CASFS+: A New Kind of Cloud-Based File System

In a data-driven world, the amount of data an individual organization has to work with has grown in spades in recent years. To satisfy the rising demand, new platforms that ease your burden of handling the data storage needs have also grown in numbers.

The most prominent of them are cloud-based solutions. Cloud-based file systems are becoming increasingly popular among data scientists as well as other entities that have to deal with large-scale file storages.

Organizations are coming to terms with the difficulties of handling a large-scale file system without a significant amount of technical resources and seeking the help of cloud-based solutions that simplify the complex process of migrating to the cloud and managing a cloud-based file system.

CASFS+, as a platform born to solve this problem, has been able to take a step ahead and developed a solution. From its “Lift and Shift” concept, to providing an impeccably secure cloud storage, CASFS+ offers a number of crucial and easy-to-use features to its users.

In this post, we will highlight the benefit and easibility of CASFS+ in several critical aspects related to a cloud-based file system.

Lift and Shift

The specialty of CASFS+ is the “Lift and Shift” approach it facilitates for file system migration.

 CASFS+ provides the luxury of migrating your on-premises data to the cloud without any additional training on too technical aspects of the process. The migration process with CASFS+ is seamless, easy to execute, and requires no changes to the codebase on your behalf. It completely removes the hassle of having to know a system’s code for a successful migration that is common with other cloud-based storage systems.

After the completion of a painless migration, you will be able to run the same applications you were running on-premises with no additional downtime.

Though some other cloud-based file systems support Lift and Shift in principle, they require additional changes to the codebase and system architecture overtime to get the full benefit of the features they provide. Migration to these platforms involves a steep learning curve in terms of system configuration and a lot of time and technical knowledge for successful completion.

Deduplication

Deduplication is the concept of preventing the storage of redundant content in the file system. It saves the client from having to pay for storage space unnecessarily used by redundant content and helps increase the performance of the system.

CASFS+ is a content-addressable file system that uses a hashing system to prevent duplication in its file system. If two files in the storage have the same content, hashing helps CASFS+ to use only a single object to refer to each of them.

Security

CASFS+ provides an easy to use set of security configurations that essentially sets it apart as one of the most secure cloud storage available today.

It supports the creation of standard POSIX ACLs. On top of that, CASFS+ introduces the concept of data hiding.

With data hiding, a user who doesn’t have read access to a file or directory won’t see the file/directory listed at the directory level. It preserves the confidentiality of data better than simple read-access prevention. Most importantly, it prevents a malicious user from gaining insight into high-profile data stored in the system.

Another novel security measure CASFS+ introduces is the date range restriction. You can define a date range within which other users can access a file. The permitted date range is recognized using the file name. With a file name in the format, YYYYMMDD, and date restricted_attribute set to 1, access permissions to a file could be limited to a certain year, month, or date.

Additionally, CASFS+ uses a client-trust model to prevent rogue users from gaining access to stored files. An untrusted single-user client is not provisioned access beyond what is defined in user credentials. Meanwhile, a trusted multi-user client can use their credentials for access control checks to gain access to other parts of the file system.

Along with simple encryption, another feature data hiding provides is additional protection to the stored files to preserve their confidentiality. It makes CASFS+ the perfect fit for a file system concerned about the security of stored data.

Another security feature provided by CASFS+ is that it logs user actions and exposes them as audits so that the client can inspect them to discover if there are any unusual user behavior or issues.

Budgeting

CASFS+ introduces new budgeting features to manage your file system so that your organization can limit your teams and users from overusing cloud servers and ending up with a huge AWS bill. With new budgeting features, you can configure the allowed budget for individual users and teams. In the case of a team, the system admin allocates the budget to the team leader and the team leader is responsible for distributing the budget among the team members.

If your business is concerned about user spending spiraling out of your spending power, CASFS+’s cost management solution will be an ideal fit for you.

Caching

Caching is a performance-enhancing feature adopted by many modern file system solutions. CASFS+ uses a configurable amount of space in the local storage to cache frequently used data.

It uses a caching algorithm to determine which items are stored in the cache and which are removed from it. The use of cache allows CASFS+ to mimic local-disk performance on a cloud-based storage.

The hashing system allows the caches to be stored locally or distributed among multiple devices. The use of hash keys ensures that the cached version stored in any distributed device is the most recent copy of the file.

Auto-scaling

CASFS+ is capable of dealing with billions of files and petabytes of data without compromising on the aggregate bandwidth supported by object data stores like S3.

When auto-scaling the file system servers, it uses the Node Balancer to dynamically increase the number of servers according to the number of jobs and the memory and CPU requirements for each job. The Node Balancer also handles the termination of created servers once the jobs are over.

Using the budgeting feature of CASFS+, the system admin can limit the number of servers each user can dynamically create for their jobs.

CASFS+ also monitors the performance of servers and alerts users of any server issues using email alerts. For system admins, it provides more functionality to clean up issues, manage job queues, etc.

Conclusion

Though there is a number of cloud-based file system solutions in today’s market, CASFS+ provides a unique set of features and functionality that are not provided by the others. At the same time, it manages to deliver the necessary requirements for such a file system including better performance, security, and scalability.

CASFS+ solution of the “Lift and Shift” approach stands out among the rest considering some of the existing solutions are too technically-heavy for an organization to handle on their own without expert advice and training. The added features including data hiding and date range restrictions introduce a new level of security to the platform.

CASFS+ has a set of functions ranging from performance, security, cost management, reliability, to ease of use, and provides the best and complete user experience to the users.

If your organization is planning to take your on-premises storage to the cloud, CASFS+ provides the an incredibly inclusive solution in the modern market. It caters to the needs of every entity, including data scientists to private businesses and government organizations, with a feature set covering numerous requirements for a cloud-based file system. 

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