ElastiFile emphasizes ability to control costs in public cloud with 3.0 release

ElastiFile 3.0 introduces ClearTier, which facilitates the creation of an integrated file/object namespace, and greatly lowers costs by allowing file systems to be stored in object.

Elastifile, which makes a scale-out, flash-native distributed file system that unifies data within a single global namespace to deliver hyperscale efficiency, has announced Version 3.0 of their software. It introduces their new ClearTier functionality, which blends the functionality of file storage with the low costs of object storage, to provide extremely low NAS storage in the public cloud, for as little as three cents per GB per month.

Elastifile initially positioned their data management platform at both the hybrid cloud and the public cloud, but market trends have been driving them toward the latter.

“We have always been focused on both cloud and hybrid cloud, but we have been pulled more by customers into cloud, rather than those who want the hybrid cloud story,” said Jerome McFarland, Elastifile’s VP of Marketing. “It’s being driven by people who want to burst workloads in the cloud.”

McFarland highlighted the example of eSilicon, a reference customer that designs semiconductors.

“They need massively scalable resources for simulations because they need bursts of compute at some points of their design cycle,” he said. “They use the public cloud for this semi-conductor bursting. The pull for these types of data management services is dramatically increasing.”

McFarland said that while storage gateway vendors treat the cloud as secondary storage, and cache-based vendors use the cloud as an ephemeral staging area for one-off compute, Elastifile has a fundamentally different approach.

“We leverage the cloud as the primary storage location,” McFarland said.  “The apps access all data locally in cloud from file-based primary storage, making the cloud persistent, enterprise-grade primary storage.”

The secret sauce here is the new ClearTier functionality.

“It makes possible the intelligent integration between file storage and object storage in public clouds, effectively blending the best of both worlds,” McFarland stated. It provides real control over the issue of cost versus performance, because it leverages object storage to expand the file system namespace. Because some of the data will be on less expensive object storage, the cost profile will come down.”

That’s really the key advance here, McFarland stressed.

“It’s all about economics,” he said. “We are giving customers choice so costs can be aligned to meet the needs of the business. ClearTier can drive costs down to as low as 3 cents per GB per month.”

McFarland said that Elastifile has a major advantage over the other types of solutions for this in the market.

“One camp is the in-house solutions from the cloud service providers, which tend to be limited in features and scalability, and which are not, by definition, multi-cloud. The other is the traditional on-prem vendors who have been adapting to cloud, with NetApp, being the outstanding example here. They still have hardware dependencies and legacy architectures that we do not, because we are fully software-defined.”

Elastifile’s on-demand cloud bursting capability already had CloudConnect, and its bidirectional transfer between file and object, even before the introduction of ClearTier.

“We encode data into object storage with Cloud Connect, and the combination of ClearTier and CloudConnect enables very fast tiering,” McFarland said. “We   put metadata into the file system and the file systems immediately begin processing , so you can implement very efficient cloud-bursting workflows.”

ClearTier also has the capability to expand massively the number of file system snapshots

“It leverages the object storage, to show more snapshots in the cost-effective object tier,” McFarland said.

Elastifile is available now on Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services , and bare metal on-premises environments. Microsoft Azure availability is scheduled soon.