Building a scaleable filesystem with S3QL and Orbit

All our Cloud Servers come with resilient local permanent disks, stored on SSDs in a RAID configuration. For periodic backups, you can use our server snapshot feature to store a copy of your server’s disk in Orbit, our cross-zone cloud storage solution. Or you can use any number of backup tools (such as Duplicity) to backup files to Orbit yourself too.

But these are offline backup solutions that you have to run periodically. And you need to restore the files before you can use them. And obviously your local disk has to be big enough to store all your files in the first place.

S3QL is a filesystem that can be configured to stores all its data in Orbit as it goes along, whilst maintaining a fast local cache. For cached reads, it’s not much slower than a local filesystem and writes are buffered, so it can still be faster than the network.

The local cache is limited in size, so you get seamless scaling of storage space too. Grow up to any size you like and just pay by the gigabyte. Plus it can de-duplicate, compress and encrypt your data and even has a neat snapshot system of its own.

And because Orbit is cross-zone, all your data is automatically replicated across two entirely different datacentres.

The main limitation is that a S3QL filesystem can only be mounted on one server at a time, so it’s unsuitable for clusters of servers that need to share a filesystem (GlusterFS is a better fit for that). But for single server setups, like perhaps a small Rails app, a Wordpress installation or maybe a personal Owncloud node, it’s perfect.

Try S3QL on Brightbox Cloud

We’ve written up a guide to getting S3QL installed on a Brightbox Cloud Server with Orbit so you can test it out to see if it fits your requirements.

You can sign up for Brightbox Cloud in just a couple of minutes and get a £20 credit to play with S3QL for free.

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