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Symantec to launch object-based file storage service in next year

Symantec Corp. unveiled a new application called FileStore that's designed to help companies build internal highly scalable, high-performance file-based cloud storage systems using commodity server hardware and the arrays of most storage vendors.

At the same time, Sean Derrington, director of storage management and high-availability services at Symantec, disclosed that the company also plans to launch an online object-based file storage service, code-named S4, over the next year. Derrington provided few details of the new cloud service, but he did note that it will to scale to tens of petabytes for corporate users.

The S4 service is similar in name to Amazon.com Inc.'s S3 cloud-storage service, which enables its resellers to set up SaaS offerings of their own using Amazon's grid-based back-end storage architecture. Similarly, Symantec's S4 will enable companies to provide public cloud services to their customers.

Meanwhile, Symantec said that it's positioning the new FileStore software product as a tool to help enterprise-class companies economically build on-site cloud infrastructures using commodity x86 server hardware as well as any configuration of back-end storage systems, including JBOD.

For the past several months, Symantec has been using FileStore as the file-based storage architecture in the cloud services it offers to consumers. The service currently has some 40PB of online storage for more than 9 million active users.

Derrington said that FileStore lets users add or remove storage logical unit numbers (LUN) dynamically without taking systems offline and without disrupting applications. The software also integrates natively with Symantec's Endpoint Protection security software and Symantec's Enterprise Vault e-mail, file and instant messaging archive application, he added.

“We've designed this to support diverse workloads — applications that have requirements for hundreds of millions of really tiny files like ringtones or tens of millions of larger files, like online auction sites,” Derrington said. “It can scale from the low end to the high end with near linear scalability. The server nodes on the front end of FileStore are all actively participating and sharing the load.”

A single FileStore system can support up to 16 storage nodes and 2PB of storage capacity, Derrington said.

“On the back end, you can use anybody's storage that you want to. All the major storage vendors we support with Veritas Storage Foundation are supported with FileStore,” he added. FileStore is available immediately and is priced per CPU, regardless of how many cores exist in each processor. For example, a server with two CPUs, will cost the same whether they're duo- or quadcore processors. A two-node configuration of FileStore will start at $6,995.

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