Dell adds Scality to partners in software-defined storage portfolio

The addition of Scality to Dell’s software-defined roster is likely to extend its market reach considerably, and partners Dell up with a leading object storage vendor.

Travis Vigil Hi Res 300

Travis Vigil, Executive Director, Product Management, Dell Storage

Dell has announced a new relationship with software-defined storage vendor which will see Scality’s RING petabyte-scale storage software teamed with Dell’s enterprise infrastructure hardware.

Dell’s storage strategy is based around the likelihood that traditional storage arrays like Dell’s SC and PS series will co-exist with the newer technology of software-defined storage. Consequently they are investing heavily in both the traditional and the new approaches to storage, with some of the software-defined solutions coming through partnering with third party vendors like Nutanix, Nexenta, VMware and Cloudera.

“Through this new relationship, Dell will be offering RING software on Dell infrastructure, and Scality will become what we call a Tier One partner for our software-defined storage initiative,” said Travis Vigil, Executive Director, Product Management, Dell Storage. “Scality has industry-leading object storage and is the IDC market leader there. This expands what we’ve been working on with our Blue Thunder software-defined storage strategy over the last 18 months. We will do a lot of solutioning work around it, including best practices.”

All the joint offerings will sell as Dell SKUs. Suggested hardware configurations include the Dell PowerEdge R730xd rack server or a combination of the Dell PowerEdge R630 rack server with Dell Storage MD3060e dense enclosures.

Scality makes petabyte-scale, software-defined storage, and supports file, object, and block protocols in a single storage pool, including persistent block VM storage. Their RING 5.0 software’s performance matches Amazon EBS at 200 IOPS per VM, with bursting capabilities of 3,000 IOPS per VM, and scales out linearly to hundreds of thousands of VMs.

Erwan Menard Scality COO 300

Erwan Menard, Scality’s COO

“Most object storage on the market is talking only object storage, but we also have a scale-out system on top that allows you to address side-related workflow issues,” said Erwan Menard, Scality’s COO. “We’ve seen more and more need for multi-petabyte object storage relationships, and that’s where Scality will focus.”

Menard did emphasize, however, that Scality is selling more downmarket today, than they did when they started out, when they were focused mainly on large enterprises and service providers. They have since developed a substantial presence in companies with massive file sizes and performance requirements in verticals like media and entertainment, and oil and gas.

“Eighteen months ago, we did not have a single media and entertainment customer,” Menard said. “Today, we have a dozen, and we have been expanding this market on our own. We see traction with governments, general enterprise, anyone with a big data. We started with the web giants, then went to service providers, then to large enterprises, and now are also selling to smaller enterprises, but where large amounts of data are generated.”

Scality started out by selling direct to those large customers, but has acquired SI and VAR partners, and has increasingly during the last couple of years sold through the channels of large vendors they work with, which has also included HP and Cisco. The new Dell relationship cements Scality’s strategy as having their vendor partners and their channels be their primary route to market.

“It’s fair to say this is our main go-to-market strategy now, although we do partner with SIs and VARs,” Menard said. “The opportunity with this kind of alliance delivers the same experience but in an even easier procurement experience for the customers. The ability to optimize the configuration with a partner like Dell is critical to sell the end user what they need.”

Menard also noted that the Dell deal formalizes an existing relationship that had been built in the field.

“We have existing customers already who bought Dell hardware and Scality software, and this will give such customers a one stop shop,” he said.

Vigil also noted that Dell’s customers asked the company to conclude such a deal with Scality.

“The new collaboration is a direct result of Dell customer interest in working with Scality, and its multi-petabyte object storage,” he said.

Vigil indicated as well that Dell hopes to be able to sell Scality into markets that Scality previously has not penetrated.

“We are looking at an opportunity to take a technology that had a strong foothold in certain segments, but which can apply to organizations of any size where they need to scale multi-petabytes of storage capacity,” he said. “I anticipate we will sell this in equal parts direct and channel, and we have defined it to be very channel friendly in how we go to market.”

Menard said the agreement guarantees a partner involved in a sale with Dell the same compensation they would get if they had worked with Scality.

“We have structured the agreement in such a way that when Dell sells it indirect, it is fully consistent with what VAR would get if they were dealing with us directly,” he said.