March 31, 2020

Komprise unveiled Elastic Data Migration

Komprise, a leader in data management and well know for its Intelligent Data Management (IDM) product, just announced a new iteration of its NAS migration solution. The company has unveiled Elastic Data Migration (EDM) as a separate product to address the need of fast NAS transfer from on-premises to the cloud. For users who already picked IDM, EDM is included and we see the acronym logic...

The product is designed with parallelism in mind working at different level and a new NFS client optimized for such activity on thee vendor side of the process. Both sources and destinations are not touched being used through NFS and/or SMB protocols. In fact, the product doesn't say anything for SMB, is it because Komprise team identified less opportunities or the SMB side is already pretty well optimized or the NFS is really weak.

It means also that security is critical with the mandatory file permissions equivalence and the IAM integration required. Also every file is checksumed with MD5 and even if MD5 has some potential collision issue, the lifetime of computed key are very short limiting the risk.

Komprise continues to enhance its data management features list and coverage confirming its growing leadership position.

I invite you to read my other article published today on StorageNewsletter.

March 27, 2020

SoftIron Raises $34M in Series B Funding

SoftIron, innovator in large scale storage infrastructure, confirmed today the info we got during Storage Technology Showcase 2020 three weeks ago. The company received a series B of $34M for a total of $40M from existing investors.

True believer of Software-Defined Storage and real Ceph ambassadors, the team has developed an data center optimized Ceph appliance named HyperDrive already deployed and used by large research centers. This approach solidifies Ceph on strong high performance hardware. SoftIron has also developed other dedicated hardware such HyperSwitch and HyperCast for demanding environments.

We'll learn more about SoftIron and these solutions during the #35th edition of The IT Press Tour early June in California.

March 24, 2020

CTERA accelerates its market footprint

CTERA Networks, established leader in multi-cloud data management for unstructured data, inaugurated the #34 IT Press Tour with a very good online session. In fact, due to Covid-19, we were unable to travel and meet the team face-to-face in Tel Aviv.

Circumstances are unique and Liran Eshel, CEO and co-founder, spent some time to update us on the epidemic situation in Israel and illustrated the remote business constraints that finally is the day-to-day way of life at CTERA and in tons of companies. In other words, CTERA solutions are among the ones perfectly aligned with the healthcare pressure to work remotely and put a "social distance" in the normal collaboration behavior. Not easy indeed but necessary to address the pain quickly and prevent more propagation. This global event impacting the globe demonstrates the need for a global collaboration to accelerate research treatment. Now time means lifes and IS the key metric. And to do so, having an IT solution that deliver a smooth seamless global data sharing approach is key and makes a real difference. Following the epidemic, it won't be the same world at least on human interactions with distance control between people and validation of a new way to work and collaborate. So for CTERA the future is Remote: Remote Work, Remote Data Access, Remote Collaboration and Remote IT.

Forced by events like the Covid-19, by business locations or just by colleagues residence, central HQs coupled with remote and branch offices are a reality for decades now. And the distance must be irrelevant to offer an ubiquitous access wherever users reside and data are generated.

CTERA is about software and files and how you can offer access to them wherever you reside. This is a tough mission and not a lot of companies have successfully addressed this challenge in recent years.

The market validates the vision Liran Eshel and a few others had with CTERA more than 10 years ago about a global file service that spans sites, locations... The industry dreamed about that for a few decades and CTERA demonstrates a viable solution for several years now. Multi-Cloud adds pressure on vendors and we saw now a few years a rapid need for compute and data at the edge.

CTERA develops a pure software solution, what we named for a few years now, a Software-Defined Storage model, that transforms servers (a rack of them) into a (large) storage pool and service. The hardware factor for CTERA is just a go-to-market strategy enabling simple sales for partners and the capability for system vendor to embed CTERA's software on their platforms and finally help them make their numbers and margins.

In term of product line, CTERA has developed a strong presence with
  • The CTERA Portal, the key engine running centrally in the global file environment,
  • The CTERA Edge systems represented by X Series and Media Edge Filer,
  • The CTERA Application and Drive and finally APIs.
all this supporting a multi-cloud model and several key features for enterprise such analytics and security with DLP and Anti-Virus.

CTERA's business model is 100% indirect with a mix of channels/resellers and technology alliances. Among them, we notice IBM, HPE, Cisco, Dell and we heard that Nutanix is coming. The company targets classic industry with manufacturing, engineering and energy actors, media and advertising and publishing players, healthcare of course with hospitals, clinics, pharma and equipments and also government with federal, military and SLG.

2019 was an impressive year for CTERA with 60% YoY growth being installed at 50,000 sites with millions of users WW with the introduction of the first hyper-converged edge filer and a dedicated one for media environments and finally new partnerships and several new patents.

One of the key product is the X Series based on HPE hardware and should run on Nutanix in the coming months. It exists also in virtual appliance flavor running on VMware ESXi, KVM, Hyper-V, Amazon EC2, Azure and Nutanix. The agility of HCI is a perfect fit for edge compute and storage as local human and expertise resources are pretty limited in dispersed locations. Delivered as full flash appliance, X Series seems to be the right approach for VDI, tier-1 and packaged branch applications.

The second strategic product introduced a few months ago and covered recently is the Edge Media Edition. It is designed to support decentralized media content workloads still with the CTERA global file services DNA and aligned with media environments requirements with Adobe, MacOS and 8k rendering supports. 128TB of storage locally with a mix of SSD and NL-SAS is a good size for distributed presence.

The team has also spent some time to cover some new tools. The first one is CTERA Migration Tool to simplify migration from NAS to CTERA Edge Filers. This is not an add-on or a third-party piece, it comes with the edge systems. The second one is CTERA Insight promoted as a data management as a service portal currently supporting only CTERA filers.

We also learnt some new stuff coming a few weeks that will accelerate CTERA market penetration. The demo was quick and straightforward illustrating the value of the solution. We'll be able to speak more about it in a few weeks.

CTERA is hot, super hot, we invite you to follow them carefully in 2020.

March 17, 2020

New release for JuiceFS

JuiceData, an emerging cloud file storage player, just announced a new release of its famous JuiceFS product.

JuiceFS provides a POSIX file system behavior on local systems or in the cloud with a S3 cloud storage back-end. Data are transferred fully encrypted between consumers and producers i.e clients and cloud entities and stored in compressed format in a bucket.

It offers global consistency and multiple redundancy with native file system, I mean no need to use any NAS protocols such NFS or SMB. Client machines, MacOS or Linux, require a FUSE module, for MacOS you can use FUSE for MacOS. Windows is not supported today. And this file system mounted on the local clients can also be exported via NFS or SMB. Multiple clients can mount the cloud storage as a file system concurrently.

JuiceFS implements a strong consistency model to reflect all changes to all participating machines and use Raft to deliver an HA global behavior. Data can be replicated across clouds.

JuiceFS has 2 parts: a metadata service and a client piece running on users' servers. This element is a middle man talking with the storage back-end and the metadata server.

March 12, 2020

Strong growth in 2019 for CTERA Networks

CTERA Networks, leader in distributed file services, shared recently a very good news related to it 2019 business.

Its revenue has made a 60% jump having reached 50,000 enterprise locations and millions of corporate devices in 110 countries. CTera continues to demonstrate its unique approach for data consistency across sites thanks to its recognized, proven and well adopted global file services technology.

2019 has seen a significant market adoption of its Edge X Series and Edge Media Edition, its DoD APL certification illustrating its strong security level and finally a few patents around global file system. Also partners such Cisco, HPE and IBM recognize CTera's solutions and have expanded their relationship.

2020 will be a key year for CTera and it will be interesting to see their trajectory during the next few months. In the meantime, we'll meet CTera during the 34th IT Press Tour in Israel end of March.

March 10, 2020

Hitachi Vantara jumps into Container

Hitachi Vantara, leading enterprise storage player, has just acquired IP from the defunct company Containership, player in the Kubernetes-based container solution. It illustrates again the bargain acquisition model from big companies. The company has developed Containership Kubernetes Engine and reached the CNCF certification giving some level of trust for end-users, partners and of course Hitachi. It was announced with a discrete simple blog post and not a press release and their is nothing on Containership web site.

March 9, 2020

Big change at iXsystems

iXsystems, an active player in open source storage, is making a big change within its product line.

Since 11.3 release, FreeNAS and TrueNAS are gaining features parity with 95% of common source code but were separate product line. Starting with 12.0 later in the year with huge product features, the company has decided to unifying product families under TrueNAS.
It will be same source code simplifying features release process and support delivered as a FREE open source edition named TrueNAS CORE replacing FreeNAS, the company is committed to it, and an Enterprise edition named TrueNAS Enterprise. CORE means Community supported, Open source, Rapid development and Early availability. More details in the future.

March 6, 2020

Inspiration, copy or clone for Azure

Wow, after mc command line, a commercial object storage vendor copies again what MinIO is doing for Azure. In fact, the MinIO idea here was and is to promote S3 as THE interface for object storage leveraging the AWS de-factor standard whatever is the object back-end. To summarize what MinIO is capable, check this list, it illustrates lots of combinations and why MinIO leads the object storage pack:
  • "Classic" MinIO object storage server,
  • MinIO Gateway for S3 for caching acting as a front-end of AWS S3 or any S3 compatible instance,
  • MinIO Gateway for Azure as a front-end of Azure Blob Storage,
  • MinIO Gateway for NAS as a front-end of NAS - NFS and/or SMB - offering mixed-protocol data access between NFS and S3,
  • MinIO Gateway for HDFS as a front-end of Hadoop HDFS farm offering mixed-protocol data access between S3 and HDFS API.
Nothing for GCP (yet) as a compatibility mode exists even if there is no direct plugged mode if you use some specific S3 features. But again it's interesting to see how MinIO drives the market representing innovation in this storage domain...

March 5, 2020

34th IT Press Tour is back to Israel

The IT Press Tour, the leading IT event for WW IT press, has recently announced participating companies for the 34th edition scheduled from March 22nd to 25th in Israel.

Seven companies will be visited, some are new and other are familiar with the tour as they did multiple editions:
  • CTera Networks, leader in distributed file services for the enterprise,
  • Deep Instinct, reference in deep learning cybersecurity,
  • Infinidat, promoter of large scale consolidated enterprise storage,
  • Kaminario, innovator in fast composable storage infrastructure,
  • Lightbits Labs, ambassador of disaggregation of storage and compute vis NVMe/TCP,
  • OwnBackup, drive of the enterprise SaaS applications backup,
  • and Weebit, fast growing player in persistent memory.
Dense and unique week in perspective with several hot players in IT infrastructure, the tour will shake the market again. I invite you to follow us with @ITPressTour, #ITPT, various publications and reporters Twitter handles.

March 4, 2020

New CMO for Hazelcast

Hazelcast, a leader in in-memory computing, just recruited a star as its new CMO Gregg Holzrichter. Gregg comes from similar position at Virsto, Atlantis Computing and Big Switch and Aporeto.

Aporeto just got acquired by Palo Alto Networks a few weeks ago for $150M meaning a multiple of $4.34.