obstor is a system level architecture initiative spearheaded by lingua data. It incorporates a family of related technologies that collectively implement a superior distributed filesystem.
For organizations employing networked data access, who are finding that today’s NAS and SAN architectures embody significant limitations, lingua data’s obstor distributed filesystem provides fast, scalable, and interoperable access to geographically distributed data. Unlike NAS, obstor’s performance scales linearly with the number of back end storage devices, eliminating the file server as a system performance bottleneck. Unlike SAN, obstor provides transparent, cross-platform interoperability to shared data sets.
obstor is an instantiation of the Object Based Storage Device (OSD) vision, also known as Network Attached Secure Disk (NASD). While OSD has been percolating in academic research for several years, this vision has recently matured to the point that it has become useful to the IT community at large. lingua data is one of a small handful of companies that are driving this maturation process.
Industry participation in developing standards for the OSD architecture has coalesced within the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) - specifically within SNIA’s OSD Technical Working Group (TWG), and its associated subgroups. lingua data, as well as its principals, has been involved with this effort from its outset.
This work by the SNIA OSD TWG has yielded a command specification governing the communications between storage elements and clients. Through a cooperative effort with the INCITS T10 group, which is responsible for the stewardship of the SCSI family of Standards, the OSD SCSI Device specification is on its way to becoming an American National Standard. SNIA has issued this press release regarding this effort. At the 2004 July T10 Plenary meeting, with lingua data in attendance, the T10 body subsequently voted to forward the OSD specification to INCITS for standardization.
A brief overview of the elements of the obstor architecture is available here.
A recent blog by Mario Apicella of InfoWorld found him intrigued by the promise of OSD. He carried lingua data Principal Joe Breher’s response in his public venue. Details here and here.