January 4, 2017

Open vStorage, a confidential player

Open vStorage (www.openvstorage.com), alternative emerging player in this fuzzy SDS world, was another good surprise during the last edition of The IT Press Tour in the valley last month. The background of the company is super strong having developed famous products during the past 10 years.
Among them, Qlayer acquired by Sun in 2009, VirtualBox acquired by Oracle in 2008, DataCenter Technologies acquired by Veritas Software in 2005 or more recently Amplidata by HGST (for $310M) now owned by Western Digital. This list just illustrates the ton of innovation and the capability of a team to build leading software. Focused essentially on technology development and less on business development and market presence during the last 7 years, Open vStorage, with 35 people today, targets IT challenges with a new radical storage solution denser, faster, more reliable and more scalable than other block storage solutions around 5 to 10 years ago. The mission was and is really ambitious with the wish to deliver a GeoScale Block Storage with the economy of object storage.

The product named IO Router is an open source software running on commodity servers operating Linux that finally offer the best of the block world - speed and application transparency - and object storage world - distributed, software and low TCO. It has to be seen as a new layer that preserves storage investment - block or object storage back-ends - and finally gives a new life to the existing storage devices and infrastructure.

In addition to that, it exists several key components such OVS Edge that exposes locally the virtual storage entity to the host. The company has developed some key technologies such Arakoon, a distributed KV DB on the Paxos protocol, always consistent, fundamental element for geo distributed topology. The team is also famous for the erasure coding they have developed for Amplidata and here it's used on flash. On 4kB blocks, the IO Router is able to process 75k IOPS per core. The product is super optimized for performance but doesn't sacrifice reliability and availability to do that, it's about super utilization of resources.

The full presentation delivered during the IT Press Tour is available here, I invite you to read it as the product is very very comprehensible. Now the market visibility is a must for them to boost market penetration. Baidu is a customer and they to accelerate sales. The obvious go to market strategy with a so technical product is oem/odm and cloud service providers that can easily integrate the IO Router in front of their storage array and the Edge layer on their distributed servers and also build a resilient distributed storage infrastructure. The OVS solution is really impressive and is probably one of the most comprehensive in its category.

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