September 20, 2018

Clustrix swallowed by MariaDB

Clustrix, one of the pioneer of clustered database, is acquired by MariaDB. The latter already acquired MammothDB a few months ago. Clustrix, long time promoter of a MySQL compatible scale-out database, had serious difficulties for several years missing the opportunity to be acquired by a giant or grow itself like a few other emerging database players especially in the NoSQL/NewSQL domain. We have met Clustrix during the very first edition of The IT Press Tour in June 2010.
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September 17, 2018

What a program for The IT Press Tour #28

The IT Press Tour, the leading IT event for IT press, has unveiled a few days ago participating companies for the 28th edition scheduled mid-October in San Francisco.

Nine companies will joins us with 7 new and 2 who come back respectively for the second time for Platfom.sh and third time for Sysdig. All seven others are new participants, here is the full list:
  • Aera Technology, AI/ML for enterprise management,
  • H2O.ai, open source data science and machine learning platform,
  • Kinetica, GPU database,
  • LogicMonitor, SaaS-based performance monitoring,
  • Mabl, ML-driven test automotion service,
  • Odaseva, Salesforce data management and GDPR,
  • Platform.sh, Continuous deployment cloud hosting PaaS,
  • Sysdig, Container and microservices monitoring and security, and
  • Yellowfin, BI and Analytics platform.
The week will be dense with hot topics and great speakers and leaders, the tour will rock again. I invite you to follow us with @ITPressTour, #ITPT, various publications and reporters Twitter handles.
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September 13, 2018

Versity unveils new file system

I was a big fan of QFS and SAM-QFS and was surprised that the LSC acquisition by SUN in 2001 finally did not deliver the promises. The fact that the team, especially Harriet Coverston, who developed LSC's product started a new story - Versity Software - was a good indicator that the story was not ended and an evolution is possible at the same time.

I wrote an early post in June 2013 about Versity and its new Storage Manager, sorry at that time, this post was in French. A few months later this post and still in 2013, Cray and Versity announced (sorry still in French) a reseller agreement before SC show in Denver and the super computer leader has distributed since that VSM under the name Tiered Adaptive Storage or TAS. Surprisingly, TAS is no more visible on Cray web site except if you do a search.

They started to make noise during the MSST 2016 (now in English) conference and we met Versity Software in June 2016 for the 19th edition of The IT Press Tour where Bruce Gilpin announced to us the development of a new file system by his team. For many months I scrutinized Versity to get some info about that development and I can say that the team is ready to announce something very soon even if the initial timeframe was a bit too ambitious. I wrote 2 posts (June and July 2016) about VSM and Versity ideas of a new scale-our file system dedicated to large scale archive.

Versity and the founding team has always that ambition to build the most scalable data archiving software to address actual and coming data management challenges. VSM, described above with various posts, was a proven and well adopted product who suffered from an old design, remember it was under development 20 years ago, but it worked and works very well. Now with the data deluge we live for more than a decade, something new must be offered aligned to these new and coming challenges. The good things are kept but many new things are introduced with VSM 2.0 which mark a new era in that domain.

VSM 2.0 has 2 parts: ScoutFS and ScoutAM plus a module named AFM. ScoutFS belongs to the hyper-scale file system group that recognizes that metadata and data must be segregated. First Scout could be a bizarre named but is really aligned to the Scale-Out philosophy where the name was built. ScoutFS represents the persistent layer implemented in the Linux kernel, it respects POSIX like VSM 1.0 and is developed under the open source GPLv2 license. It is what we called a symmetric distributed file system. Symmetric because there is no dedicated metadata servers, all nodes can serve this role in addition to be also data servers. As a remark, a sub-set of nodes can configured to support metadata and data and the rest only data but we still named this a symmetric approach and by design there is no SPOF. Distributed is related to the pooling of servers - metadata and date - acting together to constitute the file system from a shared block device here. At the time I write this post, I'm not sure if ScoutFS is Parallel as the notion means to split files and write/distribute file chunks to independent data server targets. I understand that this parallel aspect is delivered with the coupling between ScoutFS and ScoutAM. One of the key design constraints was the ability of the file system to support 1 Trillion files, yes, you read correctly, 1 Trillion. Running on Linux like VSM 1.0, ScoutFS is also what the industry named an Software-Defined Storage (or SDS) solution running on commodity servers inviting the users to select their preferred server brands and continue to support the environment for a few decades surviving multiple server lifecycles. The file system is exposed via standard NAS protocols I mean NFS and SMB to facilitate application integration.


Since LSC, the team has continued to glue a top layer to manage archive, provide policies and all the logic associated with the archiving environment, here the file system companion is named ScoutAM for Scout Archive Manager. It delivers multiple function and services such the multi-copy, WORM capability, the GNU TAR format, the support to cloud - AWS, GCP and Azure - and tape in addition to the ScoutFS. As an extension of my remark above on parallelism, ScoutAM adds this feature on top of ScoutFS.


In addition to VSM, Versity provides AFM (Archive Fabric Module) for external file systems analysis and help find files candidates for the migration to the archiving environment. AFM has the capability to transfer and replicate files to VSM.

The solution is sold as a subscription model and you can read the data sheet here.

We expect to learn more during the next SuperComputing show in Dallas mid-November. It will also make sense to meet again the team with The IT Press Tour to have a deep session.
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August 31, 2018

StorONE confirms its performance

StorONE, the emerging multi-protocol SDS player, just announced some performance benchmark results delivering 500,000 IOPS under VMware ESXi and just 2 nodes. The idea was to demonstrate the ratio of performance per drive and illustrate the best price/performance ratio and approach of StorONE S1 software.

This test was run on commodity storage servers aka as 2U24 meaning 2U rack factor and 24 SSDs with several 16Gb Fibre Channel and 40Gb iSCSI initiators. Configuration in HA mode give impressive numbers with 1.7M IOPS for random reads, 15GB/s sequential reads, 7.5GB/s sequential writes - a 50% drop - and 10GB/s for mixed workload of 80/20 reads/writes.

Gal Naor, CEO and founder of StorONE, confirms this efficiency capability illustrating the impressive result per drive: 70,000 IOPS with very low latency. Met 2 times with the IT Press Tour - once in Israel - we're impressed by the approach Gal and his team took and succeed to deliver with an unique design and technology approach.
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August 30, 2018

Snowflake even more closer to the IPO

Snowflake, a leader in data warehoue as-a-service, just announced the arrival of its new CFO, Thomas Tuchscherer. He came from Talend where he stayed last few years and he did its IPO and spent time before at SAP or Business Objects, he reports to Bob Muglia.

We anticipate a wish to do an IPO in H1 2019 that will invite competitor to make acquisition proposal. Honestly, below $5B, there is no discussion, the current valuation of Snowflake is just below $3B, $5B represents 10x the investment received so far.
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August 10, 2018

DataFrameworks acquired by Dell Technologies

DataFrameworks, an ISV founded in 2009 as a consulting and IT service company developing ClarityNow, a file management software, just got acquired by Dell technologies.

The company has extended the capability of the software with analytics on top of its asynchronous file monitoring features.

This is a strange acquisition from Dell as several other strong and more comprehensive solutions exist on the market such Komprise. I anticipate a very low acquisition price as there is no real IP here just a good software.
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August 9, 2018

Exten Technologies out of stealth

Exten Technologies took advantage of the 2018 Flash Memory Summit (FMS) to finally unveil its structure, team and product. The company is led by Craig Gilmore who was the last CEO of Mangstor who finally disappeared from the market and the entity is based in Austin, TX like Mangstor.

The company presents itself as a pioneer of NVMe over Fabrics, pretty strange for a very recent company as some other appeared on the market a "long" time ago.

Exten develops HyperDynamic a storage software fully compliant with the NVMe protocol that provides high performance with less than one microsecond of overhead latency, ready for high demanding data centers.



The Exten architecture is fully aligned with the NVMe open standards and doesn't require proprietary hardware or software lock-in and supports Redfish and Swordfish API. HyperDynamic invites vendors to build a new JBOF approach by moving non-volatile memory, Flash and 3D XPoint SSDs from traditional storage and server systems to fabric-attached enclosures supporting Intel x86, AMD x64 and customs SoC supporting NICs from Broadcom, Chelsio, Intel, Mellanox and Solarflare. This is a new pendular movement towards storage networks after recent moves back to DAS. Exten just received the Best of Show Technology Innovation Award at FMS 2018 for HyperDynamic.
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August 6, 2018

No more sound neither image from Mangstor

Mangstor, one of the few pioneers of NVMe over fabrics, aka NVMef, flash array with Apeiron Data Systems, Excelero, Pavilion Data Systems, FlashGrid, E8 Storage or DSSD, acquired by EMC in 2014 and finally stopped in 2017, to name a few pure players, continues to make strange things.

After several months of bizarre message on his website related to a redesign of its web site, we have now a full disconnect between the domain name and the content as we're redirected to the Wix default fault page. The domain was registered via GoDaddy in 2012, updated in March 2018 with an expiration date now in March 2019. Bizarre. How a company playing in a very hot market could disappear like that? management issues? technology problems? lack of finance?... It's a real mystery.

Paul Prince, last CTO, left the company in May 2017 and David Ridgeway, VP Product Management, even before in January 2017, following Trevor Smith founding CEO who quit in December 2016 replaced by Craig Gilmore for a few weeks or even months, now CEO of Exten Technologies. This story is definitely over, what a crash in a hot market.
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July 20, 2018

Joe Vranicar joins Datrium as Chief Revenue Officer

Datrium, leader in enterprise HCI, announced recently the appointment of Joe Vranicar as lead of sales following the arrival of a new CEO a few weeks ago. He came from AWS, Sprinklr and VCE like Tim Page, and had past experiences at EMC, Cisco, Juniper and HP. The company seen as the leader in high-end HCI provider is now ready to shake the market with a clear acceleration in the next weeks. It's now more a question of sales execution as the product really excels.
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July 19, 2018

RStor appoints senior advisors

RStor, emerging player developing a multi-cloud compute service, just announced the appointment of Riccardo Di Blasio and Steve Mullaney as advisors to the board of directors. Riccardo came from Cohesity, EMC and VMware and Steve was CEO of Nicira acquired by VMware and before was at Palo Alto Networks, Blue Coat Systems or Force10 Networks to name a few.

At the same time RStor recruits Tony Gaughan as SVP Engineering.

To better understand what RStor develops I invite you to read my 2 posts especially the recent one, as the first story was essentially the discovery of the company more than one year ago.
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