StorageOS, the First Agile Storage Platform

StorageOS Delivers the First Agile Storage Platform. The founders explain the origin of the company and the idea.

February 22, 2016

Chris-BrandonStorageOS Delivers the First Agile Storage Platform. The founders explain the origin of the company and the idea.

By Sébastien Lambotte for ITnation Mag December 2015

The founders of your business have varied backgrounds within the IT field. Can you describe the origin of the company, and explain where the idea came from?

Yes we have different business backgrounds which gives us all the needed ingredients for success. The idea was born from Alex’s frustration at not being able to use commodity storage effectively in the enterprise. Alex, Simon, James, and Chris all worked together at Nomura previously, and Alex also worked with James at Goldman Sachs. Chris worked with Frank at exigo as a partner and solutions architect. Alex began developing his vision of container based storage array that runs on any platform and aligns with business data policy when he left Goldman. He began to tell us about the idea, and we were all very captivated. After short while and a lot of late nights, we have a product that fulfills Alex’s dream and more.

Can you detail the product that StorageOS offers?

StorageOS is as disruptive to the storage array market as Skype is in Telecoms,
or VMware is in the Enterprise Server market. StorageOS is a paradigm shift for Storage with an easy to use, run anywhere, ultra-low entry point storage array that delivers huge cost savings and unparalleled performance. The first use case we have chosen to focus on is the DevOps storage market because that is where the most change is happening and where we add the most value with the fastest sales cycle. As developers release their applications, StorageOS will be embedded in the solution allowing the application to guarantee business data management rules independent of the underling infrastructure.

What are the main customer needs that your product covers? Can you describe the test phase with clients?

StorageOS allows developers, DevOps, and SME customers the ability to deliver secure, high availability, high performance storage on commodity hardware, the cloud, or in hybrid environments. The ultra-low entry point and extreme ease of use means no special expertise is required.

StorageOS can be downloaded for free and can be deployed on any Intel machine, any cloud instance, or a VMware or Docker environment in 15 mins. While StorageOS auto configures to your environment, the user can obviously customize it if they wish; but we gather data on how our customers best use storage so we optimize the configuration for you based on that data. Apply your business rule tags and point a volume at a host, and you are ready to go. We offer 1 TB of free usage for customers to evaluate the agile storage solution.

Once a customer installs StorageOS, they will see immediate cost savings, much easier management, and security where they control the keys. When the testing is complete, the customer buys a monthly subscription to go live. We only charge for presented capacity, so replicas, snap shots, and mirrors are free. Also all replication is encrypted and only requires tokens when you present the storage.

How is your product different from your competitors in the storage sector?

StorageOS is the first all software based Storage Operating System designed from first principals to solve the critical IT business problems that developers, enterprises, and SME’s face today:

• Software only – image that can be installed on any server, VM, Container, or Public Cloud and enables seamless data movement between any environment. StorageOS is not a storage service provider – we provide a software product that allows customers or service providers to build their own secure agile storage platform.
• DevOps focused – API driven to empower developers, sys-admins, and DevOps users to manage and provision their own storage.
• Application Platform – as a native Storage Operating System, StorageOS
is an application platform that allows developers to build and deploy application containers natively on the storage for best performance and efficient data mobility and disaster recovery.
• Enterprise Class – delivers enterprise- class storage functionality to the broader market at an ultra-low entry point.
• On-Demand Pricing – clients only pay for the storage they use with GB/month pricing with a token-based model, that breaks cap-ex and vendor lock-in models for storage procurement.
• Deploy Anywhere – StorageOS was architected and designed from the ground up to be deployed in client data centres as well as the cloud; providing a consistent set of storage features, interface and management toolset between legacy applications in the data centre and the cloud platforms of the future.
• Made Easy – single click installation simplifies storage with auto-discovery
and self-configuration. This enables customers with little storage knowledge
to rapidly deploy and manage storage on commodity hardware. We are developing integrated crowd sourced analytics to allow us to provide recommendations
via an automated customer advisor to help customers quickly choose the right platform.
• Integrated Storage — Integrates seamlessly with VMware, Docker, Openstack, and Cloud.
• Performance – uses an innovative architecture that delivers extreme performance in a tiny footprint allowing customers to get the best performance out of the most cost effective platform.
• Secure – policy based management and secure encryption for data in transit and at rest, local or cloud.

How does the product work? How does the solution integrate into existing systems?

StorageOS can be deployed as an application platform (hyper converged storage platform) that allows customers to install and run containers or virtual machines on the same host as the storage array. This allows applications to use local commodity storage with the fastest possible performance by accessing the disk directly across the backplane of the server. It can do this, while still delivering the enterprise storage functionality of high availability, replication, snapshots, encryption, de-duplication, and tiering. This solution can run locally in your data center, remotely in a cloud instance, or hybrid configurations between cloud providers or between DC and the Cloud.

There are several other use cases for StorageOS:
• Cloud based DR for the SME Market • Shared storage in the cloud
• API driven storage provisioning
• Hardware independent storage replication or migration
• Cost reduction of cloud based storage costs
• Data security

The solution works with all existing hardware that is on the Linux host qualification list. It can be used with existing SAN and local storage, and any cloud platform. The beauty of the solution is anyone can deploy StorageOS quickly and easily, and storage OS manages the data availability and security business rules for you.

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