June 25, 2017

For some time now, Minio has been making available an open-source distributed object server in a beta format that sits on top of Docker containers. Starting today, that distributed object server is now generally available, complete with support.

Minio CEO Anand Babu Periasamy says Minio is looking to directly support organizations that will be spending roughly $1 million or more on storage. It expects customers with smaller deployments will either go it alone or look to third-party service providers for support.

Minio transforms the management of unstructured data by making available a means to store data in a way developers can address programmatically without any intervention from a storage administrator, Periasamy says. Because Minio runs on top of a Docker container, it can be deployed as part of Kubernetes cluster to make the storage system available to multiple applications, he says.

In addition to built-in in replication, erasure code software, bitrpot protection for data and auto expiration of data, Minio supports both Amazon S3 v2 and v4 application programming interfaces and provides access to serverless computing functionality compatible with AWS Lambda.

Periasamy says the goal is to provide cloud service providers with all the storage functionality a developer would find on AWS to help level the playing field between AWS and other cloud service providers.

Minio also represents an existential threat to traditional storage providers, says Periasamy, because the distributed object storage system created by Minio is much less complex to manage. Most storage vendors have been trying to address unstructured data requirements by extending storage systems based on complex operating systems. Minio makes it possible to access objects containing unstructured data using an index that can be cached in a database.

In fact, Periasamy says, the entire storage access problem is now becoming much easier because even structured data is now stored in cache memory rather than on traditional disks. As that shift continues maturing, Periasamy notes that more developers are finding they don’t need storage administrators to sit between them and the underlying data their applications need to access.

While it’s still early days in terms of making such a shift, Minio claims the Minio community has grown to include more than 125 code contributors as well as 750 members on the Gitter / Slack channel. There have also been more than 400,000 Docker pulls in the last three months alone, Minio reports.

All that interest suggests that developers are starting to move away from overly complex storage systems in favor of easier approaches that can be accessed programmatically on industry-standard hardware inside or out of the cloud. Naturally, it may take a while for traditional enterprise IT organizations to warm up to that idea. But at a time when many of those enterprise IT organizations are under more pressure than ever to be agile, there’s also never been more willingness to experiment with new approaches to managing IT within the context of more modern approaches to DevOps.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.