February 13, 2018

Fantastic program for the IT Press Tour #26

The IT Press Tour, the leading press event for IT press, just unveiled the list of participating companies for the 26th tour scheduled the week of 26th of February.

We recognize a few companies we already met in the past but also several new ones who drive some new IT segments.

Topics will be around big data, analytics, databases, data preparation, cataloging and insights, applications monitoring and performance management, in-memory computing, continuous development and GDPR soon in place in Europe.

Here is the list:
  1. Aerospike, leader in high performance NoSQL database,
  2. Alation, reference in data driven analytics for enterprises,
  3. Anaplan, pioneer in corporate planning management,
  4. Datadog, key player in modern applications monitoring and performance management,
  5. Frame, a leading secure cloud workspace platform,
  6. GridGain Systems, In-memory computing platform leader built on Apache® Ignite™,
  7. Harness.io, new player in Continuous Delivery-as-a-Service,
  8. MapD Technologies, top vendor in GPU-based database,
  9. and Waterline Data, fast growing actor in data discovering and cataloging.
This edition will be again huge with a dense program and top innovators. I invite you to follow us with @ITPressTour, #ITPT, various publications and reporters Twitter handles.


January 30, 2018

New round for Igneous

Object storage is hot, I should say S3 storage and Igneous Systems, one of the recent player, just raised a B round with $15 million of fresh money from existing investors associated with Vulcan Capital and Orca Bay Capital. The total - Seed + A +B rounds - reaches now $41.6 million.

The company promotes now a hybrid cloud storage model with backup and archiving use cases for unstructured data. It's a real change from last year story as the unique characteristics are no longer mentioned. Now the story is about on-prem secondary storage with second data copy on top 3 cloud service providers AWS, GCP or Azure. Perfectly against other players or even new data protection guys like Cohesity or Rubrik. What is true is the size of the opportunity.

With this round Stephen Mullaney, past CEO of Nicira at the time the IT Press Tour met the team in March 2012 before the VMware acquisition, joins the board of directors.

We expect Igneous to continue innovate and play a different game as the company confirmed its move to the pack with dozens of others. Again 2018 will be interesting.

January 25, 2018

Quantum has a new CEO

Quantum (NYSE:QTM) has announced recently the arrival of a new President and CEO, Patrick Dennis, coming from Guidance Software.

He was President, CEO and director at Guidance since 2015 where he concluded the acquisition by OpenText in September 2017 for a price around $222 million according to the acquirer. Before he was SVP and COO of EMC Cloud Management Division for 2 years, 1 year at Oracle as Group VP for North American Storage Sales and previously at EMC again and Eastman Kodak.

How this sign could be interpreted as Patrick Dennis has worked in M&A and most recently finalized an exit. Is it the future of Quantum or a revival of the company as a string leader of secondary storage with so many interesting products. At least we can expect some internal changes to shake the palm and give clear positive indicators to the market and industry.

January 8, 2018

Igneous targets data protection use cases

Second meeting with Igneous Systems at NEA in Menlo Park during the last IT Press Tour in December, Kiran Bhageshpur, CEO and founder, gave us an interesting company and product update.

We learnt last year in 2016 the nature of the solution with the nano server approach, finally a hard drive associated with a Marvell-based cpu board. It was pretty new surfing on similar ideas like the Kinetic drives initiated by Seagate. The positioning introduced at that time was to deploy on-premise cloud storage – built by an object storage philosophy – available potentially for multiple usages.

The last meeting was a bit a surprise as all the press group realized that the company has made some changes in the messaging. We didn't hear anything about the object storage design i.e nano server, Ethernet drives… or even the chassis design and architecture. I invite the reader to check 3 previous posts I wrote in January 2017, October and April 2016 that give more details on the product. Kiran even shared with us the information that Igneous has licensed the technology to a French open source object storage. Wow I’m surprised again as there is no such serious initiative in France in that category, just a local toy.

The use cases chosen were super limited, we had the feeling that the company has reduced the scope of the solution to finally land on a small field but much more precise. Clearly the firm chose the secondary storage positioning, dedicated to data protection with backup, archiving or even DR for file storage. Igneous recently announced an integration with Datos IO, the market leader in NoSQL data protection.

The solution targets clearly usual suspects in file storage such NetApp, Isilon considered as clear leaders in term deployment numbers but also for Pure Storage FlashBlade. Igneous presents such mode as-a-service with some interesting features and properties: auto-discovery, search and easy restore across tiers, analytics, replication between boxes, versioning, WORM capabilities, multi-threaded processes to boost transfer and reduce latency with dynamic throttling. Some test made demonstrate 300 threads for 20ms latency for NetApp and 200 threads for 40ms latency for Isilon. We regret to not see yet an integration for tiering with fpolicy for instance on NetApp.

Kiran insisted a bit on the cloud native architecture and the container-based microservices philosophy of the solution. He also mentioned DEEPR, Igneous’ erasure coding with prioritized repair.

Once again, object storage ambition is reduced, I should say it realizes its own limitations and the market pressure. At the end, it plays in its corner, in the comfort zone where it excels, secondary storage for capacity and long-term preservation play. Some other vendors have made the experience of bad positioning with over promising features that they finally highly paid with uninstalls and replacements, it's clear in 2017 and players who stayed in that zone are the winners.

The session was pretty good even if we were surprised by the angle chosen. We’ll follow closely Igneous in 2018 to see how the solution will resonate on the market.


January 5, 2018

Datos IO ready for a huge FY2018

Started with the mission to address the new emerging challenge to protect data present with distributed databases such NoSQL ones like Cassandra, MongoDB or Hadoop, Datos IO shows a very rapid growth supporting by a pretty unique approach.

The company successfully attracted new executives with new investors plus NetApp and Cisco investors and doubled its installed base and its employees number in 2017 for 2PB of managed data. Last December, the IT Press Tour crew had the privilege for a second time to meet the team and visit the new office in San Jose. Following our visit in December 2016, the company gained an incredible visibility that boosted his business in 2017 and attracted talent, customers and partners. This is one of the effect of the tour.

The cloud extension of RecoverX reduces infrastructure cost and we notice the support of leading and innovative object storage vendors Cloudian and Igneous. Datos surfs on the modernization of applications now based on a distributed philosophy. Even if data are protected by 3-ways replication, such environments require a real data backup model. As the DB becomes elastic and multi-nodes, being able to protect data with a strong consistency mode is a must for such environments. Examples of success span multiple industry:
  • Maxwell Health with MongoDB and AWS,
  • OpenTable with MongoDB on-premises and on Google Cloud Platform (GCP),
  • Home Depot with Cassandra on GCP,
  • Macy's with Cassandra on-premises and GCP again

The last RecoverX 2.5 release really brings on the table new stuff:
  • New advanced recovery with query-able recovery (specific SELECT SQL order to restore some columns and rows), incremental (between 2 specific points) and streaming restore,
  • Security extensions with TLS/SSL, LDAP and Kerberos, the famous triptych,
  • Multi-sites backups with DC-aware mode, backend compaction to name a few.
The solution is elastic in its design and you can deploy in 1, 3 or 5 nodes aligned with the application environment and can scale in both direction.

Future releases should add again a new round of databases and we expect Aerospike, Redis, MarkLogic, MySQL, InfluxDB, Crate.IO, PostgreSQL or Couchbase, the support of the last big cloud service provider Azure in addition to AWS and GCP and a way to federate the management across multiple distributed RecoverX domains.

One last remark, Datos IO has made a classic error mentioning that VERITAS Software offered backup in 1983, for you guys at Datos and others, the company didn't exist at least under that name at that date. In 1983, Tolerant Systems existed as founded in 1982, renamed later Tolerant Software then renamed VERITAS Software in 1989. And it was only about File System and Volume Manager, the company acquired OpenVision Technologies in 1997 and started NetBackup business at that time, 14 yers later. OpenVision was founded in 1993 so I suggest you update the slide 19 of the presentation you shared with us as the argument should be changed.

Anyway, it doesn't change what Datos offers, one of the most advanced data protection solution today. 2018 should be again a new year of rapid and strong growth with a goal to reach $100M by 2022.

December 13, 2017

CloudEndure for live workload agility

CloudEndure, leader in workload migration and disaster recovery, was a superb surprise during the recent IT Press Tour in Israel last October.

Founded in 2012 by several formers executives of Acceloweb, acquired by Limelight Networks in 2011, the company has raised a total of $18 million in 2 rounds, not so high for a pretty dynamic segment.

The company develops a software service to make data and applications resilient and agile across data centers, sites or geos. The team promotes 2 usages for its technology Disaster Recovery and Live Migration.

The solution provides a very comprehensive and efficient data mobility method for applications in any directions from/to physical to/from virtual environments across multiple sites, from/to on-premises to/from cloud such AWS, GCP, Azure and even exotic environments such Oracle Cloud or fuzzy OpenStack. The result is a near-zero RPO and RTO for all applications. The list of supported applications is pretty long and impressive with all famous ERPs, CRMs, DBs, Mail and Documents services, OS, Hypervisors and Linux distributions.

The product relies on an agent-based approach deployed on source machines to capture all data changes. We named this approach a CDP mode offering a block-level automatic asynchronous continuous encrypted replication for a transparent approach to business continuity. The encryption uses the AES-256 algorithm for both in-transit and at-rest. Even with this intrusive method, I mean with the local agent, the data capture is fully transparent without any real impact on production applications.

The engine does not use any snapshot technologies or writes to disk, everything working in memory to make things seamless and is able to process massive copy of thousands of machines in parallel.Remote target machines can be started - failover - at any time with last consistent view of the data to continue the business with very minimal downtime. You can also return to original production configuration - failback - as the replication works in the reverse direction.

I invite you try the solution via this link. Clearly CloudEndure leads the pack in a very dynamic segment with other interesting companies such CloudVelox, Velostrata and Zerto.

December 12, 2017

Campaign Storage shutdowns

Campaign Storage closed its doors and it illustrates again that one success doesn't guarantee others even for famous inventors such Peter Braam, father of Lustre. The web site invites the reader to check the Los Alamos MarFS approach to the original problem addressed by the company.

Founded in March 2016, the company finally lived 18 months. I had the privilege to attend the Massive Storage Systems & Technology 2017 where Peter Braam presented his approach. You can find info in the recap I published in StorageNewsletter in May 2017 and Jean-Jacques Maleval also announced it a few days ago.

The funny thing is that Peter Braam removed completely Campaign Storage from his LinkedIn profile...

November 24, 2017

Datos IO RecoverX 2.5 Brilliant

Datos IO is growing at a rapid pace. We visited the company in December 2016 with The IT Press Tour and we understood that something is happening there.

As of today, the company has doubled its installed base in just 6 months with 50% coming from Fortune500, confirming the need in such customers profiles. But globally it's a challenge for everyone.

The ISV also recruited a new VP of sales, Rick Gouveia, with background in data protection.

The company has taken a new approach to solve a common problem - data protection - for new distributed applications.
First they started to address NoSQL databases then file systems and continue with more classic applications. As Veritas Software was for the data center, the reference in data management, Veeam Software for the virtualization environment protection, clearly Datos IO is the new gem for cloud-based applications. It represents a modern protection for applications. The interest in the company is not reserved to a few people from a special club but to a range of individuals. NetApp and Cisco has made some special investments a few months ago and Suresh Vasudevan, last CEO of Nimble Storage, before the HPE acquisition, joined the board of directors. Cloud service providers are close partners especially AWS, GCP and Oracle Cloud but also companies like Cloudera, Cloudian or Igneous.

The firm has developed CODR (Consistent Orchestrated Distributed Recovery) as a scale-out distributed data management architecture to support modern applications in similar philosophies. And it confirms that RecoverX 2.5 is one of the most advanced data protection platform for applications using database engines like MongoDB, Cassandra, Hadoop, Cloudera or big data file system such HDFS.

This release introduces sub-table recovery, incremental and streaming recovery, local backup of geo-distributed applications with maximum data consistency and various security extensions with TLS/SSL encryption, x509 certificates, LDAP and Kerberos, key elements critical for enterprise adoption.

Next visit in a few days with the 25th edition of The IT Press Tour, will even better as the company has a real market adoption and continues to innovate fast. Superb.

November 23, 2017

No more CTO for Quantum

Quantum (NYSE:QTM) doesn't have a CTO anymore. Bassam Tabbara, CTO of the company for the last three years, put an end date on September 2017, few times before the departure of CEO Jon Gacek.

He started strategic projects for Quantum such Castle and Rook. Based on Ceph and operating on commodity hardware, Rook is a multi-protocol SDS - file, block and object - for cloud native environments running as hyper scale or hyper converged clusters. Rook, accessible on GitHub, is also an open source software released under the Apache 2.0 license.

He came from Symform a company he co-founded in 2007 with Praerit Garg then acquired in 2014 by Quantum. This later has shut down the service in 2016. Symform was a decentralized P2P storage product playing against AetherStore, Aerofs, Blockade, Cloudplan, Kerstor, Ubistorage, Ugloo, Sia.tech, Space Monkey, Storj, Symform, Transporter, Tudzu or Wuala. Like many players Symform moved from generic use cases to a backup one.

Before that, he was at Microsoft as partner architect for more than 12 years.

November 21, 2017

Datos IO recruits its new Sales VP

Datos IO, leader of the new generation of data protection approach, is expanding its sales effort with the recent recruitment of Rick Gouveia as VP of Sales. Rick has a strong data protection background, he came from Druva where he was VP of sales for the west region and stayed there more than 3 years. Before he spent 3 months at ElasticBox and previously a long tenure at Data Domain then EMC. He also appeared at Dell, Cisco and SGI at various product and sales positions.