Global Namespaces

Lynn Orlando. July 15, 2020

What Are Global Namespaces?
Global Namespace Goals
Global Namespaces and Unstructured Data
Why Implement Global Namespaces?

What Are Global Namespaces?

A name is a basic identifier. From a function, a class, or a method, it doesn’t matter what we’re talking about, but we have to give items specific names to differentiate them from all others. That’s where global namespaces come in handy.

Global namespaces are essential for simplifying storage management and identifying multiple network-based file systems. A global namespace (GNS) helps in managing distributed file storage and allows users to access and file data from anywhere, regardless of physical location. It can be used with file systems from various sources, like an NFS (network file system), a CIFS (common internet file system), or a NAS (network-attached storage), as well as file servers.

For example, a developer uses a namespace to organize data, as well as to add, change, move, and reconfigure file storage. In any given company, there are most likely many developers who write functions. If two functions with the same name are created without declaring a namespace, there’s a bug. For example, two developers create a function and give it a common name like “start.” If a developer calls for the “start” function, the system wouldn’t know which of the two “start” functions to access.

Another easy method for understanding the global namespace concept is to think of the name of a child in a school. Someone with the common first name of “John” would be difficult to identify if his first name were the only identifier we were given for him, but if we were told to locate John Patterson the likelihood of finding him in the school is much greater. That’s where last names come in handy. A namespace is like giving a last name to a computer function so that developers can distinguish which function they need at the moment.

Global Namespace Goals

There are two main goals of a global namespace. One, to simplify the complexities of the storage structure. Two is to allow the administrator to manage data without affecting users. A namespace combines multiple file systems into one global file system. Efficient file storage is one of the most notable challenges administrators face. A global namespace is implemented to help eliminate common challenges, issues, and stressors developers face on a daily basis.

Global Namespaces and Unstructured Data

Global namespaces are especially useful to access unstructured data in distributed implementations and fast-growing environments in which data needs to be accessed without knowing its physical location. A global namespace allows for group management of multiple file systems that would otherwise have to be managed individually.

Why Implement Global Namespaces?

One reason that organizations are quick to adopt global namespaces is that they don’t have to change their existing environments. As a company grows naturally, the number of namespaces will rise. Global namespaces allow more storage pools to be opened for larger working pools. While different vendors implement this technology differently, the GNS design intends for the client view to be the same. That is, a GNS is always made of several namespaces using combination of individually share volumes.

You may also like:
ESG Research Report, Software Defined Storage (SDS) Market Trends
Worldwide Scale-out File-Based Storage 2019 Vendor Assessment Report
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BOM
Gorilla Guide to The AI Revolution: For Those Who Are Solving Big Problems

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