News Column

Patent Issued for Image-Oriented, Plugin-Based API to Storage Server Appliances

May 27, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Bromley, Graham (Dublin, CA); Clowser, Kirk W. (Dellwood, MN); DesJardin, William (Saint Paul, MN), filed on September 26, 2007, was published online on May 13, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8726299, is Symantec Operating Corporation (Mountain View, CA).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This invention relates to computer data storage systems and, more particularly, to an abstract model of a data storage appliance.

"There is an increasing need for organizations to store large quantities of data. This need may result from requirements to protect data from loss due to user error, system failure, outages, and disasters, etc. and/or to archive information for regulatory compliance, workflow tracking, etc. It has become common to satisfy the need to store large amounts of data through a variety of data storage appliances. For example, data may be stored in one or more database repositories, file systems, tape drives, or other storage media, either local or remote. Remote data storage appliances may be connected to the sources of data through a conventional data network. By connecting data storage appliances via a network, a distributed data storage infrastructure may be assembled. As the quantity of data increases, data storage appliances may be added to the network. However, it is common to use a variety of data storage appliances that have heterogeneous data formats, capacities, data architectures, communication protocols, physical storage types, interaction models, etc. The resulting heterogeneity leads to a need for data storage applications to understand the complexities of the interfaces to numerous data storage appliances, increasing the complexity and cost of data storage.

"In addition to the above considerations, there are typically a variety of data storage applications that may utilize the data storage appliances. For example, in order to avoid the loss of data associated with an application, a data protection application is commonly employed to manage data backup and restore operations. Any data storage application may be required to accommodate heterogeneous data storage appliances. The data storage application may also be required to operate with a new data storage appliance whose characteristics were unknown at the time the data storage application was written. In addition, a requirement to support a wide variety of data storage appliances may result in lengthy and expensive development and revision cycles for a data storage application. Alternatively, if the number of data storage appliances that are supported is restricted, an organization may be prevented from realizing cost savings or technical improvements that become available through innovative data storage appliances.

"Accordingly, an efficient method and mechanism for maintaining compatibility between various and changing data storage applications and various and changing data storage appliances is desired."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Various embodiments of a computer system and method are disclosed. In one embodiment, a computer system comprises a data storage application executing on a host and an API configured to present a logical storage model to the data storage application for storing data on one or more storage appliances. The API is further configured to accept a first plugin coupling a first storage appliance to the API and a second plugin coupling a second storage appliance to the API. The first and second storage appliances are configured to store data according to different physical storage models. The API is further configured to receive an access request from the data storage application targeting a portion of the logical storage model. In response to the access request, the API is further configured to identify a plugin and a corresponding selected storage appliance associated with the portion of the logical storage model and utilize the identified plugin to map the portion of the logical storage model to a corresponding portion of the selected storage appliance's physical storage model.

"In a further embodiment, the logical storage model identifies one or more storage servers configured to manage one or more images stored on one or more storage appliances. In addition, the logical storage model identifies one or more logical storage units (LSUs) configured to include one or more images, wherein each LSU is controlled by a single storage server.

"In a still further embodiment, the access request comprises a request to write an image to the portion of the logical storage model and the API is further configured to utilize the identified plugin to translate the access request into one or more actions comprising writing data corresponding to the image to the selected storage appliance. In a still further embodiment, the access request comprises a request to read an image from the portion of the logical storage model and the API is further configured to utilize the identified plugin to translate the access request into one or more actions comprising reading data corresponding to the image from the selected storage appliance. In a still further embodiment, the access request comprises a request to retrieve a set of properties of the portion of the logical storage model and the API is further configured to utilize the identified plugin to translate the access request into one or more actions comprising retrieving the set of properties from the corresponding portion of the selected storage appliance's physical storage model. In a still further embodiment, the access request comprises a request to perform an image management operation on the portion of the logical storage model and the API is further configured to utilize the identified plugin to translate the access request into one or more actions comprising performing the image management operation on the corresponding portion of the selected storage appliance's physical storage model. In a still further embodiment, the access request comprises a request to receive notification of events occurring on a storage appliance associated with the portion of the logical storage model and the API is further configured to utilize the identified plugin to translate the access request into one or more actions comprising conveying a notification of an event occurring on the storage appliance associated with the portion of the logical storage model to the data storage application.

"These and other embodiments will become apparent upon reference to the following description and accompanying figures."

For more information, see this patent: Bromley, Graham; Clowser, Kirk W.; DesJardin, William. Image-Oriented, Plugin-Based API to Storage Server Appliances. U.S. Patent Number 8726299, filed September 26, 2007, and published online on May 13, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=14&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=653&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140513.PD.&OS=ISD/20140513&RS=ISD/20140513

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Storage, Symantec Operating Corporation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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