StorONE partners with Dell on S1-as-a-Service

The new offering, combining StorONE software on Dell servers, costs $999 a month, with everything included, for a 20 TB all-flash array with up to 150,000 IOPS, and includes data protection as well.

Gal Naor, StorOne’s CEO and co-founder

New York-based storage software vendor StorONE, which first came to market in late 2017 looking to disrupt the storage market with ultra-low pricing, has launched S1-as-a-Service [S1aaS], an integration of their S1 storage services with Dell Technologies hardware.

“Our software could always run on any vendor’s hardware,” said Gal Naor, StorOne’s CEO and co-founder. “This is just our first strategic partnership to do that.”

Naor’s first company was StorWIZE, a dedupe vendor that was sold to IBM in 2010 for $140 million. StorONE launched following six years of development, with its secret sauce being the ability to support all storage protocols, all types of disk drives, and all storage services in a single seamless layer at a very low price. S1aaS, the new offering, starts at $999 per month for a 20 TB all-flash array that delivers up to 150,000 IOPS, and also includes data protection.

“Today, customers get a lot of advantages from the cloud, including the ability to  pay per month with no long-term commitment,” Naor said. “This is also what we offer with S1aaS – at $999 per month and no commitment. It’s not $999 per month for five years. There’s no commitment and with 30 days notice, you can return it. It’s just like cloud, except that it’s on-prem. And it’s the best of on prem – a very high performance solution, with 150,000 IOPS, in your own hardware and environment.”

StorOne has sold its software up to now on a variety of server platforms, including Dell EMC, HPE, Lenovo, Supermicro and Quantum.

“This is different though because it is the first offering that we have jointly integrated, and because it is sold as a service,” Naor said. “We will continue to sell on the other platforms, but S1aaS will only be sold through Dell, on Dell PowerEdge servers.”

Asked why StorOne chose to partner with Dell, Naor had a succinct answer.

“Dell was more flexible,” he said.

The companies have already begun to sell the new service, with the integrated backup being a popular feature and DevTest environments being a popular use case.

“In the first deals, the backup was a major use case, because they could backup more enterprise storage with more flexibility,” Naor said. “The most common use case is DevTest, because we are a singular environment for all the storage protocols. The pricing also helps there. We are cheaper than the public cloud and dramatically cheaper compared to on-prem.”

Buying this way makes it much easier for departmental purchases, Naor stressed.

“People are excited because they don’t need to think about it,” he said. “To buy a 20 TB AFA requires approval for a huge amount of money. This is $999, which includes the hardware, the software and the support. A lot of smaller accounts still need high performance and data protection, but they don’t have much budget, so some wind up not getting high performance. This delivers all that.”

StorONE, like StorWIZE before it, has a 100 per cent channel model, and Naor said that S1aaS is popular with partners.

“The channel loves it,” he said. “It’s a dramatically shorter sales cycle. The offering is clear. The value is clear. The differentiation is clear. What we bring to the channel with this is an opportunity to get more accounts.”

Naor also said that S1aaS is a powerful counterargument to the public cloud.

“StorONE is a key element for the channel to be able to compete with the cloud,” he stated. “They can offer the end user the same benefits as the cloud, with no commitments. But storage in the cloud can be compromised by privacy issues and hidden costs, as well as performance in getting above 60,000 IOPS. With this they get the cloud’s ease, including ability to pay by credit card and no commitment, and they get performance as well. It’s a way for the channel to be relevant again with the cloud.”

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