In this new era of social distancing and working remotely, IT execs, storage admins and data center managers find themselves supporting distributed workforces while still maintaining their organization’s infrastructure. And often, they need to do this without being on site.
While storage is only part of the equation, Swarm Object Storage was built from the ground up for the remote management model. Of course, as with any on-premises solution, there are certain elements of Caringo Swarm Object Storage that need to be physically deployed. However, once a network is in place and server infrastructure is racked and stacked, the vast majority of Swarm’s management processes and features are optimized for remote management and use.
How Can I Manage My IT Infrastructure Remotely?
Managing your IT Infrastructure remotely can be a challenge, but with the right tools and expertise, it is possible to do so with minimal trips to your data center or office. At Caringo, we’ve supported the remote working concept for years, both in our own operation and for our customers. But, we know that storage is only part of the equation. We have partners that have solved these issues for organizations across various verticals. So, our next two Brews & Bytes episodes will feature two of those partners so they can share their expertise with you.
M&E and Digital Video Workflows
In episode 4 of our Brews & Bytes series on April 23, I will host Nicholas Smith, VP of Technology from JB&A Distribution and Ben Canter, Caringo VP Global Sales. The three of us will discuss how Video Production & Broadcasting are evolving in this new era of social distancing. Specifically, how are those in the M&E industry and those who work on Digital Video adapting, what the role of storage is and if these changes are here to stay.
Moving and Storing Large Files
On May 7 in episode 5 of Brews & Bytes, I will host Robert Browne, Founder of Signiant and VP of Global Technology Alliances, and TW Cook, Caringo VP of Engineering & Support. We will discuss large files and the role of large capacity storage on remote workflows.
How Does Object Storage Facilitate Remote Administration and Workflows?
Swarm Object Storage facilitates remote administration and workflows with Storage, Tenant, Content Management and Data Protection features that can be managed from anywhere, on any device.
Following is a high-level overview of the capabilities our customers are getting the most value from—considering they can’t always go into the data center.
Automated Recovery and Protection
Swarm Object Storage software was designed from the ground up to manage billions of files and petabytes of information. To do this efficiently, Swarm focuses on automated recovery and built-in data protection that doesn’t require manual intervention.
The Swarm ecosystem heals itself, so you can leave failed drives in servers until you can go onsite to replace them. This is enabled by Fast Volume Recovery. Fast Volume Recovery is based on a distributed algorithm with performance that scales with cluster size. It is automatically applied to volumes that are lost or retired to ensure adequate replication and preservation of segments of objects that were on the lost/retired volume. Thus, when a damaged object is identified, it is actively rebuilt (as opposed to being passively rebuilt, which is the case in most other storage solutions).
A single System Administrator can manage 50+ Petabytes of data in a Swarm cluster, largely due to the Health Processor, which virtually eliminates manual infrastructure management. The Health Processor:
- Periodically examines health of object checking
- Data integrity
- EC data and parity
- Volume IDs of other replicas
- Automates space reclamation
- Continuously redistributes content among nodes to avoid hotspots
Policy-Driven Data Lifecycle Management with Lifepoints
In Swarm, storage utilization and data lifecycle can be automatically managed with Lifepoints. Policies, and triggers stored as metadata automatically manage the content lifecycle from creation to expiration. This includes protection scheme, deletion and delete protection. With Lifepoints, you can:
- Move from replication to erasure coding to significantly reduce capacity needed
- Move from erasure coding to replication to increase file performance
Remote Storage Management
The highly responsive HTML5-based Swarm Storage User Interface (UI) allows you to manage hardware and configuration of the Object Storage cluster from anywhere using a laptop, tablet or phone. The Swarm Storage UI provides:
- Dashboard for at-a-glance health overview
- Trend reports for capacity planning
- Operational counters
- Configuration of dynamic settings without requiring SNMP
Proactive Alerting for Remote Administration
In addition to the management dashboard, Swarm provides a number of ways to monitor the status of your Swarm cluster. These include:
- Phone home reports that give you an ad hoc view of the health of your cluster
- The ability to view detailed system status via Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
- The capability to export detailed system status information via Prometheus and visualization using Grafana
- Alerting of issues via email or Slack
Remote Tenant & Content Management
It should come as no surprise that most enterprise Object Storage platforms include advanced storage management abilities. However, very few include tenant and content management. These features are critical when enabling remote workflows and remote data access.
- Tenant management features include:
- The ability to easily create domains and buckets setting bandwidth and capacity limits
- Data protection policy management
- Management of authorization and access policies via Active Directory, LDAP or tokens
Content management features are available in Swarm via the Content Portal or API. A few features that are delivering value from a remote workflow perspective are:
- The ability to add customizable metadata and search for and view assets
- Partial file restore and clipping, enabling server-side clipping of large video files for more efficient video transfer
- Parallel file uploading via any HTML 5 enabled browser for rapid ingest of content regardless of location
- The ability to securely share/stream internally or externally
- Instant distributed protection with backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) to S3
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it should give you a good, high-level overview of how you can transition to remote administrative tasks while enabling remote workflows and providing secure remote data access.
Need to Speak with a Storage Expert?
As always, our storage experts are here to help you. Feel free to contact us to schedule a more in-depth overview/demo to learn how Swarm can help you enable remote administration, workflows and secure access to content or to email us with questions.