“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency.” —Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Wrong Takes on the Right Idea
The metro cluster is another common but flawed approach to achieving consistency. A metro cluster stretches a cluster across two or more data center locations, typically in disparate “metro” areas. Metro cluster users must devise ways to share states between locations in real-time. Frequently, though, the solution boils down to a form of RAID 1-type mirroring. Problems arise when a failure occurs. Given two systems, both are prone to thinking the other node is dead and will default to updating locally. This is a quick route to “split-brain” database forking. Manual intervention is often necessary during failover and recovery, which further degrades the approach’s timeliness and reliability.
Additionally, metro clusters often fail to maintain strong consistency in the face of distance and associated latency challenges. Metro clusters typically start to lose their consistency around 100 kilometers, or 2 milliseconds of latency, making them a poor fit for interstate or cross-border applications. In the same vein, IBM’s flagship storage product won’t tolerate more than 2 or 3 ms of latency. That’s simply not enough for a truly wide-area distributed storage system. Yet despite these drawbacks, the appliance vendors that offer metro clusters charge a (not so) small fortune for their so-called solutions.
Quobyte: A Better Approach to Distributed Storage
Quobyte, the storage platform, is built on 15 years of distributed systems research. It was designed from the ground up to provide sound, reliable replication, with resilience baked into the core rather than pasted onto archaic solutions in a patchwork fashion. In fact, Quobyte can tolerate far higher latencies than conventional distributed storage approaches and deliver resilience superior to any other market option.
Quobyte succeeds because its solid, distributed systems approach provides four key benefits:
- Resiliency against failures
- Resiliency against latency
- Resiliency against machine misbehavior
- Unlimited scalability
For developers, Quobyte also represents more opportunity in terms of both time and application potential. The more people try Quobyte, the more useful things they find to do with it, in part because the interface is so simple to program to. Quobyte leverages a programming interface that has been common for 40 years and exists in countless programming textbooks. Developers already know how to write to Quobyte, and they can very quickly come up with mechanisms for using it. The software is simple, easy to use, and loaded with properties and tools that would otherwise be very expensive.
For enterprises needing a scalable file system with strong consistency, Quobyte is simply the best tool available — and developers know that having the right tools translates into the highest project efficiency. As many engineers have learned, strong consistency makes life easier. Having a file system abstracted into a form that’s easy to use allows them to spend less time-solving problems outside their job description and more time focused on core challenges. You wouldn’t put a scientist in a lab with little more than rulers and calculators and say, “Here, just build anything else you need.” You would supply them with the best tools possible and allow them to stand on the shoulders of giants.
Deploying widely distributed storage with strong consistency is like outfitting a science lab with the most cutting-edge, productive infrastructure. If you’re a manager, VP, or CIO, it’s time to empower your IT team with the right tools for success.