Qumulo announces massively scalable Qumulo File Fabric, and its availability on AWS

Qumulo adds continuous replication technology, cross-cluster monitoring, and AWS cloud support to their scalable file storage system.

Seattle-based file storage vendor Qumulo is making a series of announcements today. At the top of the list is Qumulo File Fabric [QF2], an enhanced version of their core offering, and what they are calling the world’s first universal scale file storage system, with a single file domain that encompasses both the data centre and the public cloud. They are also announcing QF2’s immediate availability on the AWS cloud. In addition, they are also announcing the launch of their new Trends Service, a Web-based service that supplements their cloud monitoring with cross-cluster visibility.

“We are making a number of big announcements,” said Jay Wampold, Qumulo’s VP of Marketing.

Wampold said that the storage industry hasn’t changed all that much in the last fifteen years, since the  last distributed storage system introduced by Isilon almost two decades ago. Qumulo sees themselves as a key player in a new market category – universal scale file storage, which is the logical extension of scale-out NAS.

“Universal scale file storage scales to billions of files, across operating environments into the cloud,” Wampold said.  “Data for years has been stored as safes, but the real value of data is the ability to use it in managed access and collaborate with it globally. Our distributed file system provides the real time visibility and control for this, and scales to the multi-petabyte level.”

“Data needs to move around to achieve its full value,” said Ben Gitenstein, Qumulo’s Senior Director of Product Management. “QF2 is a fabric that connects clusters across the world, on-prem or in the cloud, and provides the best performance of any file product in the world.”

Gitenstein said that many of Qumulo’s customers, like Dreamworks, have over a billion files. They run on industry-standard hardware and use block-based tiering of hot and cold data for flash performance at low cost. Real-time visibility and control provides the ability to see real-time usage, activity and throughput at any level of the unified directory structure, regardless of the number of files. Data sets can be in data centres or the cloud, with full collaboration between them.

The key addition in QF2 is continuous replication technology.

“With QF2, we are adding new cross-cluster continuous replication capabilities, so data can move between any Qumulo clusters, whether on-prem or in the cloud,” Gitenstein stated. QF2 also adds real-time quotas, advanced directory-level snapshots, and real-time visibility into large data sets.

Also new in QF2 is a Qumulo Trends Service.

“This is a universally available Web-based service built on top of our cloud monitoring service,” Gitenstein said. “We have always provided deep visibility inside each cluster. Now we have cross-cluster visibility as well.”

Qumulo Trends Service is part of the core subscription, not an extra add-on.

“If your subscription is up to date, you have access to the service,” Gitenstein said.

Co-incident with the QF2 launch, Qumulo also announced its immediate availability on Amazon Web Services [AWS].

“Customers want to go to cloud for three reasons – to take advantage of elasticity, for the geographic reach, and for the innovation,” Wampold said. “Until now though, users of large-scale files haven’t been able to take advantage of these. Cloud-only solutions don’t have on-prem data connection and lack important enterprise features. Cloud is a big cheap disk drive for legacy storage appliance vendors, but none really give visibility and control into the data footprint in cloud, leading to overprovisioning.”

Support for the Azure and Google clouds are slated to follow.

“Azure and Google have different roles in our portfolio,” Wampold said. “The Google cloud is strong with media and entertainment and life sciences, and with our customers in Canada. Azure has less organic traction, but a lot of enterprise customers have deep relationships with Microsoft. Customers will be easily able to migrate between the different public louds because of the nature of our clusters.” Wampold could state for the record only that the other clouds would be supported “soon.”

The AWS cloud initiative puts QF2 on the public cloud, and also is a key element in Qumulo’s strategic reorientation. Over the last year Qumulo has restructured significantly, with the old CEO moving to the CTO role, and old Isilon hands taking top roles. This included Bill Richter, who came in as CEO last November. This summer, they announced an extremely significant new partnership with HPE, including a validated solution which goes to market through HPE and its channel, with their software being sold on HPE’s high-density Apollo 4200 servers. The deal essentially makes HPE and its channel Qumulo’s channel.

“The HPE relationship is foundational for us,” Wampold said. “All our other vendor relationships are additive to the HPE relationships. We are spotlighting Dreamworks, who became a customer through HPE, but we have significant customer wins beyond Dreamworks. We have great traction already from the HPE relationship.”

The plan is to make their software available on other hardware vendors besides HPE.

“We will expand that portfolio of third-party hardware vendors on which we run, with our channel and sales motions driving those relationships,” Wampold said. “There really aren’t that many other potential relationships, but we will offer customers as much choice as possible.”