Cloudian becomes a file mount point

Cloudian is supporting AWS Mountpoint, so that applications can issue file calls to a data lake stored on Cloudian HyperStore S3-compatible object storage.

HyperStore is a classic S3-compatible object storage system. Cloudian added NFS and CIFS/SMB access to it last year and has now extended this. AWS Mountpoint is an open source file-level interface to AWS’s S3 buckets which doesn’t support complex file-folder operations and is not POSIX-compliant. It makes datalakes stored in S3 accessible to file-level applications. Cloudian has layered Mountpoint on top of HyperStore and its customers can now access objects using file protocols, simplifying the integration of HyperStore into existing file-based applications.

Jon Toor, Cloudian’s chief marketing officer, explained in a statement: “By bridging the gap between local file systems and an on-prem Cloudian cluster, we are delivering on our promise to make object storage as accessible and functional as possible for our customers.”

The Mountpoint-Cloudian combo provides:

  1. Native mounting of object storage buckets as local file systems, using standard Linux commands and traditional file operations.
  2. Streamlining workflows by eliminating the need to copy data to local storage.
  3. Simultaneous data access allows multiple clients to access data, making use of the parallel processing and throughput of Cloudian’s HyperStore.
  4. Unified view of object data through both file and object APIs.

Cloudian says common use cases for AWS Mountpoint include large-scale machine learning, autonomous vehicle simulation, genomic analysis, data ingest (ETL), and image rendering. 

AWS Amazon scholar James Bornholt blogs: “We’re designing Mountpoint around the tenet that it exposes S3’s native performance, and will not support file system operations that cannot be implemented efficiently against S3’s object APIs. This means Mountpoint won’t try to emulate operations like directory renames that would require many S3 API calls and would not be atomic. Similarly, we don’t try to emulate POSIX file system features that have no close analog in S3’s object APIs. This tenet focuses us on building a high-throughput file client that lowers costs for large scale-out datalake workloads.

Mountpoint is a restricted file system and not a full-featured one such as Amazon’s Elastic FileSystem (EFS) or its FSx series of products. Bornholt says filesystem operations – like file and directory rename, OS-managed permissions and attribute mappings, POSIX features and others – don’t overlap with S3 object storage. This restricts Mountpoint’s applicability to use cases such as datalakes which, Bornholt claims, don’t need them.

Cloudian’s support for AWS Mountpoint is now available. Read Bornholt’s blog for more information.