May 15, 2018

LucidLink introduces a new cloud file system approach

LucidLink, a recent cloud storage innovation company, was founded in 2016 by two ex DataCore technical leaders Peter Thompson and George Dochev.

The team develops a cloud file system, pretty unique by its features, that exposes a local file storage connected to a S3 object storage back-end, localized on-premise, in private or public clouds. The file storage space is POSIX compliant and appears to be local and so it's fully transparent for applications. There is no limit in size for that file storage space and it can grow dynamically. Beyond that, applications can work in an offline mode with no internet connection to the data repository.

The product combines a few key ideas to address network and internet latency. First, data are stored and streamed from multiple S3 connections in parallel and delivered on the edge compute systems natively in file mode. We can even imagine deployments on AWS EC2 connected to S3 within the cloud. No download nor synchronization are needed meaning that caching and prefetching are mandatory to boost user experience.

The client could be a server, a desktop or a laptop and we'll use the term client from now. The client software or agent is available for Linux (32 or 64 bits), MacOS and Windows (32 and 64 bits) representing the compute side of the solution. On Linux the mount point is a simple directory "as usual" and on MacOS and Windows, a special Lucid folder is created and all files stored and accessed by Lucid belong to this structure. Metadata are stored on clients and on the back-end with an intelligent coordination service for both security, integrity, protection, ubiquity, mobility and scalability reasons.

Of course data are encrypted on the client with AES-256, moved and stored encrypted securing the data end-to-end from the creation to the end point of storage. The client can act itself as a NFS or SMB server for the rest of machines within an enterprise.

The back-end must be a S3-compatible object store residing on-premise or offered by cloud service providers: AWS S3 of course, Minio S3 on GCP and Azure, AliCloud and Wasabi plus on-premises solutions such Cloudian or Caringo for instances.

The solution is super flexible, OS agnostic - Linux, MacOS and Windows are the 3 majors environments - and S3 is the de-facto cloud storage standard, representing a new Software-Defined Storage approach with no appliance or special gateway logic. To try the product, you can register on this page.

In term fo pricing, LucidLink is charged on a pay as you go model.

I think you get the idea, LucidLink is more than just a mount point on top of an S3 back-end, you can find plenty of such products, but this one is about streaming data and serving them fast with very limited latency thanks to a parallel design inviting you to consider this approach versus some local ones.

Last news illustrated the interest of the solution with the extension of LucidLink team with 3 famous advisors: Mark Templeton, former CEO of Citrix for 14 years, Umesh Maheshwari, co-founder and CTO of Nimble Storage, and Peter Ziebelman, lecturer at Stanford and founding partner of Palo Alto Venture Partners.

And we'll have the privilege to meet the team during the next IT Press Tour in June in California.

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