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The concept of object storage was introduced in the early 1990's by the research community. Since then it has greatly matured and is now in its early stages of adoption by the industry. Yet, object storage is still not widely accepted. Viewing object store technology as the future building block particularly for large storage systems, our team in IBM Haifa Research Lab has invested substantial efforts in this area. In this position paper we survey the latest developments in the area of object store technology, focusing on standardization, research prototypes, and technology adoption and deployment. A major step has been the approval of the TIO OSD protocol (version I) as an OSD standard in late 2004. We also report on prototyping efforts that are carried out in IBM Haifa Research Lab in building an object store. Our latest prototype is compliant with a large subset of the TIO standard. To facilitate deployment of the new technology and protocol in the community at large, our team also implemented a TIO-compliant OSD (iSCSI) initiator for Linux. The initiator is interoperable with object disks of other vendors. The initiator is available as an open source driver for Linux.
Date of Conference: 20-24 June 2005