Red Hat's acquisition of Gluster has borne its first fruit with the release of the Red Hat Storage Software Appliance, a dedicated platform aimed at providing scale-out storage systems for unstructured data in enterprise environments.
Available to purchase or trial now, the Red Hat Storage Software Appliance brings together Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 with the GlusterFS 3.2 filing system.
It is delivered as downloadable ISO image that can be installed directly onto certified x86 servers and storage hardware, and scales up to handle petabytes of storage capacity.
Red Hat said it chose to deliver the platform as a software appliance because it can be installed in minutes. The appliance is POSIX-compliant, abstracting the vendor APIs so that applications do not need to be modified.
With the Gluster file system, the Storage Software Appliance enables enterprises to treat physical storage attached to servers as a single giant storage space that can scale up as required.
Gluster aggregates direct-attached storage, SANs or other storage hardware associated with each node under its control into a single, global namespace.
The firm said it expects the new Storage Software Appliance will appeal to customers with massive storage requirements, especially where there is a mixture of data, such as digital media content.
"We expect this announcement to be one of many that will enable organisations to reduce their storage costs while addressing the massive growth in unstructured data," said Red Hat's general manager for Storage, Ranga Rangachari.
"We look forward to continuing to deliver the latest in open source storage appliances as the storage team continues to develop new solutions and innovative products to share."
Managing and analysing unstructured data is an increasingly important issue for firms with several major vendors such as SAS, HP and SAP all releasing products in 2011 aimed at helping businesses make sense of this data explosion.
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