Sep 18, 2017

AeroFS now a Redbooth product

Air Computing Inc., producer of AeroFS (www.aerofs.com), merged recently with Redbooth. It was announced silently on companies’ blogs with the same post (12) and only Redbooth has published a PR about it. We usually collapse the name of AeroFS and Air Computing to retain only AeroFS, finally the only known and recognized brand.

The new name of the merged company is Redbooth and Yuri Sagalov, co-founder and CEO of AeroFS, is the new CEO of Redbooth, based in Palo Alto, California.

The global idea is pretty simple but ambitious: deliver a leading solution dedicated to Project and Task Management with File-based Collaboration. Surprisingly, AeroFS product is not listed, yet, on Redbooth web site, you still have to go to AeroFS.com, strong name on the market. AeroFS is already under the Redbooth umbrella showing a new logo with the addition of “by Redbooth” below the classic AeroFS image.

Finally, for respective customers, it’s important to understand the future of product from each company:
  • AeroFS and Redbooth will continue to be supported, developed and maintained.
  • Amium will be shut down December 15th, 2017 and various functionalities will be merged and added to Redbooth.
Surprise or not AeroFS is the new victim of the pretty tough business climate for such storage approaches if product is limited to data storage and protection. In fact, it confirms the difficulty for such business to sustain a viable activity if there is no vertical or business integration; almost all “old” players (Kerstor, Ubistorage, Space Monkey, Symform, Transporter, Tudzu, Wuala) got acquired or ceased activity and only recent ones still exist. The only exception is Aetherstore. We’ll see if these new ones will finally reach same destiny in a few quarters, in this category we can list Blockade, Cloudplan, Ugloo, Sia.tech or Storj to name a few.
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Sep 15, 2017

Phazr.IO, Information Dispersal Algorithm For Masses

Phazr.IO (www.phazr.io), develops an Information Dispersal Algorithm (IDA) technology for storage as an advanced method to protect and secure data.

Founded in 2016, the company is based in Los Angeles, CA, and was created by four co-founders, Gary Jin, Dr. Donald Chang, Steve K Chen and Jim Cheung. It has currently 6 people, but only Gary Jin is listed on LinkedIn. The company is currently in a pre-Series A phase and plans to announce the product around Q1 or Q2 2018.

The web site is pretty limited but the team has chosen to demonstrate their capability in IDA with a cloud storage product named PhazrBits, currently in 1.1 release, available on the AppleStore for iOS devices. It works as a multi-cloud aggregation gateway that splits, encodes and distributes data such photos or documents among multiple public cloud storage targets. The product is free and supported cloud storage back-ends are Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and Apple iCloud.

They also started to collaborate with the OpenStack Swift community and pointers exist on openstack.org. Following this phase, the future product will be implemented probably within network adapters or controller boards to provide offload process capabilities. So OEM should be a good go-to-market model.

The IDA approach is a non-systematic erasure code form like the Mojette Transform promoted by Rozo Systems. You can find some entries for the libphazr on GitHub especially with PyEClib or liberasurecode. Phazr.IO is not open source at all, Rozo offers a standard version on GitHub. Tests made by the Phazr.IO team have shown 3x to 10x better than Jerasure and 2x to 3x faster than Intel ISA-L. So we expect a pretty innovative approach. The first use case targets bandwidth environment with video activity, perfect candidate with large files. And we expect to see more iteration soon.
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Aug 21, 2017

Vexata hired Rick Walsworth

Vexata (www.vexata.com), new player in NVMe Flash storage, hired silently and last executive recruited is Rick Walsworth, coming from Formation Data Systems where he drove the Marketing effort. We find also Ashish Gupta, we have met at SpringPath, in the process to be acquired by Cisco for $320M. Vexata will be one of the interesting new sponsors of the 25 edition of The IT Press Tour in December. All the team is looking forward to that session. The company has published recently an interesting paper about IBM SpectrumScale deployed on top of Vexata 100F NVMe Flash array.
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Aug 2, 2017

Primary Data to accelerate market expansion

Primary Data (www.primarydata.com), the leader in parallel file storage, just announced a new financial round of $40M with a $20M Series B round and a $20M line of credit and the official announcement of DataSphere 2.0 as a new major iteration of the flagship metadata technology developed by the firm from Los Altos. I wrote recently 2 posts on StorageNewsletter and on this blog as well. The company continues to expand its product and feature portfolio with DataSphere, DSX, Portal and Cloud Connector. Next quarters will be interesting to see with this new funding and major release. Congratulations to te team.
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Jul 25, 2017

New dimension for Iguazio

Iguazio (www.iguazio.com), leader of the new big data generation with its Continuous Analytics Data Platform, just announced a new round of funding. This series B of $33 million comes from Pitango Venture Capital, Verizon Ventures, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, CME Ventures and previous investors. It means that the company receives so far $48 million perfect to accelerate market penetration and geo expansion. It's interesting to see that Iguazio got investment from actors playing in their market segments so we immediately understand that these investors will play a key role in the market acceleration.

The 3 founders among the 4 of the company
Met last november in Israel with the IT Press Tour, the company has gained market visibility. I invite you to read the interview of Asaf Somekh published a few months ago on StorageNewsletter.
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Jul 17, 2017

The SDS 120 Club

Software-Defined Storage aka SDS is becoming the new Must-Be for the storage industry and if you are not considered in that area, you may suffered from user adoption and market penetration. I invite you to read a long article I wrote recently on StorageNewsletter about the SDS 120 Club grouped in various categories: file, block, object, cis and hci. You can also register to receive the short version of the report.
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Jul 14, 2017

WekaIO, new player for new demanding needs

Weka.IO (www.weka.io), a new file storage player, confirms the need for a new file storage approach. Under stealth mode, the IT Press Tour had the chance and privilege to visit the Weka R&D center in Tel-Aviv last November with several key executives of the company. We realized the potential of the solution that really changes the file storage market landscape. So far, the company has raised 2 VC rounds for a total of $32M and we expect a series C soon to boost development, geo expansion and marketing.

Since that, product development addresses and illustrates vertical business cases such Oil and Gas, Media and Entertainment, Life Sciences and Electronic Design Automation when high IOPS, large bandwidth and low latency are a must. The company positioned itself as a cloud-native scalable file system. It reminds me something when I tried a few years ago to position a product towards a scalable file storage angle. Management refused the market reality and claimed to be a scale-out NAS, the Isilon 2.0, having some difficulties to understand market dynamics and distinctions between utopia, dream and reality. What a joke it was, check today, I was right, just the facts...

Back to Weka, the firm chose to wait some real adoption and strong references by customers to officially appears on the market. As covered several months ago (June 2016 and Nov. 2016), Weka represents a good mix between performance, scalability and cloud economics. It also confirms that object storage is a capacity play even if some players have dreams.

Weka Matrix presents a single namespace from local SSD/Flash drives and considers a S3- or Swift-based secondary storage for cold data. The data evacuated remains accessible through the primary namespace.

Weka already published several performance reports that perfectly shows the growing place of HPC-like file storage within the enterprise. Perfectly executed, the strategy invite them to be on the M&A list of several potential acquirers. We really hope to meet and visit Weka again during a next IT Press Tour before te end of the year. In a similar approach, we invite the reader to watch as well Avere Systems, DDN Storage, Elastifile, Panasas, Primary Data, Qumulo and Rozo Systems that sometimes compete against Weka as well.
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Jul 12, 2017

Avere addresses data divergence in the cloud

Avere Systems (www.averesys.com), leader in NAS acceleration and virtualization for on-premise and cloud environments, recently participated to the 23rd edition of The IT Press Tour. Ron Bianchini, CEO and founder, gave us an interesting update related to the data consistency model the company provides for cloud storage.

Ron Bianchini, CEO, explaining the hybrid cloud benchmark
Founded in 2008, Avere Systems has morphed from a network file virtualization aka NAS optimization for on-premises file storage to a full cloud file storage virtualization whatever data reside. The company promotes a hybrid data model where some data reside locally controlled by a physical FXT and others in the cloud but also a mix model where a virtual FXT runs directly at the cloud service providers sites with again data on-premise or in the cloud as well.

During the session, the company has insisted a lot on the CAP theorem, claiming to be the only one vendor of this caliber to deliver a full data consistency approach for data distributed in the cloud. It was pretty new as Avere never covered that aspect in the past and this behavior is inherent of cloud storage as a distributed architecture. Many object storage implementations behind cloud storage services are eventually consistent and just a few strictly consistent. But NAS users and file-based applications expect a strict consistency behavior with a NAS acceleration such Avere wherever data reside.


Avere continues to explore and maximize customers references in M&E - Pixar is a user of FXT connecting various NAS generation "behind" the accelerator such Qumulo or Isilon - Life Sciences and Finance to name a few.

With almost 10 years old, the company is still independent, remember the rapid acquisition of Spinnaker Networks by NetApp in 2003 just 4 years after its creation. What will be the future for Avere Systems, still one of the solution for NAS acceleration? What is the ambition of Ron Bianchini for the next few years?


The full presentation delivered during the IT Press Tour is available below, spend some time to read it, it contains very interesting information.

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Jul 4, 2017

Komprise to maximize the value of data tiering

Komprise (www.komprise.com), new data management player, has recently participated for the very first time to the IT Press Tour. The company, founded in 2014 by senior executives, Kumar K. Goswami (CEO), Krishna Subramanian (COO), and Mike Peercy (CTO), has raised a total of $18.2M for 2 VC rounds and we find 2 interesting persons as investors: Bill Moore, one of the father of ZFS and co-founder of DSSD, and Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder and CEO of SanDisk and currently CEO of Micron.

The 3 Komprise founders
The mission of Komprise is pretty clear in order to offer a new generation data management solution powered by analytics to reduce data storage infrastructure costs. By data management, we mean here a data tiering solution dedicated to file storage that migrates inactive or cold data to secondary storage such on-premise or cloud-based object storage. We can also associate the idea to be a modern HSM. The company was recognized recently in the SDS 120 Club by Condor Consulting Group and in the Cool Vendor 2017 by Gartner.

We recently interviewed Krishna Subramanian and made this dialog available on StorageNewsletter here.

When the team has designed the product they wished to offer automation at every level, seamless integration and usage, limitless scalability and above all to be simple to deploy and use. Tiering is not new but how Komprise designs and builds its solution is pretty unique. It's of course all about metadata with a transparent data movement capability not based on stubs or other similar techniques. Also there is no need for specific or dedicated appliance, no storage agents as well is necessary and above all no impact on the data path. Nothing changes for the applications as all data appear to be local. One of the key approaches is to use symbolic links to maintain a reference of files on primary storage and make an association with the Komprise engine.


Komprise has chosen a distributed architecture based on Elastic data store across all Observers that constitute a grid. An observer is a Komprise VM, stateless by design, to deploy on some machines that analyze NFS mounts and SMB shares and exchange information with other peers and talk with the central Director for observers' state and configuration. You can loose the director but the environment is not stopped and continue to provide the data hierarchy service. The migration information is directly maintained as a distributed information with Komprise Access Address built on Elastic. It seems that the design chosen is pretty efficient and robust. A technical paper is available here.

To validate the market adoption, the company has selected a few vertical markets such genomics, finance, public sector, engineering, M&E and oil & gas. Komprise has announced a european hannel strategy with the signature of 3 resellers: B-Cloud in Italy, also a Cloudian partner, Itiso in Germany, also a Cloudian partner and interestingly, a Versity partner as well, and SymStor in UK. I invite you to check the presentation delivered during The IT Press Tour below.

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Jun 29, 2017

Primary Data accelerates with DataSphere 2.0

Primary Data (www.primarydata.com), leader in unstructured file storage, has invited the IT Press Tour group a few days ago for a superb session at their HQ in Los Altos. We had the privilege to meet Steve Wozniak who has shared his vision of the market and technology opinions.

Steve Wozniak, Chief Scientist but also the famous industry icon
We realized that Primary Data is now in clear acceleration mode with several uses cases and deployments that illustrate the right direction taken by David Flynn and Lance Smith for a few quarters. The team saw adoption in M&E, Oil and Gas, service providers and EDA.

The company continues to develop and leverage its DataSphere MetaData Engine to address data management challenges with specific intelligent layer and analytics but in 2 words to optimize data placement with its value. We enter here in a new generation of ILM. Several new capabilities were added to the the DataSphere 2.0 preview we had the chance to see and among them:
  • Live data mobility without application interruption,
  • Enhanced data flow between on-prem and cloud environments,
  • Scalable parallel file access, key feature to boost access time for demanding applications,
  • Support of NFS v4.2 with delegations, compound operations and direct data access from clients,
  • Cloud aware integration,
  • Better Windows support with SMB, AD and ACL...
  • and Assimilation of NFS data in-line.
With NFS v4.2, the firm also announced that it represents today the biggest contributor since 2013, since the Tonian acquisition, ahead of Red Hat and Oracle.

Please check the presentation below, it gives you all details of the good session we had with top Primary data exec team. Superb again.

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