What’s in a name?
I’ve started doing some work for IBRIX. Despite looking at their web site several times I’d never understood what, exactly, they did. Turns out they make a cluster file system. One good enough for Dell, EMC and HP to resell.
As part of our get acquainted process I spent some time with their CTO, Sudhir Srinivasan. I taped him discussing their segmented file system.
The Cliff Notes version
The segmented file system is similar to the Google File System in that it uses commodity servers with a local file system and puts a software layer above that to cluster them. It differs in that there is no dedicated metadata server node that needs to be hardened or prepared for failover.
The secret sauce is that when there is a file request, the receiving node can swiftly refer the request to the node(s) with the data. And it does it without a lot of back channel chatter eating up cycles and bandwidth.
The StorageMojo take
I haven’t fully grokked the technology. But the appeal is undeniable: commodity servers and storage; scalable; adept at both large and small files – the latter usually a problem with dedicated metadata servers.
EMC is using IBRIX as the file system for the local storage pools under their upcoming Maui product – IMHO their most important product introduction since the original DMX. I got the feeling Joe Tucci wasn’t entirely happy about that at his press conference this week, but hey! they’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Comments welcome, of course. If you’ve used IBRIX how has it worked out for you?