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Top 5 Reasons to Consider Hammerspace for Your Global File System

Increasingly, companies today are looking for a solution to provide applications, compute farms, and users access to data that may be dispersed across multiple locations, including edge PoPs, on-premises data centers and the cloud.

Often, people think of Global File Systems as a solution to this need. The problem is existing solutions have not yet fully achieved the “data access utopia” that decentralized organizations are really looking for.  

Enter Hammerspace.  

Hammerspace software provides a complete Global Data Environment that enables local access to all data, anywhere, no matter whether it is in a different storage silo, or a remote data center, in a single cloud region, or in multiple clouds.

So you may be wondering, “Is Hammerspace right for me?” as you consider Global File System solutions?  The top 5 things to consider are:

  1. Vendor Agnostic 

Challenge: Do you want your Global File System to span across different vendors’ technology? 

If you want  to unify all of your digital assets into a single file system that can  span not only incompatible storage vendor silos in one location, but also across multiple data centers, plus have the flexibility for that same file system to include your cloud data that may sit in one or more cloud regions or even across multiple cloud vendors, then…consider Hammerspace.

Solution: How does Hammerspace do this?

Hammerspace software can utilize the available capacity of your existing storage infrastructure, reducing cost and time-to-value. By providing seamless global access across all storage types and locations, Hammerspace even extends the life of your current storage, enabling you to defer, or even eliminate the need to expand your tier-1 storage resources. You can get up and running with Hammerspace without having to acquire any new storage infrastructure. When new storage resources are needed, Hammerspace can access the new storage of any type to seamlessly add it to your Hammerspace GDE. Hammerspace supports any storage type, from any vendor, whether block, file, object, including flash, disk, and cloud-based storage. Hammerspace is in the marketplace for AWS, Azure, and GCP, and supports all the major public cloud vendors

  1. No Migration

Challenge: Does the idea of starting a data migration project give you a headache from the moment you start considering it?

If you would like to move to a Global File System to make your data more accessible to the machines, applications, and humans that need it but don’t have the time (or desire) to plan a data migration, then…consider Hammerspace.

How does Hammerspace do this? 

Adding existing data into Hammerspace is made easy with our data-in-place metadata assimilation. Data does not need to move anywhere, since Hammerspace software can uniquely replace existing file shares without performing a data migration to a new hardware platform. Hammerspace simply ingests the file system metadata from your existing NAS platform and aggregates it into its high-performance Parallel Global File System. And this happens almost instantaneously, even for extremely large file shares. Within minutes users can begin browsing the global file system, even as additional metadata is transparently assimilated in the background. This means Hammerspace can take over a network share of any size and begin serving read/write requests immediately so users and applications can get to work right away. In addition, Hammerspace architecture is designed with the flexibility to scale up and/or out to meet any performance requirement, whether for raw IO throughput, IOPs, simultaneous client file access, or all of the above within the limits of your storage hardware and networks. In this way, Hammerspace can be configured for high-availability to ensure continuity of access, and may be sized for the application and user workloads you have today, but also scale seamlessly when needed to accommodate future requirements for both on-premises and cloud use cases. 

  1. Actionable, Customizable Metadata

Challenge: Do you want to use metadata to help search, categorize, and put your data to work when needed?

If you want to automate your unstructured data workflows, you know that metadata is one of the critical keys to accomplish your objectives. Most file systems do not make use of even the limited metadata that exists. Data by its nature is rich with information that can be leveraged by AI and machine learning applications, workflow management, and security processes if there is an advanced metadata engine that has integration with all of the different storage silos. If you want to leverage the rich information that exists within your data, or need the ability to customize metadata to link data to a specific project, department, or cost center, then…consider Hammerspace.

Solution: How does Hammerspace do this? 

The Hammerspace Global Data Environment has the ability to harvest existing metadata and add custom metadata to all data stored within the Global File System. This process creates a metadata control plane that is abstracted from the physical storage devices. In this way, the global file system presents a single global namespace which delivers a unified view and control of all data across any storage resource of any type, and in any location. Such a cross-platform metadata control plane can then drive workflows across any storage type/vendor anywhere, and do so transparently to users and applications.

  1. Objective-Based Live Data Mobility

Challenge: Do you have a decentralized infrastructure and need to orchestrate live data across storage silos or tiers in the data center, across data centers, across a hybrid cloud environment, or across multiple cloud regions?

Most organizations have at least three different vendors’ storage platforms in each data center. Many have upwards of eight vendors, all in just a single data center. Add the complexity of multiple data centers, edge sites, and different cloud services, and data orchestration becomes incredibly complex, a burden on IT staff, and an accelerator of OPEX. If you can see the benefit of automating this process to maintain a Gold copy of the live data, while also reducing the proliferation of copies and orphaned files, then…consider Hammerspace.

Solution: How does Hammerspace do this?

Hammerspace introduced the concept of objective-based policies into the Global Data Environment. With objectives, a user or administrator can specify “what” they want to accomplish with their data placement and data access with the push of the button in our GUI. Hammerspace software then translates this into setting the appropriate policies and data placement jobs to automate “how” the objective is accomplished by our Parallel Global File System.

Hammerspace’s objective-based policy engine can transparently automate storage and data resource allocation to accommodate multiple workflows or business drivers. Data is managed with file-level granularity, efficiently delivering scale across complex heterogeneous and distributed infrastructure without creating unnecessary copies of entire volumes of data.  The extensible metadata that is shared in the global metadata control plane is referenced by these user or admin-created policy objectives. These can then be coupled with machine learning-driven automation to perform multiple data placement and other policies, such as migration, tiering, etc. across storage, sites, and clouds to achieve business requirements. The result is better utilization of existing storage resources for multi-instancing of files for data protection, workflow automation, compliance requirements and more. Hammerspace enables the establishment of intelligent policies to orchestrate and manage your data. You can create policies based on any metadata attribute including file name, file type, owner, path, create time, modify time, etc., as well as custom metadata tags at a file-granular level.

  1. Global Data Services

Challenge: Do you struggle to ensure ALL of your organization’s data is managed, protected, and archived according to your compliance, ransomware protection, and disaster recovery requirements?

Unstructured data has been relentlessly growing by more than 20% per year for many years now. This has resulted in an explosion of storage silos with a proliferation of storage classes across all price bands needed to accommodate such growth. Existing storage fills up or needs to be replaced, new use cases require different performance, or need the cloud or other means of access. All of this adds complexity to your IT staff, and makes it very difficult to ensure your organization’s data objectives can been met. If you are looking for a comprehensive and automated solution to meet your organization’s data requirements, then…consider Hammerspace.

Solution: How does Hammerspace do this?

Hammerspace is unique in its ability to provide file-granular data services globally across any local and remote storage resources, including on-premises storage from any vendor, and one or more cloud regions and providers. The Hammerspace Parallel Global File System spans them with a control layer that can be automated using intelligent, objective-based policies at the file-granular level. In this way, IT professionals can automate data protection, data placement, and other services based upon business value for individual files, or datasets based upon this rich metadata. So not only creation dates, modify times, and file types, but also custom metadata tags such as department ID, or compliance information can drive policies. Hammerspace enables the establishment of intelligent policies to orchestrate and manage your data globally, regardless of where the data is today, or needs to move tomorrow. And this is always done transparently, without interruption to users or applications. 

Because these data services can be applied globally across all storage resources and locations, the implementation of global control via the Hammerspace Global Data Environment eliminates the need for IT organizations to manage multiple point solutions to migrate, protect, or perform other functions, as is typically the case in siloed environments today.

Learn More

If you’re wondering, “Is Hammerspace right for me?” as you consider Global File System solutions, join our upcoming LIVE discussion on LinkedIn on Wednesday, July 20, at 12:30 p.m. PT. 

Panelists Floyd Christofferson, VP of Product Marketing for Hammerspace, and Alan Postel, Enterprise Solutions Architect for Hammerspace, will provide an overview of our Global Data Environment that enables local access to all data, anywhere, no matter whether it is in a different storage silo, or a remote data center, in a single cloud region, or in multiple clouds.

About the Author

Molly is the Head of Global Marketing at Hammerspace, host of the Data Unchained Podcast, and co-author of "Unstructured Data Orchestration For Dummies, Hammerspace Special Edition." Throughout her career, she has produced innovative go-to-market strategies to meet the needs of innovative enterprises and data-driven vertically focused businesses.