion, maintenance and administration.
  2. Deploy any additional VM nodes and appliance nodes onto the network. For virtual nodes, StorageGRID Webscale supports VMware ESXi and KVM QEMU hypervisors. Users can use vSphere vCenter or OpenStack Dashboard and Heat to deploy VMs; users can also use NetApp-provided scripts to automate the VM deployment through vCenter and Heat. Appliance setup is also wizard driven and startup scripts automatically configure the appliance for deployment.
  3. Browse to the Primary Admin Node and launch the deployment wizard to install the StorageGRID software.

 

Intuitive deployment wizard

The deployment wizard guides the user to configure license, passwords, NTP, DNS, sites, and networks. Virtual and appliance nodes on the network are automatically discovered. The user selects which nodes to join into the grid and configure additional networking details. As the final step, the user starts up the StorageGRID system with the click of a mouse. StorageGRID starts up automatically, ready for the user to configure S3 and Swift API tenants and start serving I/O.

 

Deployment wizard

 Build or run S3 applications with best-in-class Amazon S3-compatible API

A second measure of ease of use is the building and integrating of S3 applications.

 

Best-in-class Amazon S3-compatible API

Since release 10.2, StorageGRID Webscale has led the industry with its implementation of Amazon S3-compatible API. StorageGRID implements a broad set of Amazon S3 API operations, including advanced features such as path and virtual hosted styled access, V2 and V4 authentication, pre-signed URL, anonymous access, multipart upload, IAM-styled bucket and group policies, and identity federation with AD/LDAP. Developers can use Amazon SDKs to code applications for the StorageGRID S3 API.

 

StorageGRID has also enhanced the capabilities of Amazon S3. For example, StorageGRID makes it easy for API users to retrieve account usage information, such as the aggregate amount of data stored in the account and for each bucket in the account, by providing a modified GET Service request with the x-ntap-sg-usage parameter.

 

New to 10.3: S3-compatible object versioning

In release 10.3, StorageGRID adds S3 object versioning, supporting operations including PUT/GET/DELETE object versions, GET Bucket Object versions, GET Bucket versioning, and PUT Bucket versioning. Versioning enables API users to easily restore an older version of an object, or “undelete” a previously deleted object. When enabled on a bucket, each new object created in the bucket receives a version ID. When a DELETE Object request for a previously stored object is received, StorageGRID inserts a delete marker into the bucket so that the object appears to be removed, but retains it and allows it to be retrieved with a GET Object request that specifies the version ID. A DELETE Object request that specifies the version ID will cause that object version to be permanently deleted.

 

Unique to StorageGRID: tunable bucket consistency

Release 10.3 also adds new S3 enhancements, such as tunable consistency at the bucket level. Using the x-ntap-sg-consistency HTTP header, users can specify customized values to tune the consistency setting of a bucket with a modified PUT and GET Bucket operation.

 

The default consistency behavior is the same as Amazon S3: guaranteed read-after-write consistency within the site for newly created objects in normal operating conditions. In other words, any GET following a successfully completed PUT at the same site will be able to read the newly written data. Like Amazon S3, overwrites of existing objects, metadata updates, and deletes are eventually consistent.

 

API users can choose a stronger consistency setting for their bucket. For example, the value “strong-global” guarantees read-after-write consistency across all sites in an operation, regardless of operating conditions, or else the request is failed. Stronger consistency comes at a tradeoff against availability, i.e. with strong-global, a request may fail if there were nodes at a remote site that were unreachable even when the site where the request was made was operating normally.

 

Unleash the best object lifecycle policy engine in the industry with new UIs

Finally, a third measure of ease of use comes from helping users manage the gigantic quantities of objects and data in a geo distributed object store. As data is the “lifeblood of the digital economy“, the ability to access and share data, across premises and in the cloud, drives innovation and revenue. The value and thus demand for data can ebb and flow throughout its lifecycle. The only way to efficiently manage such vast quantities of data is by policy-based object lifecycle management, which is something StorageGRID Webscale does uniquely well.

 

Release 10.3 makes it easier than ever for IT to customize granular object lifecycle policies to manage their users’ data. In a recent conversation with a global enterprise, for one application the customer wanted to store a full copy of the data at their data center on the West Coast for an initial period, use geo erasure coding across their West Coast, Mountain, and East Coast data centers to protect their data, and drop the full copy at the West Coast data center after some time. With StorageGRID, the user can do this with a single information lifecycle management rule.

 

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Object storage is changing the way IT organizations around the world store and protect their unstructured digital data. Learn more about StorageGRID at NetApp.com.

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Ronnie Chan