The team

Our Mission

OpenIO is an open source object storage solution introduced in 2015 though its development started 10 years ago. It is built on top of the groundbreaking concept of “Conscience” allowing dynamic behavior and human-free administration.

Ever wondered how to store multiple petabytes of data without getting overwhelmed by complex storage tasks and difficult application development? As object storage is changing the game in enterprise-class storage, most existing solutions may suffer lack of scalability over the years, with evolving hardware and capacity needs that increase dramatically. OpenIO’s Conscience technology deals with this, new hardware is auto-discovered and used right-away at no performance penalty. Heterogeneity of hardware is the norm, the Conscience is aware of the performance of each piece of equipment and distributes the load accordingly. OpenIO solves your storage problem, from 1TB to Exabytes, for the long term.

OpenIO is an already proven technology at massive scale, especially in email storage, with 10+ PetaBytes managed.

Our story

It all began in 2006.

Data, in the datacenter of the company we were working for, was exploding at exponential pace and traditional answers with NAS or SAN storage were overwhelming for the teams who ran the platforms. This is how the idea of an Object Storage solution came up. As most of the data we had was made of immutable objects, it was possible to switch to web-like GET/PUT/DELETE paradigm instead of the complex POSIX Filesystem API. It was also possible to get rid of the complex hardware required to run POSIX-like filesystems in a distributed manner.

Some Object Storage solutions already existed at the time but most of them were designed for the sole purpose of storing relatively few gigantic files, addressing large storage capacities with relatively small amount of metadata. Most of them were based on a single metadata node, avoiding the complexity of a distributed directory. Most of them were also made for non-production environments, and were not resilient enough, especially on the metadata side, with the single metadata node being a single point of failure (SPOF).

Our ambition was to store huge amounts of relatively small files produced by end-users like emails, eventually using a large storage capacity, but always accessed with the lowest latency. Also, there was the need for maximum availability as Service Level Agreements were stricts for these critical end-user services.

In late 2006, we designed our own solution with a massively distributed directory. It enabled a true scale-out design:

  • each node would carry a part of the directory, i/o intensive metadata load would be distributed everywhere
  • each new node was going to be immediately used, no need to re-dispatch already existing data to get benefits of the new hardware
  • data storage was going to be de-correlated from metadata storage, giving true scalability on both axis

The solution had also to be hardware agnostic and support heterogeneous deployments. It had to support multiple hardware vendors and multiple storage technologies, from simple single drive x86 hosts to high-end NAS and SAN arrays that were going to be re-used behind x86 servers.

The first production ready version was built in 2008 and the first massive production of a large scale email system started the year after. Since then, the solution has been used to store 10+ Petabytes, 10+ billions of objects, at 20 Gbps of bandwidth at the peak hour, with low-latency SLAs enforced 24/7.

As the solution was designed as a general purpose object storage solution, it was soon used in multiple environments like email, consumer cloud, archiving (speed control cameras, …), healthcare systems, voice call recordings, etc.

This Object Storage solution became Open Source in 2012.

Today, OpenIO has the mission to support the open source community, and to make the solution widely available especially for the most demanding use cases.