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Symantec unveils FileStore cloud storage tool

Storage service S4 is in the wings

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Symantec has released software that allows companies to create a file-based cloud storage infrastructures capable of serving up petabytes of data from a single domain name space, and from commodity x86 hardware.

Meanwhile, the company also plans to launch an online object-based file storage service, code-named S4, over the next year. Sean Derrington, director of storage management and high availability services at Symantec, said S4 will to scale to tens of petabytes for corporate users.

The S4 service is similar in name to Amazon.com's S3 cloud-storage service, which enables its resellers to set up software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings of their own using Amazon's grid-based backend storage architecture. Similarly, Symantec's S4 is will enable companies to provide public cloud services to their customers.

Meanwhile, Symantec said that the new FileStore software product is being pitched as a tool to help enterprise-class companies economically build onsite cloud infrastructures using commodity x86 server hardware as well as any configuration of backend storage systems, including JBOD.

For the past several months, Symantec has been using FileStore as the file-based storage architecture in the cloud services it offers to consumers. The service currently has some 40 petabytes of online storage for more than nine million active users.

Derrington said that FileStore lets users add or remove storage logical unit numbers (LUNs) dynamically without taking systems offline and without disruption to applications. The software also integrates natively with Symantec's Endpoint Protection security software and Symantec's Enterprise Vault email, file and instant messaging archive application, he added.

"We've designed this to support diverse workloads -- applications that have requirements for hundreds of millions of really tiny files like ringtones or tens of millions of larger files, like online auction sites," Derrington said. "It can scale from the low-end to the high end with near linear scalability. The server nodes on the front end of FileStore are all actively participating and sharing the load."

A single FileStore system can support up to 16 storage nodes, and two petabytes of storage capacity, Derrington said.

"On the backend you can use anybody's storage that you want to. All the major storage vendors we support with Veritas Storage Foundation are supported with FileStore," he added. FileStore is available immediately and is priced per CPU, regardless of how many cores exist in each processor. For example, a server with two CPUs, will cost the same whether they're duo- or quad-core processors. A two node configuration of FileStore will start at $6,995.



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