6 min read

What Is Global Namespace (GNS)? How Does It Benefit Your Organization?

Avoid spending hours to search and locate your files and documents across the growing pile of NAS filers, shares, and storage archives.

Is it possible that you have a “needle in a haystack” problem with your data storage?

In today’s digital economy, data and information are vital resources for every modern business. More than ever, the ability to find the data that you need, when you need it, and act on it has become a key business requirement.

When your data is in a database, or some other kind of structured format, finding what you need is easy. These days a majority of all data is unstructured. That’s the kind that exists outside of a database, making it much more difficult to manage. Unstructured data storage includes pictures, audio and video files, text documents, presentations, web pages, big data analytics, and a host of other business assets. Many of these assets are critical to organizational health and effectiveness, but once they are not being used frequently, they tend to go missing.

Let’s imagine that you have been tasked with reviewing historical financial models or uncovering old sales records. Those documents exist somewhere (you hope), but odds are good that they have been stored on a file server or networked storage in a folder that has the digital equivalent of being covered with dust. Or they may as well have been archived to the cloud. As unstructured data grows (expected to triple in size by 2024 according to Gartner), we get worse at managing it. The upshot is that locating and accessing the data we need is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

image shows unstructured data growth creating needles in haystack

What makes the situation even more challenging is that we have traditionally relied on NAS systems and distributed file servers for the bulk of our file storage needs. These worked well initially, especially when storage requirements were modest. But over time, and with spiralling data volumes or organization evolution, we have ended up with more and more NAS devices scattered around the enterprise. Each one is a silo with a separate catalog. And more silos equal more haystacks, making it more difficult to find the data we are looking for.

If you have had this problem, you are probably looking for a new streamlined and pain-free approach to finding what you need, when you need it. Let’s look at how global namespace can be a simple and efficient means to solve your distributed file storage and access problem.

What is a Global Namespace?

what is global namespace?A global namespace is a core capability of a distributed file system that provides a unified control and management plane to search and access unstructured data spread over diverse NAS filers, shares and object stores. Consider the global namespace as a universal file directory that enables all the unstructured data distributed across devices and locations to appear as if they are available on a single global file server. Without having to change the underlying folder hierarchy, the global namespace virtually consolidates access to any file or object data storage from a single global catalogue. This simplifies the storage architecture by eliminating islands of storage and disaggregated namespaces on each file server and makes finding files much faster and easier.

How DataCore Addresses Your File Distribution Problem with a Global Namespace

DataCore offers a software-defined storage solution called vFilO that is purpose built for the file and object storage environment. vFilO pools together storage capacity across distributed NAS devices, file servers, on-premises object storage and cloud object storage under a single global namespace. This global catalogue knows where all your files live no matter how physically diverse and geographically dispersed. It provides the ultimate method of unifying all your NAS, file, and object storage under one umbrella. Everything is now in one logical place, making it so much easier to use, manage and protect.

The illustration below shows an example of a typical file hierarchy in an organization as used by different departments. Before using vFilO, every department stored and accessed files from diverse storage independent of one another. After consolidating all the data under one global namespace using vFilO, you can see that the file and folder structure has not changed, but all the data is now available for access as if they are hosted on a single mount point. This simplifies file management and collaboration and accelerates file search operations.

visual of how global namespace works

How global namespace works when using DataCore vFilO

You no longer have the laborious job of trawling through numerous data silos or haystacks. Now you can use a keyword-searchable global namespace to find exactly the right files, information or data you need rapidly and easily – no matter where it might physically reside. How simple is that?

DataCore vFilO uses built-in AI/ML algorithms to execute policy-driven placement and migration of data. Data and files are intelligently and automatically moved to the most appropriate storage to optimize performance, protection, cost and other business objectives. No more worrying about missing files because important files are always kept around. Regardless of where files are moved to (on-premises or in the cloud), as long as they are available under the global namespace, your users and applications can access files easily from a single interface.

vFilO works with all your existing NAS storage systems, adding advanced functionality and usability, while also maximizing return on investment. You can also smoothly integrate new storage technologies and systems, avoiding any painful and expensive hardware-centric forklift upgrades or suffer disruptions while data migration occurs between devices.

Take this self-guided product tour of vFilO using our online hands-on lab and explore the global namespace at your own pace:

vfilo hands-on lab

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