The patent's inventor is Ewing, Steven M. (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "In a computing environment, a data storage and management system can provide access to information stored on one or a plurality of storage devices networked to the system. Storage devices may comprise disk drives, a plurality of which can be organized as disk arrays. Disks may describe a magnetic media storage unit, and may be synonymous with a hard disk drive, a direct access storage device, solid state drive, or other similar media used for persistent data storage. Data can be organized into volumes that are comprised on disk drives of one or more storage devices.
"A plurality of storage system may be interconnected to provide a distributed storage system, for example, designed to mitigate problems with data access speed and availability. Such a clustered system distributes volumes serviced by a particular storage system to the plurality of storage systems in the cluster. This, in-turn, distributes data access requests among the storage systems in the cluster, thereby distributing a processing load that may accompany said requests.
"Storage systems, including clustered storage systems, can be configured to accommodate a plurality of clients, in a client/server model, for data access and management. For example, a client may comprise an application running on a computer that connects to the storage system (or cluster) over a network. Clients can typically request services from the storage system by issuing packet-based, protocol requests to the system over the network. In-turn, the storage system may return requested data, or perform some data management request.
"One may wish to link two or more independent cluster storage systems together, for example, providing a larger scale distributed storage system. Creating relationships between independent clusters can help alleviate some of the problems that are mitigated by creating a clustered storage system, such as specific data access and distributed operations for load balancing. However, associating independent clusters together can present logistical issues that are time consuming and difficult for a system administrator to handle.
"Typically, if an administrator wishes to associate independent clusters, they must perform separate steps manually. For example, clusters are often manually authenticated by passing authentication back and forth between peer clusters; network addresses are sent between administrators of the peers, and are managed manually; and networking protocols need to be tunneled between the clusters, and the health of the peer systems must be manually monitored. Essentially, cross-cluster features typically need manual intervention by a cluster administrator."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key factors or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.
"Techniques and/or systems are disclosed herein for creating and managing intercluster relationships between independent clustered storage systems (e.g., independent from each other as standalone clustered storage systems), allowing the independent clustered storage systems to exchange data and distribute management operations between each other, for example, while mitigating a need for manual intervention by system administrators. In one embodiment, the techniques and systems comprise, among other things, having respective clustered storage systems (clusters), wishing to be peered (e.g., creating a communication link between the clusters), provide an intercluster relationship introduction service on a network interface. For example, the introduction service can present information that facilitates intercluster peering.
"In this embodiment, a relationship can be created between a first clustered storage system and a second clustered storage system by having the first clustered storage system use a logical interface (e.g., on a local network interface) to initiate contact with the second clustered storage system that is providing an introduction service. Creating a relationship further comprises the second clustered storage system obtaining the introduction information from the first clustered storage system using the logical interface, and the second clustered storage system providing introduction information to the first clustered storage system using the logical interface. In this way, for example, respective clusters have information needed for creating an intercluster relationship. Additionally, a role that is associated with the introduction information provided by the introduction services of the respective clustered storage systems can be mapped from a foreign cluster (e.g., not local) to a local cluster. For example, the role defined by the introduction information can provide a pre-defined access profile to peer clusters.
"To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the following description and annexed drawings set forth certain illustrative aspects and implementations. These are indicative of but a few of the various ways in which one or more aspects may be employed. Other aspects, advantages, and novel features of the disclosure will become apparent from the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the annexed drawings."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Ewing, Steven M.. Intercluster Relationship Management. U.S. Patent Number 8621569, filed
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