Dell builds containerised ObjectScale on ECS base

Dell’s ObjectScale object storage software is now generally available as a free download, following the software’s early access programme.

ObjectScale is distributed, microservices-based, multi-node, scale-out, and multi-tenant object storage software with a single global namespace that supports the S3 API.  More than 1,000 nodes are supported, from a three-node start, with no specific architectural limit.

Dell also has its ECS object storage product. David Noy, a Dell product management VP, wrote in a blog that: “ECS [is] great for traditional workloads/applications and ObjectScale optimal for modern, cloud-native application development in VMware or Red Hat Open Shift environments.”

ObjectScale runs on VMware vSAN nodes and supports VMware VCloud Foundation (VCF), Tanzu, and Red Hat Open Shift. The nodes can cross-replicate for data resilience. The ObjectScale Replication feature copies object data buckets between any number of sites to create a globally accessible data resource.

The vSAN support means that ObjectScale can run on Dell’s VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure appliance nodes. OpenScale supports Red Hat Open Shift v4.6 and has a bare-metal CSI driver.

ObjectScale supports a lock feature with write-once, read-only (WORM) data, data-at-rest encryption, erasure coding, versioning, resource isolation, and global identity and access management.

It uses Dell’s existing ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage) object storage as its code base and is orchestrated via Kubernetes. Dell positions ECS as a traditional, enterprise-grade object storage system, generally supplied as an integrated turnkey appliance but also available in software-only mode. ObjectScale is also enterprise-grade but software-defined; no appliance here, and cloud-native.

In effect ObjectScale is ECS reimagined, and we might think of ECS as a Cloudian or Scality competitor and ObjectScale as a more MinIO-like product

Scality is also taking its RING object storage capabilities into the cloud-native era with its ARTESCA software, which also supports multi-tenancy. It’s said this has been co-developed with HPE. ARTESCA starts small, needing only a single node unlike RING, ECS, and ObjectScale, which start with three nodes.

In a separate blog, Noy said: “For our ECS customers, we will provide an easy, data-in-place upgrade path to ObjectScale in a future release, ensuring continuity of operations and allowing you to take advantage of the new architecture on existing ECS appliances you are running today.” That applies to ECS Gen 2 U-Series and Gen 3 EX-Series appliances.

Noy also declared: “We will continue to innovate on ECS in parallel to ObjectScale until we are ready to bring the products together.”

ObjectScale Community Edition, intended as a data centre test product, is the free download, with up to 30TB of capacity and no expiration date. Various Dell services are available to help ObjectScale customers; ProDeploy, ProDeploy Plus for Enterprise, ProSupport, Pro Support Plus for Enterprise, and Data Migration Services.