September 28, 2017

Rubrik adds serious Azure support

Rubrik (www.rubrik.com), leader of the new data protection generation, recently announced Alta 4.1, just 3 months after the major 4.0 release.

The major announcement is the extension with the support for Microsoft applications and Azure Stack with CloudOn for Azure. It also adds Google Cloud Platform with various cloud storage flavor (Nearline, Coldline, Multi-Regional and Regional) and the Commercial Cloud Services from AWS such the Glacier Vault Lock, the WORM capability from AWS.

Really interesting that many vendors adds Azure in their multi-cloud strategy, 2017 will be for sure the Azure year.

And a final gift when Kevin Durant signed my kid's jersey during VMworld US, thank you John, huge souvenir.

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September 21, 2017

ProphetStor finally recruits its last European VP

ProphetStor Data Services (www.prophetstor.com), an emerging player in Software-Defined Storage, is now operating in EMEA with a strong team.

I announced here before the summer its new EMEA operations structure led by Guillaume Imberti as the new VP/GM for the European region. At that time, we noticed that the team was almost complete with Guy Berlo, VP sales central EMEA, Thomas Barrett, VP sales north EMEA but clearly the seat was empty for south Europe. It’s filled now with the addition of Anne-Marie Renaudie who will be the VP sales south EMEA, coming from HPE as EMEA BURA Pursuit team, before at FalconStor leading the French business and previously at Veritas.

I also revealed in July that the EMEA finance director is Franck Tubiana. An other indicator that the dream team that exceled at FalconStor is back on business as a team.
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September 20, 2017

Infinidat gave us more details on Cloud offering

Infinidat (www.infinidat.com), leader in hybrid storage, has made last week a new iteration revealing to the world their next development around cloud.

Following recent VMworld US conference, I wrote a post indicating that Infinidat is preparing something around cloud storage offerings. Gregory Touretsky, Senior Director, Product Management at Infinidat, wrote a company blogpost last April about what Infinidat called Cloud-Adjacent Storage. It gave some interesting potential directions with an Infinidat system deployed at a colo facility and connected to Microsoft Azure and AWS respectively with Direct Connect and ExpressRoute. The Infinidat systems was configured with 2 protocols: iSCSI and NFS accessible from Azure and AWS. There is also a YouTube demo about Multi-Cloud Storage for MySQL connected to AWS and Azure. The recent SNIA Storage Developer Conference, last week in Santa Clara, was an opportunity to understand more details as G. Touretsky gave a presentation titled "Breaking the Cloud Storage Chains".

We notice more services – shared file system, cross-cloud DB and snapshots – around Infinidat’s cloud approach and the presence of Google Cloud in addition of AWS and Azure. The slides show that the company is able to support single region/multiple availability zones, multiple regions and of course multiple clouds. We expect to receive more info soon as the Infinidat announcement should occur in Q1 2018.
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September 18, 2017

SNIA Storage Developer Conference 2017 Recap

The SNIA Storage Developer Conference 2017 (SDC), an annual rendez-vous, was as usual a gold mine for new storage technical state of the art and R&D directions.

The SDC offers a pretty unique rich format: technical sessions, plugfests, birds of feather, informal talks during lunch, exchange with exhibitors, keynote… Last week took place in Santa Clara the 18th edition grouping together about four hundreds people coming from various horizons on the planet.

The SDC is not a commercial event so the number of exhibitors is not significant but is part of the business model to help the event exists. Globally the program shows more than 100 sessions with approx. 95 vendors sessions, 5 tutorials and 3 end-users presentations.

It was also the 20th anniversary of the SNIA as the original plan started in 1997 in Colorado, I hope some industry folks remember the genesis of the independent industry effort promoted and pushed by a few companies.

Among the various topics covered, real hot ones were NVMe and related NVMe over Fabrics, Persistent Memory, Cloud and Software-Defined Storage, finally pretty consistent with the market hopefully. But we also notice in the agenda some famous absences like object storage or NFS, I remember that several years in a row Cleversafe was really present with talks.

In parallel, three plugfests took places – SMB3, Cloud Interoperability and SMI-Lab – and for several years SMB3 was a great success. Swordfish, the scalable storage management framework promoted by SNIA, was pretty well covered with at least 7 dedicated sessions.

Some companies have made great push during the conference, Intel, the only platinum sponsor, has 15 sessions, Microsoft 9 and Dell EMC 7 to list the top 3. But at the same time some absences: Seagate didn't present any talk at all.

The SDC is also the place where you can meet and discuss with some visible influencers and this year Sage Weil, father of Ceph and now principal architect for Ceph at Red Hat, gave a keynote about XFS replacement by BlueStore in Ceph, we also talked with Liran Zvibel, Co-Founder and CTO at WekaIO, here for the SMB plugfest, Umesh Maheshwari, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at former Nimble Storage now Fellow at HPE, Tom Lyon, Founder and Chief Scientist at DriveScale, Chris Farey, CTO StorMagic, Phil White CTO ScaleComputing or Evan Powell who now leads CloudByte/OpenEBS.

Finally, if you wish to access the content, we invite you to check the presentations now available online.
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September 15, 2017

MemoScale got venture funding

MemoScale (www.memoscale.com), the Norwegian software company that develops and promotes commercial erasure coding, has raised an undisclosed amount of money a few months ago from Alliance Ventures.

The company develops a pretty efficient erasure coding library that complements open source solutions such OpenStack Swift, Ceph or Hadoop.

And this is a paradox as the firm sells a commercial software that appears as a feature for products that are open source, pretty tough mission to persuade users to acquire such data protection layer that appears as a nice to have. This is a recurrent debate when you develop such data services that are finally a feature and not a product. Per haps a good idea would be to reformat the product and deliver a Community Edition, free of charge, limited but aligned with open source product they target, and an Enterprise Edition with the full features list. The other go to market strategy could be the oem path with several good potential partners on the planet having clear lack in that domain.

We understand that MemoScale has some oem agreements pending.
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September 11, 2017

Infinidat prepares a new release

Infinidat (www.infinidat.com), leader in hybrid storage, prepares to make its seasonal announcement with 4.0 its next major release.

Expecting for a few quarters now, the company will deliver a synchronous replication mode to support very demanding environments that don't tolerate any data loss. This capability is critical for some vertical use cases such financial services, telecommunications or healthcare, three segments addressed by Infinidat with many successes.

There will be also some new flavors of iSCSI, NFS and QoS. And Infinidat prepares a Cloud offering to be launched in Q1 2018 and we’ll get more details in the next few weeks.

With Nimble Storage acquired by HPE last April and recent announcement about Tegile being acquired by Western Digital, Infinidat is the last significant hybrid storage array vendors still independent even if the two others have made some interesting all-flash additions.
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July 18, 2017

And now Rubrik recruits a CMO to accelerate

Rubrik (www.rubrik.com), the new generation data protection company, just announced the recruitment of its new CMO, in fact the company didn't have one so far. Bipul Sinha and other executives have selected Kara Wilson coming from FireEye, Okta, SP Cloud, SuccessFactors, Cisco Systems, Network General and PeopleSoft. Good senior executives for Rubrik even if the storage experience is totally absent of her background, let's present this fact as an advantage bringing new blood to the team. We had the opportunity to meet again Rubrik last June with the IT Press Tour and understood the strategy to accelerate the market penetration even more stronger. The company was also listed on the Storage Unicorn list published by Condor Consulting Group. Next months will be interesting to see for sure.
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July 13, 2017

Aptare, Insights for IT environments

Aptare (www.aptare.com), leader in IT monitoring and reporting, was a good surprise during the recent IT Press Tour. We have the chance to visit and meet a player not so visible on the market but with a very comprehensive solution for managing IT environments.

Founded in 1993 by Rick Clark, still CEO and President, the company, based in Campbell in California, was founded on private funds and finally never raised any venture money. Profitable, the company has controlled its destiny since the beginning and today manages several exabytes of data for over 1000 clients on the planet.

Rick Clark, CEO, illustrating the value of One Central Console
Aptare StorageConsole, now in version 10, can control, manage and monitor via one console various IT environments - on-premise or cloud -, server- or vm-based operations, for many operating systems, file systems, volumes managers, storage and network device and data protection tools such backup or replication. All these capabilities makes Aptare pretty unique on the market with no real competitor globally even if for some portion of the function, some solutions try to compete. Centrally managed via a very comprehensive console, the philosophy of the product relies on an agentless approach to collect all data in a central repository based on Oracle DB.


In fact, Aptare made several tentative with other DB engines but never found the right one able to storage huge amount of data, tables and records and be able to be significantly fast. It was a decision made several years as we understand that the market has made great progress int hat direction with very-fast DB, NoSQL or not, distributed...

In term of use cases, the product excels in capacity planning and monitoring, risk mitigation, compliance control and participate to the reduction of costs wherever data resides, on-premise or in the cloud. The company has an important installed base in finance, usually good candidate for heterogeneity, where the product is excellent. The second key market segment is the service/SaaS providers where mixed generation, model and brands are very frequent as well. Aptare have chosen a pure indirect model to maximize the effort and also developed some oem relationships like the one with Hitachi. With the latter, StorageConsole is named Hitachi Storage Viewer.

You can find the entire presentation used during the event to go beyond this post. IT was a great session with plenty of information and good interaction.

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July 10, 2017

StrongLink, a universal data tiering solution

StrongBox Data Solutions (www.strongboxdata.com), an alternative player for data management, has presented an interesting session during the last IT Press Tour. We had the chance to meet David Cerf, CEO and founder of the company, at the FujiFilm Innovation Hub in Santa Clara.

David Cerf, CEO, promoting actively StrongLink
The company came from Crossroads with a transaction made in April 2016 and historically it sells the StrongBox LTFS NAS Appliance. Strongbox Data Solutions belongs to Partner One Capital. We'll write soon about the NAS archiving solution so let's focus for this post on StrongLink.

Since the beginning, StrongBox has focused on some vertical use cases such M&E, government and public sector, HPC & geospatial, research institutions or medical.

StrongBox has decided to build and design a very comprehensive product able to be the storage and data unificator across independent storage brands, models and product generations playing in that case a horizontal role thanks to the data that serves as the glue between silos and devices. The product fits in 2 categories at the same time, it's about Data Management but also Storage Management, and invite uses to continue with their current environments and devices, build strong data protection policies and reduce costs of the storage infrastructure. StrongLink is defined as a Cognitive Data Management product to optimize cost, data usage and maximize productivity from the same environment.

In term of features, StrongLink offers:
  • In-place non-disruptive deployment especially for current storage devices,
  • Data classification and indexing,
  • Smart versioning of all data and metadata,
  • Strong data integrity checks,
  • Smart pools to form logical groups of storage managed via just a metadata tag and for ease of management with policies attached to them,
  • Data mobility across any devices and locations,
  • Data protection extension with additional copies if needed at various locations and units,
  • Search and Orchestration for any storage and any data, I still have some doubt about databases integration,
  • Unification of Data and Storage management with original access methods maintained such NFS, SMB, S3 or Swift for instance,
StrongLink plays the role of a Data Virtualization layer and offers a a web console to manage globally the environment.


Three architecture models are possible: Star with only 1 StrongLink node deployed out-of-band, Constellation aka cluster of nodes with a minimum of 3 nodes and Galaxy as a mixed of Constellation and/or Star and several of them. StrongLink offers a very flexible console available on tablet, smartphone or any web-based environment.

In term of licensing, 2 models are possible: perpetual or subscription license model based on number of concurrent users.

StrongLink clearly deserves a look and try as it's probably one of the most comprehensive and open solution on the market, they just need to improve visibility and sign more business partners.

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July 6, 2017

Towards a unified SDS with ProphetStor

ProphetStor Data Services (www.prophetstor.com), emerging leader in data and storage orchestration, is now ready to accelerate thanks to a recent new VC round. The company has recently raised $25M at a $150M post-money valuation.

In addition, Eric Chen, CEO and founder of te company, has recruited Guillaume Imberti as EVP/GM EMEA who also recruited his own team to start the european operations. Everything is ready to accelerate market penetration and channel recruitments. This new european team was present during the meeting with at ProphetStor HQ in Milpitas with the IT Press Tour end of June. We already covered that 2 times, on StorageNewsletter and on the FST blog.

The company was founded in 2012 by former FalconStor executives - Eric Chen, CEO and Walter Curti, CTO - and Sunny Siu, President and it explains the impressive track record of the management team with already large presence in Asia Pac and EMEA for a few weeks. Interesting Tab Lebeck is an advisor board member working himself on his own startup project.

Eric Chen, CEO, and Walter Curti, CTO
The company believes in Software to target the SDDC market and has developed a pretty comprehensive portfolio to provide Intelligence, Modernization, Automation and Orchestration. Four products exist: Federator, StellarFlash, DR Prophet and DiskProphet.

ProphetStor has started 2 initiatives: Datacenter.ai and Smart Data Fabric. The first idea is to leverage analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to define a new data center and the second is bout smart, unified and programmable data services to support their journey towards the SDDC.

The first element, fundamental to ProphetStor strategy, is Federator as the central intelligence and "big controller" of the environment. It integrates data, storage, platform and analytics services to support the Smart Data Fabric initiative.


The second product is StellarFlash available as full flash or hybrid storage appliance with a block interface and StellarFlash FS that exposes file interfaces running a SAN file system or SAN file sharing system.

The third is DRProphet is about Disaster Recovery used by Toshiba in South East Asia and Foxconn and the fourth, Disk Prophet, offers smart analytics for disk farms already deployed at Cisco MetaCloud.
We'll follow carefully ProphetStor in the next few months as everything is in place to grow their market footprint.

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