StorONE Spring From Stealth, Post Some Serious Numbers

StorONE recently came out of stealth with some impressive numbers. I had the opportunity to have a briefing with Gal Naor and thought I’d share my notes here.

 

Company Background

Gal Naor is the CEO (You might remember him from Storwize), with Raz Gordon the CTO. StorONE is funded by investors such as Seagate and venture capital firms GIZA and JGV, as well as private investors such as Microsoft’s Chairman John Thompson and former President of Sun Microsystems and CEO of Motorola, Edward Zander. They have offices in Israel, New York, Texas and Singapore.

 

The Problem

StoreONE are positioning themselves as the “Core Technology Company” and have focused on a product developed from the ground up. They have more than fifty patents lodged (most already granted). They tell me they’re heavily focused on innovation versus integration. By this they mean that their competitors integrate new features on yesterday’s technologies.

For the last six years we’ve seen some hardware innovation, in that things are just getting faster and fatter.

  • Faster: Drives, DRAM, Networking
  • Greater: Capacity, CPU cores

According to StorONE, High performance, high capacity or features are no longer the challenge. So what is the challenge then? For StorONE, it’s about delivering a product that:

  • Is cost effective; and
  • Delivers features without affecting performance and capacity.

According to them, “Storage is a broken ecosystem”. And it’s hard to do storage right the way we do it now, with the cost of IOs being high and customers struggling with vendor lock-in. Storage software seems to be the chokepoint.

 

What Does StorONE Do?

StorONE is a software play, and their “TRU (Total Resource Utilization) Storage” solution is designed to provide greater functionality on data path. There’s big focus on ease of use. Some of the cooler features of the product include the ability to run:

  • All protocols on the same drives
  • Mix workloads on the same tin; and
  • Unlimited snapshots without performance degradation

StorONE makes the hardware less important. To their way of thinking, the hardware they use is still the same. Drives are still HDDs, SSDs or NVMe. A block is still a block. It’s all commodity. You can run it as a physical or virtual solution.

They offer some neat protection mechanisms, including:

  • Integrated unlimited snapshots per volume – simple to restore, writable and nested. Supporting customized retention, VSS and Consistency Groups
  • Disk redundancy (N+K) per volume – no RAID restrictions – disks or cards. Fast rebuild. Mix and match drives.
  • No extra data copies

The system is designed for persistent integrity, enabling recovery from any hardware issues (by this they mean they don’t use cache). Other design considerations include:

  • Cloud design – manageable from any device (CLI and RESTful API);
  • No minimum capacity requirement – grow without capacity planning;
  • Application templates – minimal human errors; and
  • Proactive support and monitoring.

StorONE tell me their cost per Gigabyte is less than cloud pricing. There’s a subscription based licensing scheme in place.

Package Name Minimum Monthly Payment Including Price per GB Above
A $1500 150TB $0.01
B $6000 1PB $0.006
C $20000 10PB $0.002
D Call StorONE

What would you use it for?

  • High / ultra high IOPS workloads (SSD, NVMe);
  • High capacity / high throughout, high data protection; and
  • TRU Converged solution.

“Reduce storage costs faster than data growth”

 

Thoughts

StorONE are talking some really impressive numbers on minimal hardware. The key, as far as they’re concerned, is that the software is where the magic happens. According to them, you can get pretty good performance out of today’s hardware using just Linux. They key is to make it simple to use, simple to scale and simple to consume. From what I’ve seen in their introduction, they seem to be on their way to achieving that goal. I think it’s worth checking them out, and I’m keen to see how they progress in the marketplace over the next 12 months.