When it comes to OpenStack, just about any kind of storage system can be hooked up to the open source framework for managing cloud deployments. But when it comes to connecting object-based storage that scales, most IT organizations look to a Swift open source project that is native to OpenStack.
To satisfy that requirement, Cisco is now reselling version 4.0 of SwiftStack alongside a Metapod instance of OpenStack that Cisco makes available on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) deployed on premise. SwiftStack created the original Swift project. For all intents and purposes, Mario Blandini, vice president of marketing for SwiftStack, says, that makes Swift the de facto storage system for OpenStack environments.
Of course, Cisco already bundles a wide variety of storage systems from vendors such as NetApp and EMC with UCS. But EMC is in the process of being acquired by Dell. The relationship with SwiftStack gives Cisco access to an object-based storage system that is free of any complications involving Dell, which, at least in the context of UCS, will also wind up reselling Cisco servers under the VCE brand created by EMC alongside its own line of x86 servers.
Object-based storage systems are in vogue because they give internal IT organizations a way to build private clouds that scale using the same type of storage systems employed by public cloud service providers. The most interesting aspect of the relationship between SwiftStack and Cisco is that, even though Cisco has access to an OpenStack distribution that includes Swift, it still saw a need to resell the commercial implementation of Swift created by SwiftStack.
It’s too early to say with certainty which object-based storage system will carry the day inside enterprises developing their own private clouds. But it is clear that many of those private clouds will be based on OpenStack, which by definition has a tendency to pull along with it a lot Swift-based storage systems.