Supercharging Storage and Delivery of User Generated Content (UGC)
Imagine having a network of storage servers around the world acting in unison. You will be able to view it as a single unified storage entity with content automatically and transparently being routed to the closest node for storage.
Did you know that over 70% of all content created in a particular location is accessed only from that same location? This means that most data will benefit from being stored locally as this will speed up both storage and future delivery of the content.
GRIDBLAZE enables anyone to leverage a global footprint of storage servers to transparently store and access data from the closest storage node.
It is actually like a Content Delivery Network (CDN) but in reverse. What we call a Content Storage Network (CSN).
GRIDBLAZE is built at a high level by deploying storage nodes around the world at strategic internet exchanges. Content will be routed transparently to the closest storage nodes whenever a HTTP PUT request is made. Routing is accomplished automatically and transparently by our proprietary shortest hops and highest bandwidth routing logic.
After a file is stored on the storage node, the unique URL required to access the file is returned to your application and can be used to access the content from anywhere in the world in the future. Any future request for the content is served through our CDN network and cached close to the requester in typical CDN fashion. However unlike traditional CDNS that caches old data, our system will automatically invalidate files on all caches upon any changes to the file to ensure live data changes.
The management of all the content stored on our storage network can be accomplished using our web based file manager or the Openstack Swift compatible API. You will be able to view all files on all nodes in a unified view thus creating a central repository for you to manage all your content. With our Openstack compatible API, you are ready to use any of the thousands of scripts and software catered for the management of objects.
Our infrastructure is currently built across various public and hybrid public and private cloud service providers that are co-owned by GRIDBLAZE and have N+2 storage redundancy. Our unique out of region data mirror also ensures that your content is not only duplicated in a common region, but in a totally distinct location to ensure best in class availability.
We use a global anycast DNS network to ensure super fast routing of your content to the closest storage node. Routing is made using a proprietary logic combining GeoIP and shortest network hops(latency).
You don’t have to worry too much about the way we do it. All you actually need to know is that it works!
How is it different from a CDN?
The main aim of a CDN is to deliver content to users quickly by caching content close to the users. Firstly, a CDN doesn’t store data unlike GRIDBLAZE and thus cannot speed up uploads. Secondly CDNs typically work by calling an “origin storage” server for the data whenever a user requests for the file and stores it at the “edge” locations close to the user for a fixed duration(typically 24hrs). This results in slow speeds if files are only used by users in the origin location or called only rarely (eg once a day).
As this is a passive cache, you will not have any control regarding the content that goes into a CDN and you will not be able to see what has been cached.
A Content Storage Network (CSN) like GRIDBLAZE allows users to upload and store data into the network (ingest). It works like a typical storage server and it has the dual role of being a CDN as well during file delivery situations.
What types of data should I store on the CSN?
Our CSN has been built to store files up to 10GB. The key benefit is the possibility of storing all user generated content/files. These could be anything from images to videos or files. As long as the user uploads a file to be accessed again in the future, store it on the CSN and reap the benefits of blazing uploads and downloads. Even small files of 1kb will benefit, as the latency will be greatly reduced.
Can I use GRIDBLAZE for my personal storage?
Yes, you can use GRIDBLAZE for your person storage. However we would advise against it, as the benefits of a CSN are the ability to serve a global user base and having a globally distributed storage system. For personal use we recommend that you seek out a local public cloud provider.
Can I use GRIDBLAZE for my company/enterprise
Yes, you can use GRIDBLAZE for your company/enterprise, but there are a few key notes that you should be aware of. Firstly, we do not have access restrictions (coming soon) and thus all files currently stored on GRIDBLAZE are publicly accessible. Furthermore, you need to be aware of data eventually becoming unavailable, since we are in beta right now.
If you are fine with these two issues we invite you to try GRIDBLAZE and we would love to hear your comments.
Is the service currently ready for production use?
The service is currently in active beta and should be stable for most use cases. However if you need to provide your users with high availability storage and your business depends on that, we would advise you to hold off fully deploying on GRIDBLAZE until our official launch. In the beta stage, there is no SLA and we might change/add/delete features without giving much notice.
We are looking to launch officially by Q4 2012