January 24, 2019

RStor for a new cloud approach

We had the opportunity to visit RStor during the recent IT Press Tour as we discovered the company not very visible for the moment. RStor emerged from stealth in May 2018.

The company was founded by Giovanni Coglitore in 2017. Some of you may remember Optical Archive, the previous company founded as well by Giovanni and later acquired by Sony America in 2017. He was at Facebook where he ran labs and the hardware team developing the Open Compute approach. Before he cofounded Rackable Systems known to have acquired Silicon Graphics and then renamed itself SGI as the name was so famous and respected.

The genesis of RStor is the result of the current cloud model in term of price but also due to its lack of flexibility when volumes of data become important. This data gravity is a key aspect of cloud lock-in and not in favor of users clearly. But honestly cloud service providers - the big 3 AWS, GCP and Azure - don't have any desire to change that, the battle is on the first client capture. For one or two years now with these cloud alternatives, users realize they need a cloud agnostic approach or a multi-cloud model including on-premise as well.

As all companies founded by Giovanni, we understand that RStor goal is to shake the cloud landscape once again. And the idea is to offer a new philosophy to users above the cloud with compute, storage and connect capabilities.

In a nutshell, on-premises storage is securely connected to public cloud providers zones avoiding cloud vendor lock-in and investment protection. RStor has worked on 4 critical elements: Containers, Network, Storage and Compute. For the network layer, the company has developed a new connectivity mechanism to provide super fast secure links to AWS, GCP and Azure. They also imagine a radical new data storage service with intelligent data placement key in the distributed environment between on-premises and public cloud providers. All these approaches maintains Giovanni philosophy to use commodity hardware with partnerships with Equinix and CoreSite, two important data centers players. They also leverage new services such Sylabs Singularity to be fully agnostic, light and compatible at every level.

2019 will be interesting as we'll follow closely RStor evolution as they raise the bar for data center expectations and shake "classic" methods. The battle is not over...

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