A regular reader writes:

We’re facing a customer problem that requires a distributed global namespace, with support for disconnected operations, geographically appropriate distribution of data, and block-level cacheing for frequently accessed parts of remote files (when not geographically distributed to the local area).

I think, perhaps, that Atmos is about the only thing commercially like that. Everything else seems to be Researchville. . . .
Well, you know where to look?

Standard file protocol access is required (namely, CIFS), at least at the branch offices.

My first question was about the application. In response he said the app is a:

. . . version of photoshop, more or less. They pan around a lot, generating 20MB/s in requests per user. Often there are about 10 users. The app is a windows app, and faces a CIFS entity. There is a workgroup of folks at each branch, so a concentrator would work out nicely. We’re looking at Riverbed, et al., but Riverbed is an incomplete solution. We’d like to anticipate user demand and push out probable information during off hours. The final bit of the puzzle is that their files are quite large.

Let’s get this straight:

  • Large file sizes – the panning suggests something like Google Maps, but extra rich.
  • Not a lot of users, but if they are all working you could see 200 MB/sec in aggregate bandwidth across 10 files.
  • The app’s users are distributed, and given broadband limitations it is desirable that the data be local to users – where ever they are.
  • A standard file access protocol.

Did I miss anything?

The StorageMojo take
Atmos would fit, I think – but is it shipping? Haven’t heard squat about it since the announce. I can think of a couple of cluster-based storage systems that could also do the job as outlined, but I’m wondering how you would tackle this problem

Courteous comments welcome, of course.