The secret sauce of StorONE is software that took six years to engineer, and which produces very low prices by supporting all types of disks, all protocols and storage services in a single layer.
StorONE, a New York-based storage software company with Israeli roots and a strong executive pedigree, has formally launched, pledging to bring disruption to the existing storage market. They are going to market through a system integrator channel.
StorONE’s leadership has done this before. Gal Naor, StorONE’s CEO and co-founder, founded dedupe vendor StorWIZE in 2004, and later sold it to IBM in 2010 for $140 million. Their funding comes from Seagate, several top tier Israeli venture cap companies, and well-known private IT investors such as John Thompson, ex-of Microsoft and Symantec, and Ed Zander from Motorola and Sun. In addition to New York, they also have offices in Dallas, Tel Aviv, and Singapore
“We have invested six years in technology development – from the ground up, and have more than 50 patents already,” Naor said. “Most startups come to market too quickly, using yesterday’s technologies. Real innovation takes more than two years. We solve the storage challenge in a different way.”
The basic premise of StorONE’s TRU (Total Resource Utilization) storage software is that existing storage stacks have become the problem.
“It is no longer a challenge to get high performance or high capacity,” Naor said. “You can get those by adding hardware resources –extra disks or JBODs – because of the advances in drive technology. We believe that it’s a huge challenge to get cost effectiveness, as the price per IOPS and GB today is very expensive. We also believe that it’s also a challenge to get storage features without affecting performance and capacity. Those are the bottlenecks.”
StorONE’s TRU storage software is a multi-purpose solution where all protocols are supported on the same drives, in a single seamless layer. So the same drive is used for HDD, SSD and NVMe disks, and also supports all storage protocols – block, file and object. It means that a customer’s hardware investment will match the rated IOPS, throughput and capacity of the drive regardless of whether the disk type. Citing its own numbers, StorONE says that a single HDD JBOD can provide 5GBps with high capacity utilization, and that a single virtual appliance with low resources can achieve performance comparable to a midrange storage solution with only 4 SSDs.
“No one else is even close to this,” Naor stated. “We also provide the storage services on the same system. We are very good on data protection, and provide integrated unlimited snapshots per volume. There are also no extra data copies.”
TRU storage can be installed as a physical server or virtual appliance.
“It can run on any white label hardware, on any vendor’s hardware, or on any hyper-converged infrastructure ,” Naor said. “It also runs on any hypervisor.”
Naor said that the target market for this is pretty open-ended, although larger organizations obviously have the potential to save more.
“We are not limited to go after a specific market size. Because we are so efficient, we can go after many potential markets.”
StorWIZE had a 100 per cent channel model, and StorONE is also channel, although focused clearly on integrators.
“We think we have a great story for integrators,” Naor stressed. “We have no proprietary restrictions, so they can use any hardware they like. We provide storage at a very low cost – less than .01 GB, because our software is so efficient. This lets them take on more expensive alternatives like all-flash arrays and HCI and win. It also cuts down on their training and support, because regardless of the customer size and deployment there is just one software solution they need to train their people on. We also fit broadly in different environments, so they can go after more accounts.”
TRU Storage is likely to appeal most to partners who gravitate to new technologies in order to offer a differentiated solution to customers. Naor said that their solution can be highly complementary to others.
“It’s easy to work with us,” he said. “We provide the same services as other vendors, and can work well with them because we support all protocols and have no proprietary hardware.”
On the other hand, other storage vendors may not be as enthusiastic about collaborating with StorONE, since its value proposition is based on being able to offer enterprise grade functionality for a lot less.
Pricing for TRU Storage is based on physical storage consumption through subscription licensing. The price per GB for a 150TB installation is as low as $0.01. Larger installations of petabytes drop well below a penny, to the $0.002 range. StorONE offers an Early Adopters Program, and on-site hardware of one petabyte is provided for free.