Red Hat Buys Gluster For Cloud-Ready Storage

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Red Hat enters the storage software business by acquiring a virtual appliance-style file system vendor

Red Hat, the Linux software and services company, has made a bold move into the storage software business with the acquisition of Gluster, whose open-source storage file system for unstructured data runs a growing number of new-generation IT companies.

The latest version of the virtual appliance file system for data storage enables access to the same data as both an object and as a file – a huge perk for storage managers.

The transaction will cost Red Hat about $136 million (£88m) in cash. The deal is expected to close in October.

Deployment Options

The software comes in several deployment versions: for on-premises installation, virtual machines, and for public and private cloud environments. Gluster positions this as the first “true unified file and object data storage software”.

“Enterprises and service providers have struggled to manage their rapidly expanding unstructured data stores with conventional storage systems,” said Henry Baltazar, senior analyst of the 451 Group. “The scale-out storage technology and expertise Red Hat is gaining from the acquisition of Gluster will serve as a powerful foundation for future public, private and hybrid storage clouds.”

GlusterFS 3.3 allows users to access data as objects from an Amazon S3-compatible interface and access files from a Network Attached Storage (NAS) interface, including Network File System (NFS) and Common Internet File System (CIFS).

For infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers, GlusterFS 3.3 enables organisations to build their own Amazon-like storage offerings for their customers. Companies can use GlusterFS to accelerate the process of preparing applications for the cloud, simplify new application development for cloud computing environments, and back up data centre unified files and objects to Amazon Web Services (AWS) or to a private cloud.

Gluster customers currently include Pandora, Box.net and Samsung.

The acquisition is expected to have no material impact to Red Hat’s revenue this fiscal year but should begin to grow next year based on a subscription revenue model, the company said.

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