October 13, 2020

Alation strengthens its enterprise search portal

Alation, leader in Data Catalog for Enterprise, continues its data management journey with the announcement of the 2020.3 release of its data intelligence platform.

The company mission is to offer an easy access to enterprise data with 3 main use case: data search and discovery, data literacy and data governance.

The main idea is to build a scalable dynamic autonomous index of all data discovered able to be queried very simply. The firm offers various connectors to integrate a large set of data sources to build such meta data repository. This release introduces natural language query, logical domains and end-users tools integrations. We measure lots of progress from the company since last meeting and we even anticipate some acceleration as the solution is becoming more and more comprehensive, generic and universal with tons of usages.


October 12, 2020

Edgy controls the business of Panzura

Panzura, one of the leader in cloud file storage, got acquired in May 2020 by Profile Capital Management LLC. In the press release announcing this acquisition, Rich Weber was quoted.

But the chief product officer for more than 10 years at Panzura disappeared from the current firm’s leadership page.

There are several other chief [executive | revenue | innovation | technology | strategy | financial] officers on that page but not longer Weber, even if his LinkedIn page continues to mention his position at the firm.

We also noticed 4 new arrivals:
  • Dan Waldschmidt as chief revenue officer,
  • Petra Davidson as VP of marketing, both coming from Edgy,
  • Edward Peters, chief innovation officer, arrived in June
  • and Will Pike, chief strategy officer, landed in September.
With the CEO, Jill Stelfox, also coming from Edgy, none of them has worked in the storage industry in the past.

The interesting piece is that all Edgy people listed above, Stelfox, Waldschmidt and Davidson plus other Edgy people Jessica Sharpe or Julia Cu, continue to mention Edgy as a current job on their LinkedIn profile and on Edgy web site inviting us to think that Profile Capital Management signed a contract with Edgy.

We understand that Profile Capital Management owns the company and Edgy is doing all business related operations. In other words, “boost my [new] business during these X coming months and we’ll prepare an exit…”.

It just confirms that this acquisition has shaken the strategy and the team illustrating some new shift, potential strategy and go-to-market directions.

October 5, 2020

Treasure, a new cloud storage aggregator

Anqlave Pte. Ltd., developer of security software and services, has discreetly launched a few weeks ago a new product named Treasure.cloud.

Founded in August 2018 and based in Singapore with an office in London, the company is led by Assaf Cohen, CEO, Ina Miranda, CTO, and Ben Williams, CCO and has 13 employees globally.

Treasure.cloud is a personal cloud storage solution but could be used by anyone finally, even enterprises. It delivers a sort of dream for any user who expects a way to consolidate and synchronize its dispersed and fragmented public cloud storage via a single pane of glass exposing a virtual file space. Many users have created free online space on classic providers and immediately suffer from this space multiplication without any horizontal capability like navigation and search.

This global file view is accessible via a web interface, a tablet and a smartphone application. A desktop application is almost ready and should be ready by Q1/2020.

The product demarks itself from others with three features: a secured cloud storage space with end-to-end encryption provided by the Anqlave Data Vault (ADV), a FIPS 140-2 certified proprietary key management and data encryption solution, coupled with AWS and Azure, a cloud storage aggregation service to unify users’ subscribed online storage services such Dropbox, Box, Google Drive. OneDrive will be next and iCloud is under development. and a search capability across all storage back-ends.

ADV is an enterprise-class dedicated to secure keys at rest, in motion or in use. 

The team builds back-end connectors for each public cloud storage service. An API is also available for specific integration.

Like other similar tool, files can be shared securely from the Treasure.cloud space but the key is associated with the person you share files with. A link expiration date will be added soon as well.

In terms of pricing, four models have been created to address the wide area of needs from single user to enterprises:

This segment is pretty active and we find offerings from CloudFuze, Rethink Files, Koofr, Mega, pCloud, Kazoup or Kloudless.

September 8, 2020

Seven10 absorbed by Congruity360

Congruity360, a data governance and classification software player founded in 2016, just announced the acquisition of Seven10 Software, a company well established and recognized by professionals in the data migration for high-end storage systems for almost 2 decades.

This is bargain for Congruity360 who plans to expand its product line with Storfirst7, renamed Storfirst360, to maximize the installed base effect. The current solution set includes 3 products Classify360, Hold360 and Discover360.

Bobby Moulton, founder of Seven10, is not listed as joining the company and currently is acting as consultant. This is a surprise as we thought Seven10 is strong enough after almost 2 decade of business to survive this pandemic, it seems that the reality precipitated difficulties. At the same time, Covid offers also opportunities and such exit could have been in the plan for a few years now.

Now this unstructured data management market segment - Congruity360 plays also in the structured data space - is super hot with at least 20 players and we'll see how Congruity360 will compete against Komprise, Commvault, Cohesity, Data Dynamics, Point Software and Systems, StrongBox Data Solutions, Hammerspace or Nodeum.

September 7, 2020

A new CEO for Panasas

Panasas, one of the reference in HPC file storage, just announced that Faye Pairman, CEO for the last 10 years, has left the company. She's replaced by Panasas' COO Tom Shea who joined the company in 2014.

This sudden departure is a surprise and introduces some doubt about the company following financial support given by the Small Business Administration. What do these 2 events really mean for the company?

Panasas made great progress during Pairman's 10 years tenure, PanFS was redesigned and introduced various product iterations to the market gaining new accounts. Competition was also very active with players such WekaIO, DDN or ThinkParQ but also with some NAS vendors like Qumulo or VAST Data who appeared in the IO500 in November 2019.

September 3, 2020

Storage companies got financial support from SBA

I wrote the original post for StorageNewsletter

Early July, the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department unveiled the list of 660,000 small businesses and nonprofit organizations that received at least $150,000 in funding. You can read the Washington Post article that helped us build this post here.

It illustrates and gives us a new dimension of some companies’ financial situations.

It seems that some of them consider this as an opportunity to delay some charges. We compile the following table with some storage company names of our choice and it represents at least 3,000 persons:

We don’t find Clumio, DataCore, Delphix, Druva, Komprise, MinIO, Nasuni, Panzura, Portworx, Qumulo, StorageCraft and Vast Data. Some other companies are also not listed because they’re not from USA.

August 26, 2020

OVHcloud continues to invest in storage

OVHcloud understands its holes in its portfolio and tries to address them rapidly proving some maturity and realism. In my recent post, we pointed some lack of storage flavors. In others words, to compete against the cloud service providers giants, the firm has to react fast by acquiring technology developers due to time to market reason, no doubt about it.

The firm had the opportunity to swallow OpenIO as a real bargain and we mentioned that motivation in the referenced post mentioned above.

Octave Klaba, Chairman and founder of OVHcloud, issued a LinkedIn post a few days ago about a NVMe-oF storage company acquisition saying more news will come in September. Rumors went into many directions but what is sure is the bargain nature of the deal as OVHcloud doesn't spend hundreds of millions in acquisitions. So who can be that vendor? 3 elements are key here: block storage, NVMe-oF and "small" innovative player. Block storage already eliminates some candidates and NVMe-oF reduces the list a lot. Again it's not a question to support NVMe but here the network extension of the protocol is key. We saw many comments issued with completely crazy ideas with names like Lightbits Labs, Excelero and even StorPool. The first two are very expensive due to significant valuation OVHcloud can't afford. StorPool supports NVMe but doesn't say yet anything about NVMe-oF. Kazan Networks disappeared acquired by WDC last year. So I wrote a comment following Klaba post that I see potentially 1 target Exten Technologies, the morph of Mangstor who had difficulties for several years now. We don't know if we accelerate the news - let's stay positive about it - but it is now public as the PR was published this morning.

It makes a lot of sense completing the current block storage service as one of the key trend is data center composable storage architecture based on NVMe-oF capabilities. It will fuel OVHcloud initiative and product in that area to dynamically and seamlessly adapt to container-based workloads. As the time we write this post, nothing is mentioned on Exten web site.

Now a bit of perspective as OVHcloud must offer some file storage service in the NAS world or the technical/scientific/HPC segment with parallel model. Among them it exists a few bargains again like Rozo Systems or Quobyte. Let's wait a few months or less but clearly the company has to do something in that space.

August 5, 2020

Panasas upgrades PanFS 8 with Dynamic Data Acceleration

Panasas, historical player in HPC storage, continues to innovate with the confirmation of the Dynamic Data Acceleration.

Two philosophies clashes with full flash models and hybrid ones in that HPC segment. Some vendors promote full flash with one of multiple products meaning that for production and protection tiers, flash products are positioned promoting a better $/TB with aggressive data reduction techniques coupled with flash/QLC and other components. On the other hand, some articulate other simple approach with hybrid architectures coupling SSDs and HDDs with transparent multi-layers model (tiering, caching, etc.).

This announcement related to Dynamic Data Acceleration from Panasas confirms what the company promotes for quite some time with a hybrid model aligned to file sizes injected into the system. In other words, the idea here is to consider a HPC storage filled on NVDIMMs, SSDs and HDDs and store files on the "right" storage device based on a size criteria. Small files are kept on SSDs and large ones on HHDs still delivering a good bandwidth performance with good stripe width.

Panasas markets this model as one of the best $/TB and even delivering better throughput vs. other modern parallel file system products. It also promotes a simple architecture with all things integrated without the need to couple external elements to build a multi-layer configuration. There are again 2 distinct philosophies with pure software model deployed on commodities hardware and connected to other products and presented as the storage farm and a second one still with flexible software installed on controlled systems with qualified components to guarantee performance, all appearing included in machines. Sizing of course is critical in both approaches and scalability is made at different levels.

Also established vendors remove dust on their product, clearly WekaIO shaking a "pretty" static or slow moving market landscape, DDN insisting on Lustre, wishing to migrate its Spectrum Scale business, GRIDScaler is absent of the DDN product web page, fast NAS product appearing in HPC top sites as listed in IO500 with Qumulo and Vast Data, BeeGFS shaking leaders positions confirming once again the power of open source and communities behind, the roles of Asian players in the HPC performance race and of course the cloud with NAS and HPC offerings. Just for the HPC side, on AWS are listed AWS FSx for Lustre strengthened with the acquisition of KMesh and external products like DDN, IBM Spectrum Scale, WekaIO, BeeGFS or OrangeFS. On GCP, Google offers and recommends DDN and Quobyte is present. On Azure, there is DDN and BeeGFS.

But at a macro level, HPC landscape has evolving recently illustrated by 2 moves, the first towards commercial HPC essentially to expand business footprint and installed base and the second with AI that really serves as a new area of growth that legitimates the HPC storage approach. We implicitly include here vendors and products such Panasas, WekaIO, some related to open source Lustre with DDN and HPE/Cray, or even ones based on BeeGFS, and also of course some integrated with IBM Spectrum Scale (formerly GPFS).

In fact, this AI new fast growing domain is not limited to HPC storage and we can list some high-end NAS products, also very active in that space, such Dell EMC, NetApp, Pure Storage, Qumulo or Vast Data. AI for storage introduces a new level of stress with some similarities with HPC like bandwidth needs, mixed file access and size but radical model being read intensive. AI is definitely the new battlefield for file storage.

July 22, 2020

IMT launches SoDA

Integrated Media Technologies, aka IMT, well known in the media & entertainment industry, starts a new company iteration with the expansion of it software business.

At the same time, the firm unveils its first software product named SoDA. This product is a data mover targeting unstructured data transfers to and from public clouds. As of today SoDA supports AWS S3 and any source with NFS, SMB and on-prem S3. The product can be used also for on-prem migration between NAS.

As a software solution, IMT picks 2 deployments models with a virtual appliance and 2 physical appliances. These 2 hardware models are available today in 1U with model S100 and 3 x 1U for model S300. More information is available on cloudsoda.io.

The pricing model is based on a monthly subscription with a minimum of 12 months whatever is the volume managed.

We see already several products in that category and I invite the reader to check a few articles I wrote about this especially this one published in StorageNewsletter.

With more than 800 customers, IMT is ready to add SoDA to its installed base, real up-sell opportunities.

July 17, 2020

Qumulo confirms its unicorn status

Qumulo, a leader in file storage, continues its market conquest at a rapid pace. The firm just announced a new VC round - Series E - of $125M at a valuation of more than $1.2B thus confirming its unicorn status.

Coldago Research has published its new bi-annual study end of June and obviously Qumulo belongs to it for a few editions already.

The total raided is impressive at $351M coming from past investors Highland Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Kleiner Perkins and new investors like Amity Ventures.

It confirms once again a real battle between Pure Storage with FlashBlade, VAST Data, Dell EMC with PowerScale and Weka.IO.