NetApp Proposes File Share Service Capabilities to OpenStack

By Joe Rizzo

NetApp, Inc. was formally Network Appliance, Inc. It is an American multinational computer storage and data management company. Its headquarters are in Sunnyvale, CA. NetApp is the number one storage provider for the U.S. government. They are also the number one leader in Germany.

On April 15, 2013 NetApp announced that it has submitted a prototype and proposal for a file share service capability for consideration by the OpenStack Foundation Technical Committee and community at large.

File-based storage continues to be a thriving market. Spending is expected to reach more than $34.6 billion by 2016. This is according to an IDC report entitled “Worldwide File-Based Storage 2012-2016 Forecast.” IDC (International Data Corporation) is an American market research, analysis and advisory firm specializing in information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology.

According to IDC, of the 27 exabytes (EB) of total disk capacity estimated to have shipped in 2012, nearly 18 EB were of file-based capacity. This represents over 65 percent of all disk shipped by capacity. IDC goes on to say that a diversity of applications, from server virtualization to relational or distributed databases to collaborative content creation, often depend on the performance, scalability, and simplicity of management associated with file-based systems and the large ecosystem of supporting software products.

Since OpenStack does not currently offer native management support for file-based storage systems, NetApp’s proposal is to add a file share service. It will be broad enough to address the concerns of a wide range of file system types.

NetApp has designed a prototype with the goal of extending access to applications written for file-based storage without the need for a separate management interface. The prototype is available as a recent submission to OpenStack's Cinder project.

"NetApp is eager to work with the OpenStack community to establish the optimal path for bringing critical shared file services capabilities into the core of OpenStack. We have received good feedback to our blueprint through the Grizzly development cycle and look forward to identifying the best path for adoption in the Havana release. Our proposal is constructed to be broadly applicable, with the file system type abstracted to address any number of shared or distributed file system types, from CIFS and NFS/pNFS to something such as Gluster or Ceph." This was said by Jeffrey O'Neal, senior director of solutions integration group at NetApp.

The proposal will be a topic for discussion for inclusion in the Havana release this week at the OpenStack Summit (April 15-18) in Portland, Oregon. In October 2012, NetApp became a charter Gold Level Member of the OpenStack Foundation.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Contributing Writer

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