Category Archives: Blog

Talkin’ the Talk

In this first of a five-part series, we are going to start simple. If you know this stuff, great, but some of it is unfamiliar then this piece should explain what Kubernetes is, how it operates, and the basic language you need to know to sound like an expert.  

Where did Kubernetes come from?
Kubernetes is an open-source project governed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which is a subsidiary of the Linux  Foundation​, and was gifted to the Linux Foundation by Google in 2015.   Kubernetes traces its roots directly from the Borg project, which was Google’s internal container-oriented cluster management system.    Kubernetes is often referred to in shorthand as K8s simply because there are 8 letters between the “K” at the beginning of the word, and the “S” at the end. 

What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes, in its simplest form is an orchestrator of  containerized applications, but such a broad statement requires explanation. A container is the smallest possible entity for delivering an application. It usually consists of a single application and only the environment it needs to run. This allows applications to become truly portable throughout the entire software development lifecycle without running into environment conflicts that are so common when applications share an entire operating system. A software developer can, subsequently, wrap the newly created code into a self-contained structure, a container, consisting only of the application and its particular dependencies. Containers ensure a consistent environment of dependencies as the new code moves from development to quality assurance testing, to integration, to production delivery that are almost always hosted on separate systems. Containers make applications independent of system-level changes enabling things like microservice architectures. In other words, containers do not care about changes to its outside environment because it already has everything it needs within itself. This self-sufficiency throughout the software development lifecycle is what makes Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) possible. The purpose of CI/CD is, of course, to accelerate our production pipeline so we get to market faster.  Kubernetes solves an additional challenge made possible by containerization, namely scalability and portability. By orchestrating containers we can easily and rapidly create thousands and thousands of copies at virtually any location to address rapidly changing workloads. Let’s look at an example to which most of us can relate.  Every time you talk to Alexa, Siri, or Google an orchestrator, such as Kubernetes, fires up a container for the duration of the question. Once your question or conversation terminates so does the container. The system resources the container required are subsequently released and repurposed to be available for another container to use. Containers Orchestration allows instant scalability and elasticity with predictable consistency and quality that was previously impossible. Events like Black Monday online sales would probably crash within minutes without Container Orchestration. Delivery of software and fixes would take months instead of days or weeks.  

A Glossary of Kubernetes Terms: 

Container:  A container is a standardized structure which can store and run applications or services. If your application has been re-architected into micro-services, now each micro-service can be stored in its own container, along with everything it needs to run (settings, libraries, dependencies etc.), creating a closed operating environment so the container can run on any machine. 

Docker:   Docker is not, as many people believe, a competitor to Kubernetes. Rather it is the leading open-source containerization technology, controlling some 95% of the market. The two technologies are used together. Docker allows you to “create” containers and Kubernetes helps you to “manage” containers.

Pods:  A pod is the unit of scheduling in Kubernetes and holds one or more containers. Containers that are part of the same pod are guaranteed to be scheduled together onto the same machine and can share state via local volumes. 

Nodes:   Nodes are the hardware components and are comprised of either a virtual machine hosted in the cloud, or a physical machine in a data center.   Nodes can also be thought of as CPU/RAM resources to be used by a cluster and not just as a virtual machine, since a pod is not constrained to any given machine, but can move freely across all available resources as needed. 

Cluster:   A cluster is a series of nodes that are aware of each other and connect together to run the containerized applications being orchestrated by Kubernetes. By pooling their resources, the nodes make the cluster more powerful than the individual machines that compose it. Kubernetes moves pods around the cluster as nodes are scaled (added/removed). 

Services:  A Kubernetes Service is an abstraction which defines a logical set of pods running somewhere in your cluster, that all provide the same functionality. When created, each Service is assigned a unique IP address, which is tied to the lifespan of the Service and will not change while the Service is alive. Pods can be configured to talk to the Service and know that communication to the Service will be automatically load-balanced out to some pod that is a member of the Service. 

Labels:  A common set of labels allows tools to work together, describing objects in a common manner that all tools can universally understand. In addition to supporting tooling, the recommended labels describe applications in a way that can be queried.

IP-Per-Pod:  Kubernetes makes it easy to run off-the-shelf open-source applications because it is able to give every pod and service its own IP address, allowing pods to be treated much like VMs or physical hosts, with access to the entire port space. This is by no means a complete list of the terms surrounding Kubernetes, and we will continue to add to it with each newsletter. Next month we will dive into how to identify and qualify a Kubernetes deal. 

Hammerspace announces version 4.4.0

Hammerspace announces a new software release, version 4.4

 

Hammerspace is thrilled to announce the general availability of version 4.4 which adds an expanded portfolio of services and features to help businesses with their SDS and hybrid multi-cloud needs.

 

With this release, Hammerspace adds a number of Enterprise features including support for larger number of shares, migrating data directly between different cloud tiers and WORM. In addition to that, a number of Usability enhancements for UI and data assimilation are included in this release as well. Furthermore, Hammerspace now supports Enterprise RedHat Linux 7.8 NFS v4.2 clients with version 4.4.

 

Last-but-not-least, Hammerspace version 4.4 also offers tech preview of the Universal Global Namespace, Synchronous Data Mirroring and a Capacity Planning tool that helps customers better plan their capacity needs over time.

 

With these new capabilities, Hammerspace customers can easily consume data across hybrid and multi-cloud environments without compromising on security, performance, availability, or ease of use.

 

New Features in version 4.4

 

Support for large number of Shares

With version 4.4, Hammerspace can now scale up to hundreds of shares in a cluster.

Cloud to Cloud Mobility

When moving files between cloud tiers, data had to be rehydrated to NAS before getting uploaded to the destination cloud bucket. In Hammerspace version 4.4, this extra hop has been removed, so data can now be migrated directly from one cloud bucket to another.

Capacity reporting when adding new volumes

Hammerspace version 4.4 has the ability to detect and report used volume capacity when adding a new volume to the cluster. In addition to that, auto detection is built in to avoid data movement in order to balance capacity unless initiated by the user. This helps reduce any unexpected data movement when new storage volumes are added.

WORM support

Hammerspace now allows setting WORM specific attributes for WORM_EXPIRY and LEGAL_HOLD_EXPIRY dates. Once they are set, they cannot be deleted, they can only be changed to be effective at a later date for the data in the share. WORM support can be enabled using objectives across files, directories and shares, giving customers finer grained control over different types of files.

 

Functional Enhancements in version 4.4

GUI Scalability improvements

Along with the added support for more shares, a number of enhancements have also gone into Hammerspace version 4.4 for improving GUI responsiveness when handling large number of shares, volumes and storage nodes.

Assimilation enhancements and Performance improvements

Hammerspace supports assimilating third party NFS and SMB data, non-disruptively into its active namespace without making any changes to the original data. With this latest release, Hammerspace has added a number of usability enhancements focused on additional logging, non-disruptive error handling, ability to cancel assimilations and a better UI experience. In addition to that, this release also contains substantial performance improvements when assimilating NFS and SMB data.

 

Technology Preview Features

A technology preview feature is functionality exposed in the product for customers to test. The feature is not supported for Production usage however it is generally made available with full product support in the sub-sequent release.

Capacity planning analysis

HS provides customers with tools that help them plan their storage needs by allowing them to simulate data uploads to cloud without actually moving any data, while taking into account storage efficiency features like data compression and dedupe.

Synchronous Data Mirroring

As a tech preview feature, Hammerspace can now synchronously mirror data to different volumes for increased resiliency.

Global File System

Customers can now deploy a single namespace across different geographical sites and replicate data and metadata across these sites. The data in global shares are available Read-Write on multiple sites at the same time. Initial support goes up to 16 sites concurrently active on the same share.

 

NFS Client Support

Additional NFSv4.2 Client Support

Hammerspace has added support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.8 clients for NFS 4.2 access in version 4.4. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 clients are already supported for NFSv4.2 access.

 

 

For more in-depth details on these features, go to https://hammerspace.com/blog/

 

To download the release and purchase a license, contact us at https://hammerspace.com/contact/

 

Hammerspace announces version 4.3.0

Hammerspace announces a new software release, version 4.3.0

 

Hammerspace is thrilled to announce the general availability of version 4.3 which adds an expanded portfolio of services and features to help businesses with their SDS and hybrid multi-cloud needs.

With this release, Hammerspace adds Data Encryption support in addition to usability enhancements like Alert cleanups upon Event recovery, GUI support for SMB assimilation, supporting one end point for all protocol access and preventing non-compliant NFSv4.2 clients from accessing the Anvil. Hammerspace is also now available in Amazon GovCloud for customers with additional security requirements.

Last-but-not-least, Hammerspace version 4.3 also offers tech preview of the Universal Global Namespace, WORM and a Capacity Planning tool that helps customers better plan their capacity needs over time.

With these new capabilities, Hammerspace customers can easily consume data across hybrid and multi-cloud environments without compromising on security, performance, availability, or ease of use.

 

New in v4.3.0

Data encryption support with on-premises Key Management support

In flight and at rest encryption of data when transferring it to and storing it in public-cloud buckets/containers is a primary concern for customers wanting to mobilize their data into the public-cloud. Additionally, customers want to have full control over the keys used for data encryption and also want the data encrypted on-premises using their keys before it leaves to get persisted in public-cloud buckets. Finally, customers would like a simple and single unified mechanism to encrypt their data across their private, hybrid and multi-public-cloud environments.

Hammerspace now supports encrypting user data when copying files to object-volumes using nCipher HSM.

NFS 4.2 client white listing support

Hammerspace supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 clients for NFS 4.2 access and prevents any non-compliant NFS 4.2 client from accessing data by automatically redirecting connections to NFS v3.

Single end point access across protocols

In the past, customers had to access the Hammerspace namespace over different export end points based on the access protocol (NFS v3, SMB or NFS 4.2). Starting from version 4.3, Hammerspace is now accessible via the same end points across all protocols.

GUI support for SMB data assimilation

Hammerspace supports assimilating third party data into its active namespace without making any changes to the original data. With the latest release, Hammerspace has added GUI support for non-disruptive assimilation of SMB data into its namespace in addition to improving the performance of assimilating large number of files in the same directory.

Amazon GovCloud support

Hammerspace is now also available in the AWS GovCloud Marketplace. This allows Public sector customers with additional security requirements to deploy and start using Hammerspace in GovCloud at the click of a button.

Usability enhancements

Hammerspace version 4.3 contains a number of usability enhancements targeted at optimizing event processing, alert cleanup as well as only showing uncleared events on GUI or CLI login.

 

Technology Preview Features

A technology preview feature is functionality exposed in the product for customers to test. The feature is not supported for Production usage however it is generally made available with full product support in the sub-sequent release.

Capacity planning analysis

HS provides customers with tools that help them plan their storage needs by allowing them to simulate data uploads to cloud without actually moving any data, while taking into account storage efficiency features like data compression and dedupe.

Worm support

Hammerspace now allows setting objectives to enable WORM support across files, directories and shares, giving customers finer grained control over different types of files.

Global File System

Customers can now deploy a single namespace across different geographical sites and replicate data and metadata across these sites. The data in global shares are available Read-Write on multiple sites at the same time. Initial support goes up to 16 sites concurrently active on the same share.

 

 

For more in-depth details on these features, go to https://hammerspace.com/blog/

 

To download the release and purchase a license, contact us at https://hammerspace.com/contact/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hammerspace Verified as Citrix Ready

Los Altos, CA, January 14th, 2020– Hammerspace is pleased to announce that its Hybrid Cloud File Service, which enables Citrix® Virtual Apps and Desktop users to access data across multiple locations and/or within the public cloud transparently, easily and quickly, have officially been verified as Citrix Ready®.

The Citrix Ready technology partner program offers robust testing, verification, and joint marketing for Digital Workspace, Networking, and Analytics solutions–with over 30,000 verifications listed in the Citrix Ready Marketplace. Hammerspace completed a rigorous testing and verification process for its Hammerspace Cloud File Service to ensure compatibility with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, providing confidence in joint solution compatibility in order to replicate or migrate your Citrix virtual desktops data to any hardware platform within the Citrix environment.

Hammerspace helps reduce delays and improve response times when running virtual desktops from the hybrid cloud. Now, data is readily available, as it follows the user regardless of where they are located, greatly improving their virtual desktop experience, while also giving administrators far greater control and management of how and where this data is protected and stored.

The Hammerspace hybrid cloud file service successfully passed a series of tests established by Citrix and is compatible with all the latest versions of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, including the long term service release versions 7.6 LTSR and 7.15 LTSR and more importantly with the Citrix Cloud based Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service.

“We are committed to working closely with trusted partners – including the Citrix Ready partner ecosystem – in order to provide the highest quality experience for our customers,” says Tony Asaro, Director of Channel Sales, Hammerspace. “The Hammerspace hybrid cloud file service combined with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service ensures customer confidence in joint solution compatibility.”

About Hammerspace
Hammerspace is a hybrid cloud file service that smashes the complexity of managing and protecting data on the hybrid-multi-cloud, eliminating the challenges of making unstructured data cloud-native and independent of the infrastructure. With non-disruptive, ML-driven data management, Hammerspace reduces the complexity of adopting hybrid, multi-site or Kubernetes workflows.

Holly Hagerman | Senior Partner
hollyh@connectmarketing.com
C: 801-368-6928

Persistent Data Protection for Kubernetes in the Enterprise

Kubernetes is a portable and extensible platform that provides orchestration of containerized applications. It facilitates declarative configuration and automation of workloads and services. In essence, Kubernetes frees applications from the underlying infrastructure through disaggregation without losing control of said workloads and services. The business outcome is improved time to market by accelerating the time it takes to build and deliver applications and services to customers.

Most containerized applications are stateless and short-lived, so their data only needs to persist for as long as the app runs; but what happens when stateful apps like databases are containerized and managed by Kubernetes?  The data processed and generated by stateful applications persists and must be protected against data loss, but how do you do this in a Kubernetes native way, without purchasing specialized infrastructure?  Hammerspace can protect persistent data across any cluster, cloud, or storage without DevOps or IT learning anything new or specific to any infrastructure.

The Hammerspace Difference

Hammerspace is a data-centric software solution that disaggregates data from its underlying infrastructure while retaining full control over the data. Kubernetes has transformed how applications are managed and delivered. Hammerspace is now transforming how data is managed and delivered. Hammerspace software can be spun up with ease in AWS, GCP, Azure, or on premises as virtual machines or on bare-metal hardware.

Kubernetes Container Storage Interface

The Hammerspace Container Storage Interface (CSI) driver is a full-featured implementation that supports both File and Block Persistent Volumes (PV) for Kubernetes. Functions such as volume create, volume delete, get capacity, volume stats, volume stage and unstage are fully supported.

Universal Global Namespace for Kubernetes

Hammerspace provides a single source of truth for data that stretches across hybrid multi-cloud infrastructures. Our Universal Global Namespace presents a unified view of data unbound from its underlying infrastructure. Where data resides geographically, and what platform it is stored on no longer matters. Global data visibility and accessibility make it fast and easy to access data across sites. Data is transferred on-demand when needed, and by policy if desired.

 

Data Protection

Hammerspace offers Active-Active Data Protection and Recovery. Snapshots can quickly be created and scheduled. By scheduling frequency and retention in a few simple steps you have declared the intent of a data set, and thus a Service Level Objective. Snapshots can be moved or/and copied anywhere across your storage resources, regardless of location. Once Kubernetes is connected to Hammerspace CSI driver, you manage storage resources and data protection through the Hammerspace API, CLI, or GUI.

Data Recovery

With Hammerspace, data is automatically recovered from snapshot if the active data is not available. Snapshots can be moved and/or copied anywhere to another storage volume regardless of location or performance tier across your infrastructure. This affords organizations the ability to choose the right blend of cost/performance. Declarative policies can automatically recover data from snapshot to Tier 1 without administrator action.

DevTest

The ability to restore data for DevTest refreshes is a key function to accelerate time to market. Hammerspace Toolkit allows fine-grained control over DevTest refresh copies, such as metadata tagging and descriptors. This can be easily automated through scripting. You can find additional information and usage examples on the Hammerspace GitHub page. Developers and other constituents can perform DevTest refresh on-demand through self-service.

Service Level Objectives for Kubernetes

Hammerspace Service Level Objectives offer full control over your data. Service Level Objectives are declarative policies that define desired end-state business objectives. This vastly simplifies and enhances controls over your data; where it lives, how it is stored, how it is consumed, as well as its availability, durability, and a number of other things. Hammerspace delivers an unprecedented ability to manage and deliver data. File-granular declarative policies accompanied by machine learning enable automated transitions in the hybrid multi-cloud.

Non-Disruptive Data Mobility for Kubernetes

Hammerspace Data Mobility allows you to control where data lives, how it is presented to Kubernetes, as well as the performance and cost. This is just one example of something you can easily and simply control with Service Level Objectives all the way down to a file-granular level. It only takes a few mouse-clicks or a single CLI command to seamlessly move data from one location to another, from on premises to cloud, and back. And this happens without any interruption to applications, end-users, or business processes.

Summary

Hammerspace makes any storage native to Kubernetes, with multi-cluster support on any storage platform, local and over distance, allowing you to instantly start stateful applications anywhere. In addition, Hammerspace Universal Global Namespace, Non-Disruptive Data Mobility, and Service Level Objectives offer a complete solution for Kubernetes workloads and data protection. The operational simplicity of Hammerspace smashes storage silos, automates data recovery with file-granular controls, and moves data non-disruptively across any storage.

The Data Highway to NetApp Cloud Volumes

Nine out of ten companies, according to research by IDG, will have some part of their applications or infrastructure in the cloud by 2019, and the rest expect to follow by 2021. A key driver is the explosive growth of unstructured data. But how do you move your data from on-premises to cloud without disruptive downtime? There are two parts to solving that challenge. First, we need a cloud service. Second, we need something that can move that data without business interruption.

NetApp Cloud Volumes is a file storage service that runs on your choice of AWS, Azure, or GCP. Cloud Volumes supports a wide range of NFS- and SMB-based workloads. This brings us to the second challenge. How do we painlessly lift data into NetApp Cloud Volumes from a variety of on-premises NAS storage solutions without downtime? Or more specifically, how do we ensure that applications and end-users can read and write data continuously during cloud migration?

Hammerspace is a hybrid cloud file service that provides powerful data management capabilities to migrate data to Cloud Volumes simply, quickly, and without disruption to productivity. Hammerspace adds three powerful capabilities to NetApp Cloud Volumes:

  1. An active-active universal global namespace
  2. File-granular data management policy engine (aka Service Level Objectives)
  3. Non-disruptive live data mobility

The Hammerspace Difference

Universal Global Namespace

Hammerspace provides a single source of truth for data that stretches across your entire infrastructure. A global namespace virtualizes data to present a unified view of data to application workloads across mixed storage resources. Global data visibility and accessibility make it fast and easy to access data across sites. Data is transferred on-demand when needed, and by policy if desired. With a locally managed namespace available on each site, performance of the data and metadata is maintained without compromise while making the data available across distance.

Service Level Objectives

File-granular declarative policies and machine learning enable an automated transition to cloud. You control the volumes, shares, directories, files, or any combination thereof that you want to migrate to NetApp Cloud Volumes as well as the level of data protection and durability.

Live Data Mobility

Hammerspace data services support NFS, SMB, and S3; deploying advanced data layout techniques to seamlessly move data, such as files and snapshots, through the namespace, even during active read/write. WAN optimization keeps network traffic efficient with automatic global deduplication and compression, while data is encrypted end-to-end using customer managed KMS. Hammerspace calls this Data Mobility. Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

In the following example, an application opens a file and, subsequently, receives layout from Hammerspace. The application can now start I/O. Data Mobility is, subsequently, requested to move data set from one or more data center NAS to Cloud. Layout is then recalled, but file remains open (no data flush). A new layout is provided to the application without interruption (no I/O impact). The new write layout then points to the data mover (Hammerspace DSX) while the new read layout points to original source. The Data Mobility process starts to mirror data to Cloud Volumes.

 

When Data Mobility is completed, the same process is followed in reverse order. The layout pointing to the data mover and original source is recalled and replaced by new layout pointing to Cloud Volumes. The Data Mobility process completes without zero interruption to business processes.

Conclusion

 

NetApp Cloud Volumes Services comes in three flavors, one for each of the major three major cloud providers: Azure NetApp Files, Cloud Volumes Services for AWS, and Cloud Volumes Services for GCP. This allows customers to choose one or more, or any combination thereof, to support their business needs. NetApp and Hammerspace are enabling enterprises to adopt a hybrid multi-cloud strategy.

 

 

Feature Spotlight: Global Undelete

Global Undelete is an exciting new feature introduced with Hammerspace 4.2. You can read more about all the new features that we introduce in the Hammerspace 4.2 release announcement.

The cost of data loss is substantial. Human error accounts for a major portion of all data loss events. As our reliance on timely and accurate information increases, we are exposed to new risks. The loss of important files or directories generally results in one of two outcomes: either the data is recoverable with the assistance of technical support or it is permanently lost.

Even in the best-case outcome, when deleted files are recovered, there is typically substantial cost and time involved. Imagine if you could easily restore files through a self-serve function. Desktop and laptop computers already have this function through the “Recycle Bin”. What if there were a global recycle bin across all data resources regardless of the location of data?

This is exactly why Hammerspace is introducing Global Undelete. The Undelete feature empowers end-users to be more productive by extending the ability to recover from data loss. Consequently, Undelete enhances productivity as well as reduces the time and cost of recovering data.

Use Cases and Benefits

Hammerspace Undelete provides a number of valuable benefits to organizations and individuals. These benefits include:

  • Self-service data recovery. Empowers end-users to restore their own files with speed and ease.
  • Eliminates the chance of data loss due to accidental or malicious deletion of files and folders.
  • Reduces the cost, infrastructure, and management required to protect data.
  • Allows backup to focus on protecting the organization and snapshots on end-user productivity.
  • Centralizes data protection across entire organization.

These benefits lead to improved cost savings and faster time to solution. By vastly simplifying data recovery, Hammerspace allows end-users to focus on productivity instead of complex data loss problem solving.

Undelete Explained in Detail

Hammerspace Undelete objective is declarative policy which makes configuration simple and straightforward. It is a set- and-forget-it style of implementation. Thus, complex configuration is replaced with a simple declaration of a desired end-state. Declarative policy objectives, such as Undelete, allows alignment with business process objectives. This is an approach that significantly speeds up operations and saves time.

Granular Control

Hammerspace Undelete offers fine-grained control. Hammerspace objectives, such as Undelete, can be set anywhere in a filesystem hierarchy, from a single file, to anywhere in the directory structure, to an entire file share. An Undelete objective set on a directory will automatically be inherited down the tree, per illustration below.

Regular Expressions and extension pattern-matching can also be leveraged for even greater control over what you want to include or exclude from protection. Thus, you can protect what is valuable to you and your organization while simultaneously avoid protecting the unnecessary, such as temp files. You have full control in your hands!

Hammerspace Objectives support custom metadata tagging. An Undelete Objective can thus include user-defined tags and keywords for additional granular control and customization. There are multiple options for how to leverage this highly useful functionality. Some examples are the Hammerspace CLI, REST API, or the HSTK. You can learn more about the HSTK or Hammerspace Tool Kit here. Along with the toolkit itself, you will also find a rich set of usage examples.

Retention

Undelete protection can cover the length of an hour, a day, a week, or an entire month. This covers virtually any need for additional protection of files that have been deleted, either by accident or malicious intent.

Setting retention is as simple as applying the Undelete Objective itself. You simply choose the desired retention time by checking the appropriate checkbox, and then click the “Save” button below. Your files are now protected from deletion during the time you set. It’s as simple as a couple of mouse-clicks. There are, of course, also options for the more command-line oriented. Here is a simple example of what setting an Undelete Objective from the CLI would look like:

First, let’s change the working directory to a mounted share:

$ cd /Volumes/foobar/demo/

Next, I will pick and file and configure an Undelete Objective:

$ hs objective add -e “TRUE” undelete-1-hour IOAnalyzerGuide_1.6_20140326.pdf

Finally, let’s validate that it worked as intended:

$ hs objective list IOAnalyzerGuide_1.6_20140326.pdf

The command results in the following output (snippet) which validates that the Objective has been applied:

 

SLOS_TABLE{

|OBJECTIVE = SLO(‘undelete-1-hour’),

|COUNT = EXPRESSION(TRUE);

 

Logging into the Admin GUI also validates that the Objective has been applied as intended.

Global and Local Data Protection

Hammerspace Undelete is a global feature. By placing Hammerspace in more than one location, the files protected by an Undelete objective on one site automatically replicate to other sites. For example, files protected by an Undelete Objective in Site A will replicate over to Site B. These files can then be recovered at either Site. Files can thus be protected globally across your entire Hammerspace deployment.

Files protected by Hammerspace Undelete can be easily identified by a unique text string that is appended to the filename. This not only identifies the file as protected by an Undelete Objective, but also protects from an undesirable and unintended create/delete loop. Let’s take a closer look at this would look like. In the following example, we have chosen to protect the file “PDArch.pptx”. A text string has been appended to the end of the filename as you can see below. Once the file has been restored, the renaming persists to ensure loops are not introduced. Furthermore, it clearly identifies the file as having been restored from an Undelete policy.

Administrators are also able to view this valuable functionality from the Hammerspace Admin GUI, as shown in the image below.

Self-Service

Hammerspace Undelete provides self-service functionality. Protected files and folders that have been deleted, accidentally or maliciously, can simply be restored from the ~/.snapshot/current directory. Each individual directory in a protected hierarchy contains its own .snapshot/current subdirectory. As previously illustrated, Hammerspace Undelete protects you from losing valuable data.

Cost Savings

By leveraging snapshots as the underlying mechanism, Hammerspace Undelete provides important savings of valuable storage costs. Hammerspace provides the option of local as well as global snapshots. You can read more about this in future blog posts (coming soon!) or Hammerspace documentation. What’s important for the purpose of Undelete is that by levering snapshots, files and folders protected by Undelete do not consume extra capacity beyond already scheduled snapshots.

Furthermore, this provides a significant reduction of the time and cost associated with traditional backup and restore. By using Hammerspace Undelete Objectives, Administrators can execute less frequent snapshot and backup schedules to protect unstructured data. Hammerspace Undelete is not intended as a replacement of backup but can significantly augment and enhance your data protection strategy at reduced cost.

Conclusion

Hammerspace Global Undelete, as shown, provides a number of benefits to your business.

  • Granular Control: Hammerspace Undelete Objectives are declarative policies that offer simplified yet fine-grained control. You can leverage an existing Undelete Objective or customize through Regular Expressions and pattern-matching. Applying an Undelete Objective can be as simple as a few mouse-clicks to as complex and granular as you choose.
  • Global Protection: Objectives can be implemented on entire shares or exports down to individual files. When an Objective is applied to a share or folder, the policy is inherited down the directory structure.
  • Retention: You control the duration of Undelete protection. Shares, directories, and files can be protected from an hour to a month.
  • Self-Service: This mirrors the Cloud model of self-service. Data that has been deleted, accidentally or maliciously, can be completely protected from loss and easily restored.
  • Cost Savings: Hammerspace Undelete is a feature built on existing snapshots. By extending snapshot functionality to Undelete, Hammerspace Undelete does not consume additional storage space. Hammerspace lets you have your cake and eat it, too!

 

References

Hammerspace Introduction

Hammerspace Collateral

How to set up Hybrid Cloud in minutes

Hammerspace Github

Hammerspace YouTube Channel

 

Feature Spotlight: Share-Level Snapshots

Limitations of Current Approaches

A snapshot is the state of a system at a particular point in time. It is a well-known industry term. We expect some sort of snapshot functionality from every modern computer system. Snapshots provide us with basic protection from data loss due to accidental or malicious deletion of data. They also improve application availability, accelerate recovery, simplify backup of large volumes of data, and reduce the overall exposure to data loss. Rolling back to a previous version of files, directories, or entire volumes is vastly simplified. It can also significantly reduce backup windows. Snapshots has become so commonplace that we rarely think about it beyond its basic functionality.

But not all snapshots are created alike. There are a number of different vendor implementations as well as open source alternatives that all do things slightly differently. In the previous paragraph we listed the goodness that snapshot technologies bring. Let’s examine some of the shortcomings or overlooked areas next.

The challenges of managing unstructured data is a complex problem; and that complexity seems to grow faster and faster. Can existing snapshot technologies keep up with such unrelenting growth? There are several questions we should ask with regards to snapshots. Are snapshots subject to the limitations imposed by infrastructure growth, such as sprawl and silos? How do you control costs and effectively manage larger and larger amounts of snapshots? What if those problems could be solved in a way that not only improves manageability but also reduces infrastructure costs?

Snapshots Sprawl

Data sprawl is a major storage ill. The demand for more and faster systems to hold data creates sprawl. We need more systems to provide more storage, faster and different systems to adapt to unrelenting data growth coupled with ever-tighter timelines on smaller budgets. This leads to a data management nightmare, where snapshots from multiple and incompatible implementations have to be separately managed. Snapshots, thus, inherit the ill of data storage sprawl.

Snapshot Silos

This dilemma is compounded by the fact that different snapshot implementations require different configuration options. Frequency and retention schedules have to configured and managed separately. Each implementation has different limitations and idiosyncrasies that requires learning and maintenance of skills. It adds up to more and more touch points which, of course, consumes more and more of your time. Additionally, silos disallow the ability to leverage snapshots for reporting and analytics in a centralized fashion across systems. There is no economy of scale in an endlessly sprawling siloed world of unstructured data storage in a heterogeneous infrastructure environment.

Snapshots Consume Storage

Long term snapshot retention can consume large quantities of expensive primary storage. Storing all your cascading (hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly) snapshots on expensive primary storage is great from an availability standpoint. But do you really want to pay the price of retaining your long-term monthly and yearly snapshots on costly high-performance storage, such as flash? Eventually, you may have to acquire more primary storage capacity to make room for your long-term snapshots. That is an expensive proposition that provides no questionable value to IT or end-users. Your storage vendor will love you for it; but your pocketbook will not. Wouldn’t it be better if you could somehow offload your long-term snapshots to a lower cost tier?

 

The Hammerspace Approach

What if you could manage those snapshots in a way that eliminated or significantly reduced sprawl, silos, and storage consumption? Hammerspace is a next-generation data management solution that frees data from its underlying infrastructure. Managing data effectively puts an end to sprawl, silos, and out-of-control costs. And snapshots are an important part of that picture.

Curing Data Management Ills

Hammerspace eliminates sprawl and silos; and gives you the ability to choose the optimum performance vs cost strategy for your data. Hammerspace believes that the best way to achieve those goals is to centrally manage snapshots across your infrastructure, and throughout their life-cycle. Hammerspace has the ability to integrate with different vendor storage APIs. By doing so we can leverage native file clones across heterogeneous storage technologies to generate our own snapshots. This, in turn, allows Hammerspace to centrally manage snapshots from share-level down to single files, with granular controls, throughout their life-cycle.

Automation

Snapshots can be moved or copied to another storage volume. The natural target for this is a NAS or Object Store. And you are not restricted to one or the other. In fact, you can make as many copies as you wish to as many volumes as you desire. Snapshots are deduplicated and compressed when moved or copied to an object store, minimizing your footprint.

Hammerspace snapshots that have been backed up to another volume provide automated disaster recovery for Windows, Mac, Linux, VDI, and Hypervisor clients. If a primary volume becomes unavailable, Hammerspace will automatically recover directories and files if a snapshot has been previously copied to another available volume. Hammerspace snapshots, thus, improve availability as well as durability.

Cost Savings

With Hammerspace you manage the placement snapshots on storage infrastructure that best meets your goals for availability, durability, and cost. Traditional storage solutions leave you with few options to cost-effectively manage availability and durability. Snapshots end up consuming valuable and expensive primary storage throughout their entire life-cycle. If you want to improve durability, you have to replicate to an identical storage array. The more you replicate, the more costly primary storage you end up consuming.

Hammerspace makes snapshots usable across multiple geographically dispersed locations, without having to replicate a full copy of the data to the other locations. Hammerspace supports up to 2048 snapshots per SMB share or NFS export. This combined with the ability to offload older snapshots to a more affordable tiers of storage provides snapshots for many years to come at optimal cost savings.

 

Hammerspace announces version 4.2.1

Hammerspace is thrilled to announce the general availability of version 4.2.1 which adds an expanded portfolio of services and features to help businesses deliver Data-as-a-Service.

With this release, Hammerspace adds a number of enhancements including metadata services, data security and recoverability, simpler data assimilation for SMB, basic data classification, cloud integration, multi-boot support, and last-but-not-least a tech preview of the Universal Global Namespace. With these new capabilities, Hammerspace customers can easily consume data across hybrid and multi-cloud environments without compromising on security, performance, availability, or ease of use.

New in v4.2.1

Global Undelete

Hammerspace has added support for recovering deleted files without having to rely on timely snapshots. Undelete policies allow users to keep deleted data around for a specified time period and recover it by simply copying it back into the namespace. Undelete works on a file granular basis and utilizes the same extensive choice of policies as the rest of the system. It can easily be configured to protect important documents such as office files and at the same time, exclude temporary files to avoid protecting data that is unnecessary to keep beyond being deleted.

Marketplace Solutions

Hammerspace is now available in both the Google Cloud Marketplace and the AWS Marketplace. This allows customers to deploy and start using Hammerspace at the click of a button.

Data Classification

Hammerspace now by default will classify data as it moves into the cloud, cloud storage or object storage. With the already existing capability of moving snapshot data to the cloud, now the data in the snapshot is also classified and users can derive immediate knowledge of what type of data is stored in the snapshot.

Data Assimilation Enhancements

Hammerspace supports assimilating third party data into its active namespace without making any changes to the original data. With v4.2.1, Hammerspace has added support for non-disruptive assimilation of SMB data into its namespace. This completes the assimilation functionality, now capable of assimilating metadata from NFS and SMB, both in Read-Write mode as well as in Side-car (Read-only) mode.

Namespace Export to Object

Hammerspace helps customers break free from vendor lock-in with the ability to export data to any object storage platform by clicking a single button.

UEFI Support

Since more and more vendors are shipping platforms that support UEFI, Hammerspace has added UEFI boot support to allow configuring Hammerspace on hardware configured for UEFI booting. This is in addition to the legacy BIOS boot support already available in the product.

Usability & Security

This release also makes it faster to install and configure Hammerpace. DSX nodes can now be auto-added into a configuration, significantly speeding up installation and simplifying configuration. Furthermore, several security enhancements were also implemented to make it safe to run Hammerspace in the cloud as well as to avoid common administration mistakes.

Universal Global Namespace (Tech Preview)

Customers can now deploy a single namespace across different geographical sites and replicate data and metadata across these sites. The data in global shares are available Read-Write on multiple sites at the same time. Initial support goes up to 16 sites concurrently active on the same share.

Metadata Harvesting (Tech Preview)

Hammerspace integrates with AWS Image Rekognition Service to identify image contents and automatically makes them available as metadata in the namespace. With v4.2.1, this feature has been made more robust by adding additional metadata tags and simplifying the integration.

 

For more in-depth details on these features, go to https://hammerspace.com/blog/

Want to take the product for a test-drive? Contact us at https://hammerspace.com/contact/

Setup Hybrid Cloud IT in Just 8-Minutes

Enterprises are interested in adopting hybrid cloud strategies to benefit from cloud infrastructure for better elasticity, agility, and overall operational efficiency. The biggest challenge to making hybrid cloud work well is solving the problem of data visibility and accessibility across sites, without compromising any of the benefits.  Unfortunately, the common perception of going hybrid cloud includes words such as complexity, mess, unmanageable, and difficult. Hammerspace wants to change all of that, and we have a video to prove it – Hybrid cloud-enabled in 8 minutes.

Seeing is believing, this video blog gives you an intro level view into Hammerspace and capabilities that are truly unique.  In as long as it takes to order and eat a taco, we demonstrate:

  • A single namespace across multiple vendors and backend protocols
  • Offloading individual files from a snapshot into S3
  • Identifying the type of data offloaded
  • Using a cloud-service for content identification
  • A Global, Active-Active namespace between on-premises and the cloud

 

The consistent principle behind Hammerspace is to stay focused on the data and be easy-to-use by keeping tasks simple. It is either driven by very easy to use GUI interaction or where it makes sense, CLI commands.  None of the steps require intimate or even cursory knowledge of the underlying storage systems – who would have thought that we can burst capacity or create snapshot backups into the cloud without that knowledge?

Enjoy the video, and I am looking forward to sharing my next Hammerspace How-To video with you soon.