Caringo FileFly converges file systems and primary storage with object storage

The result is a highly scalable file solution with high performance, which Caringo says is a complete packaged solution that will be easy for the channel to sell.

Adrian Herrera Caringo 300

Adrian Herrera, Caringo’s VP of Marketing

Today, Austin-based Caringo is introducing FileFly for Swarm, a new offering which converges Caringo’s Swarm object storage software seamlessly with NetApp and Windows file servers, to add much greater scalability to file servers.

Caringo was founded in 2005, and is now in the seventh version of its software-defined unified object storage platform.

“This is field-hardened, used by organizations from to the Department of Defense, and has been deployed for over five years,” said Adrian Herrera, Caringo’s VP of Marketing. “We make pure unified storage with multiple protocol interfaces, and have always just made storage software. We don’t have a file system, don’t have a data base, and are focused on eliminating complexity. We are profitable, but recently raised an additional round of funding because the market is taking off and we need to be able to compete effectively.”

The Swarm object storage platform was originally called CAStor, and was renamed in 2014.

“It actually moved beyond content addressable storage in 2010, but we finally rebranded it because of a significant architectural enhancement change which saw a big performance jump – a 70 per cent increase in performance,” Herrera said. “The file component comes from an updating of CFS, a file system interface for CAStor.

“This is file and block storage that we started in 2008,” Herrera said. “It was based on Samba, and was never meant to be a filer replacement. Linux administrator skills were required.”

The new offering, FileFly, is a pure Windows app with no Linux skills required. It leverages Swarm by letting administrators set file- and directory-level policies to automatically move file data there from NetApp or Windows file servers.

Herrera said this accomplishes three things.

“The vast majority of data that is accessed less often resides in Swarm, so you always have primary data performance,” he said. “It addresses the scalability, management and cost issues with filers. It also deals with the main issues customers have with object storage – how do they use it, having to develop API, and getting it to perform.”

“Administrators can set policies on any file attributes, and run multiple policies at once,” Herrera said. “We also streamline recovery and backup, consolidate all files on Swarm and bring them into the cloud age where you can search and analyze via metadata. It eliminates the storage silo issue. This also doesn’t rely on RAID to recover large data sets.”

Another bonus is that it removed the need for painful filer forklift upgrades and complex integrations.

“You don’t have to rip out your NetApp filer. You can keep your filers because we optimize them and consolidate all data in one infinitely scalable storage platform on the back end that you can analyze and search.”

Cloud, active archive, Big Data and tiered storage are the main uses

“This lets you store information for a long time and keep it accessible,” Herrera said. “If you are a content producer, you don’t want to throw away content. You want to keep information for decades if you can continue to monetize it. This lets you do that by storing content efficiently, effectively and automatically.”

Herrera said several things make this is an ideal channel solution.

“From a channel perspective, it is a complete packaged solution,” he said. “The storage software can run on any commodity hardware so it doesn’t matter what hardware vendor the partner works with, which is perfect for the channel.

“This also isn’t an API play like most object storage solutions,” Herrera added. “It’s a complete solution, that’s easy to sell. The $USD 34,995 list package for partners includes all the software and a year’s support, maintenance and training – everything but the hardware.

Herrera said Caringo presently has between 10 and 20 partners worldwide.

“We will make a hard push in the channel with this solution,” he said. “We are going after specific partners to move this to market.”

Finally while the FileFly has an air of familiarity about it, it has nothing to do with Caringo or any storage vendor.

“The brand is from ancient social media, and it was allowed to lapse, and we picked it up,” Herrera said.