Cisco and Cloudian Create Scale-Out Object Storage Solutions

Cisco and Cloudian have partnered to create integrated scale-out Enterprise Object Storage Solutions, combining Cisco UCS Servers with Cloudian HyperStore software. This new solution is available today and just in time for the data-driven enterprise as the world’s data is now doubling roughly every two years.

Cisco and Cloudian Collaborate to Create Scale-Out Enterprise Object Storage Solutions

By Samuel Nagalingam, Cisco Product Management

Cisco and Cloudian have partnered to create integrated scale-out Enterprise Object Storage Solutions, combining Cisco UCS Servers with Cloudian HyperStore software. This new solution is available today and just in time for the data-driven enterprise as the world’s data is now doubling roughly every two years.

Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) S-Series Storage servers offer a modular platform that delivers scalability and performance to match the size of your active data sets and the processing needs of your data-intensive workloads. UCS Management significantly reduces management and administrative expenses by automating routine tasks to increase operational agility.

Cloudian HyperStore 7 has been rated #1 Object Storage solution on Gartner Peer Insights in 2018 and also named as a finalist in the “Software-defined and Cloud Storage” category of TechTarget’s Storage Magazine and SearchStorage.com 2018 Products of the Year Awards.

Cloudian HyperStore is on-prem S3-compatible and limitlessly scalable storage for one or more locations that is also hybrid and multi-cloud ready. Ideal as a capacity data storage tier, HyperStore is designed with a single global namespace across all locations, including public cloud, providing unified visibility and control of all your data. With fine grain, bucket-level storage policies, users have flexible data protection options with erasure coding and replication, to suit requirements.

cisco cvdCisco Validated Design of the Cloudian HyperStore 7.1.2 running on Cisco UCS S-Series Storage Server published in January 2019 provides a validated architecture and serves as a guide book for deploying a joint solution quickly and with confidence, reducing the risk and eliminating any guesswork. Details can be found at:

Cisco Validated Design for Cloudian HyperStore

Additional reference architecture of Cloudian HyperStore with Cisco UCS S3260 for on-premises and hybrid cloud storage solution can be found at:

Cisco UCS S3260_Cloudian HyperStore_Reference Architecture.pdf

This Cisco-Cloudian solution can support multiple use cases as a storage target including backup & recovery, active archive, media & entertainment, healthcare, life science, video surveillance, among others. With integrated multi-tenancy, QoS and billing, this solution is ideal for service providers who would like to offer associated services such as Storage-as-a-Service and Back-up-as-a-Service.

In summary, the Cisco UCS S-Series storage servers powered by the Cloudian HyperStore meet customer demands for scalability and performance of a variety of unstructured data workloads.

To learn more visit: cloudian.com/solutions/data-management/cisco-ucs/

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Splunk SmartStore Enables Scalable, Cost-Effective Data Lake

Splunk SmartStore and Cloudian together address two of the biggest challenges in Big Data: Cost and scalability. Today’s larger data sets and longer retention requirements drive up the cost of storage, making it harder to accommodate the needed growth within the available budget, data center footprint, and staffing.

The Object Storage Solution

Splunk SmartStore solves these problem by providing a way for Splunk to leverage CloudianHyperStore S3-compatible storage as a highly scalable object store for index data.  Splunk’s indexer storage and compute resources in a cost-effective manner by scaling those resources separately.

Scalable Storage for Splunk Machine Data

With SmartStore, Splunk Indexers retain data only in hot buckets that contain newly indexed data. Older data resides in the warm buckets and is stored within the scalable and highly cost-effective Cloudian cluster. SmartStore manages where data is stored, moving data among indexers and the external Cloudian storage based on data age, priority and users’ access patterns.

Unlike conventional storage, Cloudian offers modular growth, letting you expand from terabytes to an exabyte without disruption. Embedded data redundancy features provide up to 14 nines data durability, removing the necessity of a separate data backup process. Compared with traditional enterprise storage — or with storage on compute-intensive servers — Cloudian saves up to 70% on TCO.

Cloudian saves on space, too, with the industry’s highest density: up to 840TB capacity in each 4U high chassis.

Cloud Enabled

Cloudian is on-prem storage, but it integrates directly with public cloud storage services. Employ policy-based tools to replicate or tier data to AWS, GCP or Azure for offsite DR, capacity expansion or data analysis in the cloud. This built-in capability requires no additional software or licenses.

Secure

To ensure data security, Cloudian HyperStore provides AES-256 server-side encryption for data at rest, SSL for data in transit (HTTPS), role-based access controls and storage policies that can be applied at an object and bucket-level.

Multi-Purpose Scalable Storage

Cloudian offers the industry’s most compatible S3 API, so it integrates seamlessly with S3-compatible applications. In addition to Splunk SmartStore, it also provides scalable storage for data management applications from Rubrik, Veeam, Commvault, Veritas, Pure Storage, Quantum, Komprise, and others.

Deploy as Software or Appliances

Cloudian is available as preconfigured appliances, with capacities from 96TB to 840TB, and as software for either bare metal servers or VMs.

Splunk solution brief is here.

Read more about Cloudian here, or contact us for more information.

 

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How to Grow Your Storage Without Growing Your CAPEX Spend

You have growing storage demand, but a limited capital budget. Cloudian FlexStore offers a solution. It combines a cloud-like financial model with on-prem storage. An attractive alternative to either traditional purchases or cloud storage, Cloudian FlexStore gives you another option to meet your storage needs.

Cloudian FlexStore lets you pay for storage as it’s consumed. At the end of each month, you receive an invoice for the capacity used during that month. Billing can go up/down from month to month.

Unlike cloud storage, Cloudian FlexStore lets you host storage in your data center or colocation facility, behind your firewall and connected directly to your network. You get the storage security and performance you expect from an on-prem asset, combined with greater financial flexibility.

A Cloud-Like Financial Model

Cloudian FlexStore allows your storage to be accounted for as an operating expense (OPEX), rather than a capital purchase (CAPEX). It goes in your monthly expense budget, just as cloud storage would. For some firms, this offers significant accounting benefits. Capital expense items may impact performance ratios used for covenants or incentive payments. (Note that final treatment is always at the discretion of the firm’s finance team and auditors.)

consumption model provides flexible financing: match costs to storage usage

Consumption Model vs Leasing

In the past, leasing provided a simple means to account for assets as an operating expense. That is no longer the case. New rules now in effect for publicly-traded firms treat most leases as capital expenses.

A consumption model is not a lease. There is no fixed payment, and the payment is dependent on the usage of the asset rather than on a financial metric such as interest rates, thus allowing treatment as an OPEX.

Match Incoming Cash Flow to Expenses

For some businesses such as service providers, matching expenses to storage usage can be an effective way to manage cash flow. With a consumption model, payments can rise and fall in synch with income, thus preserving working capital.

CAPEX-free Expansion

A common storage pain point is capacity expansion. When the storage is full, you need more space now, which may not alway be possible, given real-world budget constraints. A consumption model lets you expand storage when needed without impacting your CAPEX budget. A new contract will be required (to reflect the added gear), but you still pay only for the storage consumed.

Less Cost than Cloud

Cloudian FlexStore is affordable. Costs are less than what you’d pay for most public cloud storage: under 1 cent per usable GB per month is typical pricing, and may be even lower depending on your usage and configuration. Of course, there are no ingress/egress charges. And you pay nothing for bandwidth since the storage is in your data center. Contact Cloudian for a quote for your use case.

storage consumption model pricing vs public cloud

FlexStore + HyperStore Object Storage = A Perfect Match

Cloudian HyperStore object storage is limitlessly scalable: simply add nodes to grow on demand in a single namespace. Now Cloudian FlexStore lets you capitalize on that storage flexibility with the most flexible financing plan. Pay only for what you use, and grow on demand with no additional capital outlay.

Available in North America

This program is currently available to North American entities, though the equipment may be located anywhere in the world.

Click here for more information about Cloudian FlexStore.

Click here to contact a Cloudian advisor today and learn more.

 

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Brennercom Turns to Cloudian for Massive Data Storage

Brennercom Turns to Cloudian for Massive Data Storage

Brennercom is an IT services company serving more than 12,000 clients across Italy, Germany, and Austria. When it needed a solution for managing millions and millions of customer files, Brennercom chose Cloudian’s object storage platform.

Deployed by BCloud, a major integrator in the region, the Cloudian platform was particularly attractive because of its full S3 compatibility. This enables Brennercom to:

  • Leverage cloud technology that is completely under its control
  • Have data reside everywhere – in a local data center or a remote data center, in the public or private cloud

Check out this video to hear Brennercom and BCloud talk about the Cloudian solution.

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Analyzing media assets using AI, Elasticsearch, and Cloudian HyperStore

Introduction

Cloudian turns information into insight with a hyperscale data fabric that lets enterprise customers in data-intensive markets store, find, and protect data across the organization and around the globe. Cloudian data management solutions bring cloud technology and economics right to your data center with uncompromising data durability, intuitive management tools, and the industry’s most compatible S3 API.

Capacity-intensive workloads demand more from your storage. You need scalable and cost-effective solutions which accommodate different formats. And you need content to be instantly available and easy to find to keep up with time-pressured schedules. Whether in media and entertainment, life sciences, big data, or video surveillance, or for use cases such as data protection or archival storage, Cloudian HyperStore delivers a storage environment that grows effortlessly from terabytes to exabytes.

As your storage grows, the challenge of finding a needle in that haystack (the specific data you need to access) grows with it. HyperStore, by virtue of being an object storage solution, solves this problem in two key ways. First, it allows you to store system metadata and user-defined metadata along with your assets. Second, it allows you to index your metadata to search and analyze your assets with its Elasticsearch integration. Elasticsearch is an open source, real-time, distributed search and analytics engine built on top of Apache Lucene, a full-text search engine library.

To demonstrate this capability, I have uploaded ~2,500 TED videos to my HyperStore cluster. In the subsequent sections, you will learn how you can use HyperStore to analyze such assets and extract more value out of them.

elasticsearch cluster

Enriching Metadata

Metadata is defined as a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. One of the great advantages that object storage delivers over file and block storage is the ability to add user-defined metadata to each asset. Therefore, once you have uploaded your assets to your storage cluster, you would enrich the metadata of each asset with meaningful and identifiable information. You can store this information, such as scene content, sound clip descriptions, audio transcriptions, sentiment analysis, facial recognition, and brand recognition in the clip. This allows content creators to capture important attributes about the asset and then easily and  rapidly search for and find that media later.

In addition to the existing file metadata and any user-defined metadata you set, you can further enrich the metadata using Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications, including on-prem applications, such as MachineBox, or cloud applications, such as Microsoft Video Indexer and Amazon Rekognition. Compared to the cloud applications, the on-prem AI applications are much faster since you are not sending your video files out to the cloud to be analyzed. It not only saves time but also the bandwidth. It is especially useful in a restricted environment when you have to store and analyze sensitive assets which, due to compliance, you cannot send over the Internet.

In the following use case, I used Microsoft Video Indexer and MachineBox to try both cloud and on-prem AI applications and exam how they enrich the user-defined metadata. Both applications return the output in the form of a json file that you can use to update the user-defined metadata.

Here’s an example of a video file analyzed using Microsoft Video Indexer. It gives you information about the faces present in the clip, audio transcription, keywords, annotations, and sentiment analysis.

Updating Metadata

One of the most critical steps in the process is the ability to update the metadata for an already existing object without rewriting the object. This has been one of the main challenges for major storage providers because of their architectural limitations. However, HyperStore, being built on native S3 architecture, allows you to update your metadata without rewriting your objects. This is much more efficient and results in huge savings in terms of time and cost. This also makes it a perfect solution for cases where you have already archived millions of your assets and are now planning to enrich them to extract more value out of them.

Moreover, in case of Amazon S3 and other storage providers, the user-defined metadata is limited to 2 KB in size. But, in HyperStore, you can increase the size of user-defined metadata based on your requirements.

If you are using boto3, which is the AWS SDK for Python, it can be done using the copy_from() method with MetadataDirective=’REPLACE’. Here’s the sample command:

s3.Object(bucket_name=<bucketname>, key=<filename>).copy_from(CopySource=<source file>, MetadataDirective=’REPLACE’, Metadata= <updated metadata>)

 

Indexing Metadata

After you have enriched and/or updated your metadata, you need to index it before you can use it to search your assets. HyperStore simplifies this process with a built-in Elasticsearch client which integrates with an Elasticsearch cluster. This Elasticsearch cluster could be a cluster that you already have running in your environment, or an Elasticsearch cluster that you install specifically for the purpose of integrating with HyperStore. After you have setup your Elasticsearch cluster and enabled the integration in the system, enabling metadata search is as simple as selecting a checkbox in the HyperStore CMC.  

 

You can enable object metadata search on a per storage policy basis. In your Elasticsearch cluster, HyperStore will create an index for each bucket that uses a metadata search enabled storage policy. The indexes are created in the Elasticsearch cluster in the following format:

cloudian-<cloudianclustername>-<regionname>-<datacentername>-<bucketname>-<bucketcreationdatetime>

For each object that subsequently gets uploaded into a HyperStore bucket using that storage policy, HyperStore will retain the object metadata locally and also transmit a copy of that object metadata into your Elasticsearch cluster. This includes HyperStore system-defined object metadata and user-defined metadata. Whenever an object is updated or deleted in HyperStore, HyperStore’s Elasticsearch service automatically updates or deletes the metadata in the Elasticsearch cluster.

After the files have been indexed and stored in the Elasticsearch cluster, you can search through them using any of the metadata attributes. Here’s the example of an indexed file in Elasticsearch before and after the metadata enrichment.

Before

After

Visualizing Metadata

The last and final piece of the puzzle is the visualisation of your object metadata. For that you can use Kibana. Kibana is an open source analytics and visualization platform designed to work with Elasticsearch. You can use Kibana to search, view, and interact with data stored in Elasticsearch indices. It provides you with the flexibility of creating your own visualisations: histograms, line graphs, pie charts, sunbursts, and more. To take full advantage of Kibana, you might have to change the datatype of certain fields or create your own calculated fields. For that, you can use scripted fields in Kibana. Scripted fields compute data on the fly from the data in your Elasticsearch indices. However, this can be resource-intensive depending on your script and it is recommended only for experts since there is no built-in validation of a scripted field. You can either use painless or Lucene expressions for this. In this case, I decided to use Painless for creating customized calculated fields.

For this POC, I created different visualisations to analyze the TED videos uploaded in my HyperStore cluster and this is what my final dashboard looks like after putting them together. It shows you the total numbers of buckets, total number of objects, total consumed capacity, top 10 videos based on the number of views, most famous event, and the publishing patterns on a monthly basis.

 

If you search for all the assets based on the keyword “Education” in the search bar, it immediately filters the results for all the visualisations.

 

To take a step further in our analysis, if you notice in the line chart for ‘Published videos per month’, there’s a sudden spike in the year 2013 for TED talks on the topic of education.

 

If you click on that peak, results get filtered further and you will notice in the histogram for biggest events that the spike is because of the event TED Talk Education. There were 8 TED talks in that event and they were all published in May 2013.

Conclusion

There’s a lot more you can achieve from your media assets if you have the right tools and the technology. HyperStore enables you to accomplish this by a simple yet powerful design. Apart from the above mentioned functionality, HyperStore also offers a rich set of features including quality of service controls, multi-tenancy, billing, WORM compliance, as well as the highest level of S3 API compatibility to ensure plug-and-play interoperability with S3-enabled applications.

If you are going to IBC Amsterdam this year (13 -17 September), please visit Cloudian in Hall 7 at Booth A.43 to see this demo live and in action or check out some of our partner and customer presentations in the booth (see the schedule here). You will meet with some very knowledgeable good-looking people wearing some visually bright and memorable shirts. Say hello to them and learn more about Cloudian.

Siddharth Agrawal
Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer

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6 Best Practices for Object Storage Deployment

Here are 6 tips for getting the most from your object storage project.

By Neil Stobart
VP of WW Sales Engineering, Cloudian 

(Re-post of sdx Central article)

best practices for object storage deploymentIT managers face new storage challenges as companies generate growing volumes of unstructured data. Whether it’s high-res images, backup data, or IoT-generated information, this data needs to be searchable and instantly accessible to facilitate analysis and data mining. IT professionals increasingly find that object storage addresses these challenges in a simple and cost-effective way. But, object storage is new in many data centers and presents questions about how best to manage it. Here are six best practices that will help you get the most from object storage.

Best Practice No. 1

Identify workloads that make sense for object storage.

With multi-petabyte scalability, object storage is best for data-intensive applications. Consider object storage for applications that require streaming throughput (Gb/s) rather than high transaction rates (IOPs). Examples are backup, data archiving, IoT, CCTV, voice recordings, log files, and media files. As one option, consider tiered storage infrastructures that let you transparently move data from high-performance storage to object storage.

Object storage offers compelling economies for large data sets, so you can keep more data online and available on demand. But storage is not one-size-fits-all. Review your applications and determine where object storage makes more sense than other storage types. Traditional storage arrays or All Flash systems will continue to make sense for high IOPs\low-latency applications and for smaller data set sizes (think Oracle, SQL databases, email servers, ESX server farms, and VDI).

Best Practice No. 2

Beware of the 1PB failure domain. 

High-density storage servers now offer capacities nearing 1PB in a single device. With such high storage density, these devices can be very attractive from a cost standpoint. But make sure you’ve thought through the implications of managing this much storage in a single device. Even if you’re protected from data loss, you might still be looking at a long rebuild time in the event of device failure. To reduce rebuild times, logically divide large servers into multiple independent nodes. Also, use erasure coding to build cluster configurations that are resilient to multiple device failures. That way, if you were to encounter a second failure during a rebuild, you’re still protected.

Best Practice No. 3

Use QoS and multi-tenancy to consolidate different workloads on a single platform. 

Cloudian object storage system, petabyte-scalable storageA key benefit of object storage is the great scalability, which lets you simplify management by consolidating users and applications onto a single system. Within that shared environment, however, the system must deliver service levels that meet each users’ needs: they each require storage capacity, security, and predictable performance. To achieve this, make sure your system is configured with isolated storage domains plus quality-of-service controls. The combination will eliminate the two main challenges of shared storage: the nosey neighbor and the noisy neighbor problems. Your users will thank you.

Best Practice No. 4

Consider integrating data management into your application to deliver workflow automation.

The most common “language” of object storage is the S3 API — Amazon Web Services (AWS) simple storage service API — which is revolutionizing how applications can control data. To see why, compare the S3 API with traditional data management protocols such as FC, iSCSI, NFS or SMB. Those protocols only support two basic commands: read and write data. By contrast, the S3 API supports over 400 different verbs that facilitate management, reporting, and seamless integration with public cloud services. Application owners should be aware of the possibilities built into the S3 API and work with app developers and vendors to capitalize on these advanced services.

Best Practice No. 5

Leverage metadata capabilities.

Rich metadata — or data about data — is simply a user-defined tag associated with each object. But that tag’s implications are profound. Object storage has rich metadata tag features built in, unlike network attached storage (NAS), which has very limited metadata, or SAN, which has none. Simple as they are, these tags will have a significant impact on data management. They can be readily searched with Google-like tools, and they can be changed over time by applications that analyze your data and extract insights, such as, “What is the name of the person in this image?” By recording that finding in a tag that’s forever connected with the data, wherever that data may be stored, business information can be found and leveraged in seconds. Imagine all data sets being searchable, across all storage pools, with a single Google-like search query.

Application owners should consider their opportunities. Can your data be described in ways that make it more searchable? Could you potentially use tools — either on-prem or in the cloud — to enrich your metadata, thereby adding value to your search process? If so, consider ways to capitalize on the power of metadata.

Best Practice No. 6

Conduct a Proof-of-Concept.

Not all object storage platforms are created equal, and some careful analysis is required to make sure your needs are met. A simple way to eliminate risk is by conducting a proof-of-concept. Document your requirements and share them with your vendor. Undertake what testing is needed to validate both your needs and the vendor’s claims. In many cases, this can be completed quickly and non-disruptively using virtual machines as the test platform. The knowledge you will gain – about your needs, the product, and the vendor’s capabilities – will ensure your project’s success.

Learn more at www.cloudian.com.

 

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360 Video From NAB Show Recorded to Object Storage

Object Storage Meets the Needs of 360 Video

Object storage was a hot topic at NAB 2018, and limitless capacity was one reason. There are many capacity drivers in today’s media, and 360 video is one of them. So we shot 360 in our booth, recorded the data to Cloudian object storage, and now you can see it for yourself.

Post-production houses know the capacity challenge. 73% of the users we polled at the NAB Show identified capacity as a significant pain point. 4K media is widely used now, and cameras tend to roll throughout the shoot. Producers want access to all of the footage, further driving up capacity demands.

8K, VR, and media search extend the demands

In the future, 8K and VR will impose even greater capacity demands, placing more strain on storage systems. Taking things a step further, all of this media needs to be searchable. It does no good to store assets unless you have a means to quickly find and retrieve them.

Object storage meets the needs

Object storage helps in three ways:

  • Store: Limitless capacity without forklift upgrades or data migrations.
  • Protect: Data protection is built in, with data replication and erasure coding. You can even tier to the cloud using the included tools.
  • Find: Embedded metadata lets you find media fast using a Google-like search. Employ AI/ML tools either on-prem or in the cloud to enrich metadata. Search is not a static tool, but something that can be continuously improved over time.

 

Use cases abound. Visit our NAB Resource Center to hear Cloudian customers a partners discuss their challenges and object storage solutions. Or learn more about customer solutions at WGBH here, Satellite Applications Catapult here, or Vox Media here.

 

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Gartner Peer Insights Reviews for Cloudian Object Storage

Read the Gartner Peer Insights reviews for Cloudian here.

Gartner Peer Insights collects verified reviews from actual end users. To participate, users provide a detailed description of their deployment.

Cloudian HyperStore surpasses its competition with:

  • Highest object storage rating
  • 2X more object storage reviews

Gartner groups ratings into specific markets. Cloudian’s market is Distributed File Systems and Object Storage, a category that includes scale-out NAS as well as object storage.

Among the object storage reviews, Cloudian has 2X more reviews than the next closest competitors.

Read the Commentary

In the comments sections,  user provides insight into what worked and didn’t work.

  • “Cloudian have been extremely easy to work with and engaged with us to get the products installed and supported.” – Director of Product and Service Development 
  • “We had a great experience with Cloudian! After testing Redhat and Scality, Cloudian stood out…” – CEO
  • “Better than expected…. and we expected everything.” – Technical Operations Director
  • “Unparalleled customer service and support.” – Principal Engineer in Media Industry
  • “Cloudian has the most mature object storage solution out of all the vendors we have tested. After spending close to a year testing all the major object storage vendors, Cloudian proved to have the most resilient, mature and performant product that matched extremely well the architectural concepts of Interoute’s Virtual Data Centre.”  – Director
  • “Great flexibility and S3 compatibility.Very attentive sales person, great presale and after-sale technical support.” – Product Manager
  • “The process from the POC and commercial discussions through to contracts and implementation have been seamless.” – Managing Director
  • “Cloudian was very outcome focused and worked to ensure our success.”  – Managing Director 
  • “Easy to deploy, operate, and scale. Pre-sales and architecture sessions were great and informative. They have knowledgeable engineers and a technical sales team. Deployment was quick and easy.” – Director, Cloud Engineering

Read the object storage reviews

Visit the review site and read the reviews. You’ll see why Cloudian has the most customers of any object storage vendor.

Then visit cloudian.com and learn how object storage can help you in use cases like:

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Test Drive Cloudian Object Storage in the Google Cloud, Free!

Try Cloudian Object Storage now… for free!

Now you can now launch a 6-node Cloudian cluster in the Google Cloud, automatically. There is nothing to buy or configure. Just register and launch your cluster. In about 25 minutes, your cluster will be ready to use. Test clusters remain up and running for three days. Click here to start.

 

Same Cloudian Software as Cloudian On-Prem

Your Google Cloud test cluster operates exactly as a production Cloudian cluster. This is not a simulation. It’s the same Cloudian software that you can deploy in your data center.

To Get Started

  1. Start your test drive by registering here.
  2. Launch auto config process. It takes about 25 mins for configs to complete.
  3. Log in. These are your login credentials:

Simple Quick Start Guide

Once you’re logged in, the Quick Start Guide will walk you through cluster configuration. Configure users, set up data protection, learn about cluster management.

View the Quick Start Guide here.

 

Experience Next Gen Enterprise Storage

The Test Drive makes it easy to experience next gen storage management in minutes.  Try all the functionality of the Cloudian solution now and see how easy it is to deploy limitlessly scalable object storage. Cloudian object storage gives you petabyte scalability, embedded metadata for search, plus integrated data protection.

Register Here

Sign up for your test drive here and get started today. 

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NAB Show Demos and Presos: Media Storage Resources

At the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Cloudian hosted some great presentations from customers and our technology partners. Now you can see those presos and demos here:

Click here: NAB Resource Center

Over 6000 people visited Cloudian at the NAB Show, held April 9-12, 2018, in Las Vegas. It was a great showcase for the value of object storage in the media and entertainment (M&E) industry. Trends favor object storage in this space: higher-bandwidth formats like 4K and 8K, emerging formats like 3D and virtual reality, and an inclination to shoot more video and create more assets during the production process.

Click here: See 360 footage from NAB

Petabyte-scale Storage

That creates two needs: the need for petabyte-scalable storage, and the need to locate content within an ever-growing pool (which object storage enables through metadata). The good news is that solving the content storage challenge opens up new revenue opportunities as well, making it possible to sell stock footage, deliver personalized content to sponsors and do other things that were impossible or very difficult to do before object storage was implemented.

Cloudian Object Storage at NAB 2018

At the NAB Show, we talked about his – and we also showed it. And by “we,” we mean us, our customers and partners. Our booth at the show featured a steady stream of presentations about petabyte-scalable object storage and how customers were using it in media: for archiving, for data protection, for searchability, and as part of broader IT initiatives.

If you couldn’t attend the show, or if you just happened to miss a session in our booth, or if you’d like to see a session again – you’re in luck. We have all the presentations, many of them on video, on our new NAB  Resource Center. See WGBH, Vox Media and others talk about their object storage based archives, read solution briefs about how Cloudian works with partners, and see the in-booth presentations from companies like Cisco, Microsoft, Vizrt, Quantum, Komprise and many more. It’s like going to Vegas without the heat, hotel expense and taxi lines!

Click here: NAB Show Resource Center

 

 

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At NAB Today: Learn Why Object Storage and AI are Data’s Power Couple

If you produce video content, nothing beats a large archive of content. Not only can you draw upon it to cost-effectively create new programming, but you can monetize it by selling stock content to other content producers. It’s an asset that becomes more valuable over time.

But one thing stands between content and its potential value: accessibility. Do you know how to find the right content quickly? Do you have an automated way to extract exactly the right content from your archive, or are you relying on spreadsheets, rough guesses, and the irreplaceable memory of your archive manager?

In order to move away from those dangerously inefficient approaches, the secret is something that’s already in your data: metadata. That’s information about your data, contained within the data. File storage includes basic and limited metadata – but object storage provides the ability to include a vast amount of metadata. If you can tag your content with the right metadata, you’ll turn your archives into a deeply searchable asset of data that’s as easily searched as the world wide web.

But what if you have many years’ worth of content that’s never been tagged with metadata? Even if they transition to object storage, few organizations can afford to hire people to view vast amounts of archival material and record metadata. Without a solution to accelerate the process, the size of your archive becomes a liability.

That’s where Cloudian’s integration with AI platforms like Machine Box can help. By creating artificial intelligence and machine learning that can apply your search criteria to content, emerging solutions can rapidly examine years of content, apply the correct metadata, and dramatically improve your ability to find the right content when you need it. Instead of your data being impenetrable, it offers a wide range of possibilities.

As AI matures, it will enable content producers to make their searches more specific and improve searchability over time. Content will be searchable by the basic information regarding its creation – date, time, original program and general subject – but also by any other criteria that become important. Those criteria may include everything from general demographic information to very specific criteria, allowing identification of things like the make of a car, the time of day video was shot, and via facial recognition, even the specific people included in the content.

What does this mean for content producers? It means that AI can help do a wide range of tasks to make using and working with content easier, from spotting obscenities in video clips to tagging appearances by specific performers to automatically identifying the relevant content for individual on-line users.

This flexibility means that AI that identifies and applies metadata will find a wide variety of uses. The technology has obvious applications in security, surveillance, and even in retail and customer loyalty – imagine a “smart store” that uses facial recognition in real time to identify repeat customers and uses that as a trigger to generate mobile marketing offers, or delivers the past buying history of a customer to store personnel to allow them to provide personalized assistance. Another application would be in loss prevention, where a retailer could understand who’s in their stores and to keep previous offenders from offending again.

These powerful AI tools don’t work on their own – they need a robust infrastructure behind them. They generate an enormous amount of data in the course of their operation. That may make a cloud-based storage approach cost prohibitive – the more the data is transmitted and accessed, the more an organization pays to store and access that data. An on-premises solution doesn’t impose that cost penalty, ultimately resulting in less consumption of resources and huge cost savings as a result. Cloudian’s HyperStore offers limitlessly scaleable on-premises object storage that can handle not just increased amounts of data resulting from greater use of metadata, but also more intensive data formats like 4K and 8K video and virtual reality. Adding storage capacity is as simple as adding additional storage nodes.

If you’re at the NAB Show today, be sure to stop by Booth SL6321 at 3 p.m. Machine Box CEO Aaron Edell will be there speaking about how to make AI work for your business, and the how object storage is an ideal repository for AI training data. See you at 3!

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Cloudian Adds File Storage Expertise

Cloudian Adds File Storage Expertise Through Acquisition of Pioneering Infinity Storage

It’s not easy for technology companies to build great teams. The best people have lots of opportunities, and you’d better have a compelling story behind your product if you want them to join you and not one of your competitors.

That reality makes Cloudian’s acquisition of Infinity Storage really exciting. Cloudian and Infinity knew each other well – the two companies worked together on Cloudian’s HyperFile object storage-based NAS controller. Infinity developed a solution that delivers scale-out file services, employing S3 API-compatible storage systems as a limitlessly scalable storage repository.

But good acquisitions aren’t simply about technology. Infinity Storage has a deep bench of talented people on staff, starting with founder and CEO Catarina Falchi. She was one of the original inventors of WORM and has distinguished herself as a pioneering engineer and entrepreneur over the last decade. Falchi will join Cloudian as VP of File Technologies, and, like most of the Infinity team, will be based in the company’s home town of Milan, Italy.

That’s another important part of this acquisition: its global nature. Having a presence in Italy is great for Cloudian’s efforts to find new customers in the region, but it’s also important because it will allow Cloudian to hear from more customers around the world and develop solutions that meet their needs, even as those needs evolve.

Want to read more about this important move by Cloudian? Read the press release here!

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