EMC has locked down ScaleIO with its biggest update yet

The software-defined storage platform has to meet the needs of financial companies and carriers

EMC has added features to ScaleIO to meet the needs of plus-size customers like banks and telecommunications carriers that are adopting the software-defined storage system.

ScaleIO 2.0, available now, is the biggest enhancement yet to EMC's product, which pools object storage capacity across an enterprise in one logical system. EMC acquired ScaleIO in 2013.

Like other software-based storage platforms, ScaleIO is designed to free data from specific hardware so IT organizations can keep up with rapid growth requirements. It can turn direct-attached flash or disk storage throughout an organization into a resource that all applications can use. EMC also sells its own commodity-type hardware for ScaleIO in the form of its VxRack platform.

The update adds three features designed to better lock the platform down and meet regulatory requirements. Financial institutions are more strict than most when it comes to keeping their information out of the wrong hands. ScaleIO also works with more of the open-source platforms that many these customers and Web-scale companies are adopting.

Enterprises can now control users' access to ScaleIO data through role-based user management platforms, namely Active Directory and LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), instead of doing it separately with ScaleIO.

In addition, the system now works with IPv6 (Internet Protocol, Version 6), the next-generation networking protocol that provides many more Internet addresses (good for carriers) and has security advantages over IPv4.

The system is also better equipped now to ensure its own security. All the components of the software are digitally signed so ScaleIO can automatically check each one to determine if it's been compromised.

There are other enhancements to make ScaleIO networks more resilient to failure. Now it can apply a digital signature to each packet and use an "in-flight checksum" to verify that the data hasn't been manipulated or sufferd a "bit flip" on the way from the application to the storage, said David Noy, vice president of product management in EMC's Emerging Technologies Division.

The update adds support for Ubuntu Linux, which is popular among cloud-computing shops that put their applications in Docker containers, he said. And EMC has contributed ScaleIO drivers to OpenStack, so enterprises can more easily use ScaleIO as the underlying storage infrastructure for OpenStack environments. Until now, users had to request the OpenStack drivers.

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