Object storage vendor Caringo ramps up Swarm 10 to support denser environments, introduces single server offering

The new Caringo single server offering, which is aimed at smaller and midsize intense data users like media post-production houses, is likely to be the most interesting thing here to channel partners.

The new Swarm Single Server

Austin-based object storage vendor Caringo has announced their Swarm 10 Platform. While it contains new functionality, its big upgrade is allowing large customers to support even larger, denser environments than before. As part of the platform, Caringo is also making two announcements aimed at their smaller customers, a new single server appliance for post-production houses, studios, broadcasters and small enterprises, and the addition of support for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud for their FileFly 3.0 file tiering offering.

“We’ve been around for twelve years as a pioneer in on-prem object storage, and only just now is it starting to take off,” said Tony Barbagallo, Caringo’s CEO. “We are seeing momentum in media and entertainment, active archiving, and replacing parallel files, and the federal government. We work through partners that offer a more comprehensive workflow than just an object storage back end.”

Barbagallo said that market trends continue to mandate that content-driven organizations keep their data on-premises.

“Cloud isn’t the best choice for petabyte-scale archives,” he stated.  “Distributed ingest, access and applications need to be near the data. This is what Swarm 10 is all about.”

The big news in Swarm 10 is its further optimization for dense, distributed environments, including an update to Elasticsearch 5.

“The Swarm 10 release adds new functionality, but the main focus is supporting larger, denser storage environments, with optimization for dense and multi-core servers,” Barbagallo said. “It reflects the fact that no one deletes data any more. We have optimized things for dense and multi core servers, so now our  S3 throughput is 35GB/s read, and 12.5 GB/s write – almost twice as fast from a throughput perspective.” In a recent deployment, Swarm delivered 80 MB/s S3 throughput per drive on 7,200 RPM nearline SAS HDDs, twice the performance of the nearest competitor.

The feature enhancements include an improved UI with a single pane of glass for storage cluster management.

“Before, there was a content portal and a storage administration portal which are now combined,” Barbagallo said. “We have also improved the content management capabilities. You can now drill down into content management, and we have added the ability to edit metadata directly from the Web-based UI. We have also extended the metadata search foundation of Elastisearch 5, to enable the power of the ELK Stack and its ecosystem.”

Caringo also announced SwarmNFS 2.1, a new version of its lightweight file protocol converter that eliminates the need for a gateway by connecting the NFS server directly to the Object Storage.

“Swarm NFS 2.1 ingests the data into the Object Store, and is all completely integrated with LDAP and Active Directory,” Barbagallo said. “Gateways usually require all objects being put into a Linux server, which then serve out the object. We are literally an object NFS, as we take advantage of parallel processing of storage architecture for that.” SwarmNFS 2.1’s parallel, petabyte-scale sustained streaming of NFS to object did a sustained ingest of 1.6 GB/s on standard hardware with no caching or spooling

A net-new addition that Barbagallo thinks will be of special interest to channel partners is the new Swarm Single Server, a fully self-contained appliance that provides all the features of Swarm with 96 TBs of raw storage that can be racked or fit under a desk.

“We started working with a distributor focused exclusively on media and entertainment in the U.S., and they helped us identify an opportunity here,” he said. “This fills a market gap for small and medium-sized production houses, who look on an on-prem object store not as a cold archive, but as a mini-private cloud for their workloads. This is basically a ‘Swarm in a Box,’ containerized, and running on virtual machines. It eliminates their concerns about the cloud, and our architecture lets it be expanded by adding more boxes, which will work seamlessly, so there’s no rip and replace of hardware to upgrade.”

Caringo estimates that the Swarm Single Server will reduce hardware requirements by 75 per cent.

“I think this single server appliance will be big in partner community,” Barbagallo said. “In the past, realistically, you needed four boxes in a rack for a cluster, and for some smaller customers, that was a little daunting. Now partners can go into an organization, and get them started with one box. We have seen this most acutely in M&E, where you focus on the front end – their videos – and not their back end.”

Another enhancement likely to appeal to smaller customers is FileFly version 3.0.

“This is an SMB product that runs on Windows and tiers files from Windows and NetApp environments,” Barbagallo said. “It can now also tier to AWS, Google or Azure in addition to Swarm, to evolve into multi cloud solutions. We are also adding a free FileFly Community Edition with 25 TB of useable data transfer capacity to any target.”

All the newly announced offerings are available now.