Oct 5, 2015

Philippe Nicolas joins Rozo Systems as Advisor

Just to share with you a very exciting news, I'm joining the Board of Advisors of Rozo Systems (www.rozosystems.com), a storage ISV that develops a unique Scale-Out NAS based on an innovative Erasure Coding technology. I'm glad to join a very senior team as we wish to penetrate fast the US market with a high resilient and high performance file storage solution. Try it, you will never remove it.

Oct 2, 2015

OpenIO, ready to take off

OpenIO (www.openio.io), a french object storage vendor, is emerging slowly from stealth mode. Founded in 2015 with offices in Lille, France, and San Francisco, the company was launched by 7 co-founders, real veterans in the object storage space. Having worked actively for large projects at Orange and Atos Wordline and especially storage for email systems, the original idea started in 2006. Later in 2008, the first production ready version was produced and later in 2012 the solution was offered to the Open Source community. It reminds me a few other names of object storage leader launched at that time such Cleversafe, the clear and obvious leader founded in 2004, or Caringo, launched in 2005 and also a pioneer as founders came from Filepool, father of the CAS wave and later know as the EMC Centera offering.
As you understand, OpenIO develops an object storage product with several interesting features and properties. The product is divided in 2 layers, an access layer and a persistent or storage layer, the access layer working like gateways are protocol translators and exposed object outside and the storage layer is responsible of the durability of the data.

One of the challenges for solutions who address large scale environment is how to distribute data and place data on the right node or element and provide a fast method to retrieve data when needed. Some vendors choose to control that aspect from top to bottom and uses various hashing algorithms like Consistent Hashing for instance but OpenIO decided to implement a different method thanks to a massively distributed 3-level directory. The product can then learn from the environment to better place data. This approach named "Conscience" is one of the key differentiator of the product. Internally maximum 3 hops are necessary to reach the data in the worse case.
OpenIO considers a hierarchy who reminds you something for sure - Namespace/Account/Container/Object - and the container structure is flat. An object is a named BLOB plus metadata of course. At the container level, a set of options can be defined such as number of copy, number of versions... Versioning works a the container level. IO operations are classic - GET/PUT/DELETE - and work on last revision of the object. Data is split in chunks and each chunk is immutable represented by an independent file on the local file system. The system uses extended attributes to store metadata of objects. In term of data protection, OpenIO supports replication and erasure coding based on Cauchy Reed-Solomon - systematic mode -, a compression mode is available at the chunk level working asynchronously and the product also provides a tiering capability controlled by the storage policies, where protection (replication or EC) and processing are defined (compression or encryption). To access data, Amazon S3, Swift and an OpenIO APIs are available, like many object storage product on the market, finally the battle is no more on the access method but at the core level.
The product is currently under version 0.8.1 and available on GitHub at https://github.com/open-io/oio-sds/tree/v0.8.1. The company have already deployed more than 10PB in email environment. It seems that the story is pretty attractive and the product easy to deploy and use. Let's see now how the market and the US one will react to a new player in that space...

Sep 25, 2015

Duonyx to distribute Cloudian and Rozo Systems

Duonyx (www.duonyx.com), a french IT infrastructure value added integrator focused on Data Management, announced the extension of its partnerships with Cloudian and Rozo Systems. Led by 2 seasoned leaders - Caroline Desmarquest and Guillaume Loisance - Duonyx continues to select leading brands and products to address large enterprises IT needs. In that choice, Duonyx has picked Cloudian, a leading object storage platform clearly the first one in enterprise with Amazon S3 mode, and Rozo Systems, a unique Scale-Out NAS operating a fast Erasure Coding data protection function, perfect to attack Isilon's leadership. In addition to Cloudian and Rozo Systems, Duonyx have made some strong choices with Pure Storage, Nutanix, Symantec, Veritas, Veeam, HP, Quantum and RiskIQ. Good choices Guillaume and Caroline.

Sep 18, 2015

16th edition IT Press Tour in October

The IT Press Tour (www.itpresstour.com), the leading media event in US for EMEA press, will organize the 16th edition dedicated to Business and IT Applications 1st week of October in California. This edition will be the first one of this nature with several new journalists from Europe. 15 European reporters will converge to San Francisco to meet and visit 11 companies:
  • Anaplan, leader in Enterprise Planning and managed by a top French entrepreneur,
  • Arcitecta, innovator in metadata management,
  • AtScale, recent player for BI on Hadoop,
  • Branch Metrics, developer of a deep link technology for mobile applications,
  • Datadog, reference in Cloud-scale Monitoring,
  • Delphix, pioneer in Data Virtualization,
  • Filepicker, a developer solution for document and file management,
  • Hortonworks, one of the leader in Open Enterprise Hadoop,
  • Metadata, enabler of B2B demand generation,
  • NuoDB, leader in scale-out SQL database,
  • and Solix Technologies, Data Management reference for structured data.
Follow the tour with the hashtag #ITPT, also follow me at @CDP_FST and other press group members. It will rock again...

Sep 14, 2015

Cloudian shakes the object storage market

Cloudian (www.cloudian.com), the worldwide leader in compatible Amazon S3 storage, unveiled a few days ago 2 distincts key announcements. The first one is a new version of HyperStore with the 5.2 release and the second one is about a new hardware line of appliances.
HyperStore 5.2 introduces many new features but I wish to insist on the storage policies and especially on the data durability policies that you can set per application and the data storage policies that you can apply per bucket. This new release delivers globally more granular control over the infrastructure and the associated data.
The new Cloudian hardware line, named FL3000, is also important as a new philosophy is clearly promoted with an access layer and a persistent layer. Both layers are covered by different systems, the access layer is a 3U chassis with up to 8 micro servers, each server has 128GB of RAM, a dual Flash drives for metadata redundancy and optimization, 2 x 10 GbE ports, 2 x SAS connectors and each server is hot swappable. 2 hot powers are also installed in the chassis. For the persistent layer, a 4U chassis is chosen with up to 60 HDDs of 8TB meaning that 3.84PB can be configured on a 38U rack. In that case, 2 full servers re configured and 8 full storage chassis are configured.

With this announcement, clearly Cloudian promotes its capabilities to address high volume of data and large deployments with sustained workloads. Super job from Paul Turner, CMO, and Gary Ogasawara, VP Eng, and their respective teams.

Sep 2, 2015

Veritas also in scale-out storage

Veritas Technologies (www.veritas.com), the leader in storage management and data protection coming from giant Symantec, emerges with some well known solutions but also some new ones. Among them the Flexible Storage Sharing (FSS) feature available with the InfoScale Enterprise which coupled Storage Foundation and Clustering capabilities.

Do you recognize something ? the old VERITAS Software logo
as a triangle, top down and 3 horizontal layers
FSS offers the capability to share local storage, cluster wide like the other scale-out storage on the market. Scale-out storage can be considered with 3 flavors: block, file and object. For Veritas, as the historical leader and pioneer in enterprise file system with VxFS, FSS is a file oriented scale-out storage also named a scale-out file storage. FSS integrates a fundamental layer, VxVM or Veritas Volume Manger, and the use of Cluster VM is required to allow visibility and access of volumes across cluster nodes. With CVM, we could consider the Veritas approach as scale-out block storage but I'm pretty sure that all current and future deployments are file based. The beauty of this is the capability to support both local and shared storage named respectively network shared storage and physically shared storage like the ones connected via a SAN. On top of these FSS volumes, Veritas generates a VxFS file system to allow local or remote applications to use the storage service farm. In other words, the cluster can be considered as a converged platform hosting applications with local storage cluster wide. Finally, Veritas delivers today what the industry recently promotes as converged infrastructure with all pieces available for more than a decade. I tell you Veritas was a pioneer and continue to be the leader in data and storage management, the fact that is the company is independent again will help to boost new product development and acquisition to catch up and fill the product line gap.

Jul 29, 2015

Datrium is now out of stealth

Datrium (www.datrium.com) is out of stealth just a few weeks before VMworld and they will be a sponsor there. I wrote an early post 2 years ago in July 2013 (in french sorry) that anticipated a few things. The company, backed by NEA, Lightspeed Ventures Partners and famous individuals such Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Edouard Bugnion, Frank Slootman and Kai Li, and launched in 2012 by former executives from Data Domain (Brian Biles and Hugo Patterson), EMC (Sazzala Reddy), VMware (Boris Weissman and Ganesh Venkitachalam) and NetApp, shows a strong DNA in virtualization and Storage. Coupled together, we can expect great things, honestly when you disrupt the storage industry with dedup and associated log structured file system, plus deep ESX hypervisor knowledge with key engineers from VMware, the result should be good, at least very interesting with lot of promises. Let's dig a bit to discover what Datrium brings to the market.
Datrium just announced their product, DVX, which is different from storage array and hyper-converged servers. DVX approach introduced an interesting logical architecture with 2 components working closely together: stateless servers and a back-end appliance, all operating the DiESL software:
  • Stateless servers or DVX hosts are classic servers (2 x86 cpus core minimum and 5GB RAM) running VMware 5.5 Update 2. These servers provide local storage and act as a cache and must offer 2.5GB of RAM per TB of SSD. The maximum SSD capacity per server is 8TB for 8 SSDs maximum. Users can plug their own SSD as soon as the HW is validated by VMware meaning listed on the HCL. These systems operate local data services such as data deduplication, caching, RAID...
  • Netshelf is the back-end appliance used for data durability, it is connected to all stateless servers via a 10Gb networks and a proprietary protocol. This system is a 2U server and embeds HDD storage for a total of 29TB useable, in fact with 2-6x data reduction factor, virtual volume can store up to 58-175TB of data. Netshelf provides NVRAM for fast-writes and an active/passive mode for HA.
  • DiESL - Distributed Execution, Shared Logs - is the core software of DVX. It's a distributed file system invented by Datrium that spans the Netshelf appliance and DVX hosts.
Externally DVX is seen and exposed as a NFS Datastore, still the easiest way to integrate VMs, and managed via vCenter plugin. Scalability evolves in 2 dimensions: capacity and performance and one doesn't dictate the other. DVX includes 1 Netshelf appliance and an unlimited number of stateless server license, unlimited on the paper of course.

Datrium DVX is a new storage approach exposed as a scalable file storage based on a multi-tier model mixing SSD and HDD for virtual environment with intelligent data services. It represents an new iteration in many various new solutions and players that we've seen for many quarters now. We'll see and meet them at VMworld in a few weeks and I will comment again soon the solution.

Jul 16, 2015

outpace.IO to bring second life for AoE

outpace.IO (www.outpace.io) just emerged from stealth mode to promote Ethernet Storage based on ATA over Ethernet aka AoE. For sure everyone remember Coraid, the pioneer in that space, with a technology invented by Brantley Coile and for the french side, Alyseo the french early adopter and distributor of their solutions. Alyseo was and is still a real believer in AoE. Brantley Coile also restarted some activities around AoE and you can visit his web site - EtherDrive.com - about it and read my post last may. Yacine Kheddache and his long time colleagues are still strong believer in AoE and how the technology can solve several IT challenges. This is one of the reason, outpace.IO was launched to restart a new AoE wave.
In fact, Coraid had a very hot period, super fast growth and real customer base - around 1700 customers - really satisfied by the offering. This was under the leadership of Kevin Brown who transformed the company as a strong alternative storage player. But things have changed, investors made some management changes and the wall was hit rapidly unable to deliver the new vision to finally close doors early 2015.
utpace.IO, launched by former Alyseo people and a few others key people strong in AoE space, is now on a mission to promote actively AoE with 3 products:
  • A series correspond to a classic Ethernet Disk Array exposed with an AoE connection available for Linux environment (Coraid AoE was based on Plan 9),
  • F series as a FPGA based implementation to reduce footprint and boost performance, perfect for vertical industry and
  • Z series an OpenZFS file storage solution built on Ethernet Disk Array.
outpace.IO pushes actively a whole storage architecture based on AoE for block and file as shown in the image below. There is a good opportunity to catch many of the past customers of Coraid, develop new use cases and extend the standard. At the same time, the company promoted OpenAoE as the core group to validate specification and standard direction. Good luck guys.

Jul 13, 2015

Delphix raised a new round

Delphix (www.delphix.com), leader in structured data governance what the company named Data-as-a-Service, just announced a new VC round at $75M for a total of almost $120M from Fidelity Management and Research, Credit Suisse, The Kraft Group and existing investors such Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Icon Ventures. This new round boosts the market valuation for Delphix and breaks the $1B barrier. The company is now on the path for an IPO next year, no doubt.
The new round marks a new dimension for the company with an aggressive growth plan in all geos for sales and marketing. Recently Delphix appeared in the leader portion of the Gartner Magic Quadrant about Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement.

Jul 10, 2015

Basho uses CRDTs

Basho Technologies (www.basho.com), leader in NoSQL, made an interesting comment during the last IT Press Tour about CRDT - Conflict-free Replicated Data Type - introduced by March Shapiro several years ago. The company introduced with KV 2.0 a new set of data types inspired by CRDTs: flags, registers, counters, sets and maps. This demonstrates the leading position of Basho in distributed development and environment.