About Storage Software Appliance – Cloud Distribution

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage Software Appliance is a cloud storage gateway that you can use to access your storage service instance in the cloud over the NFSv4 protocol. The appliance can be deployed in Oracle Cloud.

  • The on-premises deployment of the appliance enables applications running in your data center to easily store and access data in your storage service instance in the cloud.

  • With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage Software Appliance– Cloud Distribution, the appliance is provisioned on an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic instance and plays the role of a file server in the cloud. It provides shared, infinitely scalable, low-cost, and reliable file storage capacity for your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic instances running Oracle Linux. Applications running on multiple Oracle Linux instances of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic can access shared file storage by using the NFSv4 protocol. You pay only for the storage space that your applications use, and the capacity expands automatically as your applications write data. To learn more about the features, see Features of the Appliance and watch this short video.

Note that, within Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic, you can provide storage capacity for your instances by attaching block storage volumes. But storage volumes can’t be shared because a volume can be attached to only one Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic. Besides, there's a limit to the number and the size of the storage volumes that you can attach to each Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic instance.

What can I use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage Software Appliance– Cloud Distribution for?

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage Software Appliance is an effective cloud gateway for many workloads. Use the following guidelines to determine whether the appliance is appropriate for your specific use cases and workloads:
  • The appliance supports NFSv4 in asynchronous mode and POSIX Sync mode. The POSIX Sync mode is enabled in the appliance by default.

    In the asynchronous mode, there is scope for data loss in the event of a sudden server failure. Avoid using the appliance for workloads and use cases that require synchronous write behavior.

  • The appliance is ideal for backup and archive use cases that require the replication of infrequently accessed data to cloud containers. (Not available on Oracle Cloud at Customer)
  • Carefully consider use cases that involve frequent changes to existing files. Each time a file is modified and closed, the appliance creates a new version of the file, which is then uploaded to the container in your service instance, replacing the previous version. The appliance will be less efficient and may not perform optimally for this type of workload.
  • Don't run applications and executables directly from the appliance mount points, particularly if the appliance cache is not large enough for all the files that the applications will access. Applications typically create temporary files and modify them often, affecting the operational efficiency of the appliance.

How does the appliance work?

You provision Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage Software Appliance– Cloud Distribution on one of your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic instances and configure filesystems, each of which maps to a container in your storage service instance in the cloud. You then mount these filesystems, using the NFS v4 protocol, on the client Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic instances that you want to provide shared file storage for. Currently, the appliance is supported for Oracle Linux instances of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic.

When applications running on the client instances write data to the mount points on the instance, the data is cached on the appliance instance and then uploaded asynchronously to your storage service instance in the cloud. Frequently accessed data is cached on the appliance. You can configure the appliance cache size.

Your applications enjoy read and write performance that’s comparable to the performance when using network-attached storage (NAS). And you get the benefits of low cost, infinite scale, and reliability of your storage service instance in the cloud.

The following figure shows two Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic instances sharing access over NFS to data stored in your storage service instance in the cloud:
Diagram showing two Oracle Compute Cloud Service instances with shared access (over NFS) to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage Classic.

In this example, instanceA and instanceB share read and write access, through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage Software Appliance provisioned on instanceC, to data that’s stored in your storage service instance in the cloud.