IBM speeds up Cloud Object Storage with LucidLink

IBM executive Arvind Krishna. 5/30/19 Photo by John O’Boyle

LucidLink is to offer a bundled version of Filespaces based on IBM Cloud Object Store.

LucidLink says the bundle can cost less than standard prices from AWS, Azure and other S3-compatible object stores. Peter Thompson, LucidLink CEO, said in a statement: “Now, with IBM Cloud, we will be able to further offer egress fees 60 per cent lower than our previous offering to a wider audience and pass those saving directly along to our customers.”

Adam Kocoloski, IBM Fellow, VP and CTO, Cloud Data Services, said: “As companies adjust to a new way of working, the ability to securely share and access large amounts of data remotely while taking advantage of object storage in a cloud environment has become indispensable.“

The IBM COS LucidLink bundle is designed for applications that require fast file-protocol access to massive datasets. These are stored most cost-effectively as object repositories rather than in more expensive NAS filer systems. However object stores are slower to access than filers – unless they are front-ended with LucidLink’s Filespaces or an equivalent software.

LucidLink schematic diagram.

Filespaces runs directly on each endpoint, caching the working data set for each user. The LucidLink client provides file system access while natively using S3 object protocols. All the file metadata is held in the local node so file:folder lookups do not incur network hop latencies.

User file sharing is supported. Julie O’Grady, LucidLink’s marketing director, told us. “Filespaces … enables teams to collaborate on the same file, no matter where they are located.”

All access to the object store is carried out using parallel links to speed file reads and writes. All file reads result in partial file transmission with pre-fetching of data that is likely to be needed next. File writes are packaged by the Filespaces cache node, and then compressed, encrypted and multiplexed across parallel links to the back-end object store. The net effect of the caching, local metadata look-up and pre-fetching is that remote object access can be as fast as local filer access.

In May 2019 IBM had a partnership with file collaborator Panzura to provide a Freedom Cloud file access front-end to its object store. The focus was on file sharing. Today’s LucidLink-IBM partnership has a focus on file access speed.

IBM is supporting access to all its US data centres together with its UK and Australian data centres. The bundle does not support on-premises IBM COS deployments.

LucidLink Filespaces pricing. IBM COS is the storage for the Teams and Enterprise categories.

The IBM COS/Filespaces bundle is available now from LucidLink. Users are charged per account at $10.00/user month, starting at 6 users. It will provide users access to all IBM’s worldwide regions