Panzura optimizes its Vizion.ai AI SaaS service with Intel Optane technology

Panzura CSP partners will be the key Go-to-Market for the newly optimized service, which leverages Intel’s new memory technology to produce a 3-5x performance increase.

Patrick Harr, Panzura’s CEO

Enterprise cloud file services vendor Panzura has announced that their Vizion.ai machine learning service has just received a big boost in productivity through its optimization by Intel Optane technology, which includes a 3x improvement in performance.

Vizion.ai is a complement to the company’s flagship offering, Panzura Freedom, which is an intelligent multi-cloud file storage solution.

“At the top level, the vision behind Vizion.ai was to bring ML and AI to the masses,” said Patrick Harr, Panzura’s CEO. “The idea was to be able to make everyone a data scientist without their having to be a propellerhead, by making it dead simple easy to consume AI.”

Vizion.ai is designed to let these companies without AI machine learning expertise build a high-performance search and analytics engine with fast search, fast analytics, machine learning and compliance capabilities, which when integrated with a data source, including the Panzura Freedom file storage, facilitates dynamic data indexing.

“The first phase of the Vizion.ai service was last April, and we initially focused on three key areas,” Harr said. “One was using machine learning to provide IP protection. One was searching across very large metadata sets, and the other was the capability to analyze data. Since that time, we have seen a significant uptick with the service, with over 1500 customers in the free tier, many of whom have converted to being paid customers.”

Since launch, Panzura has worked to add more capabilities to the service, including adding a new hyperconverged storage tier, Vizion Block Object Storage. They now have two Vizion.ai services in their marketplace: Vizion.ai Analytics Service for Files and Vizion.ai Analytics Service for Elasticsearch.

“Vizion.ai can store massive amounts of data at a fraction of the cost while maintaining performance and keeping it searchable,” Harr stated. “It can pull any IoT-based data into the system.”

The new announcement, which leverages Panzura’s strategic partnership with Intel, optimizes Vizion.ai on Intel Optane memory technology.

“This announcement is one the performance optimization features we have added,” Harr said. “Vizion.ai with Optane delivers a 3-5x performance increase.”

The optimization isn’t from an architected integration with Optane, but rather from the way Optane interacts with the Vizion Block Object Storage tier.

“Vizion Block Object Storage takes full advantage of the Optane memory and allows virtual tiering in the caching subsystem and dynamic scale-out across multiple nodes,” Harr said. “It’s this combination that facilitates these performance advantages from Optane out of the box, and which enables us to scale out to handle different workloads and queries.”

The addition of Intel Optane memory to Intel’s second-generation Xeon Scalable processors is a very big deal for Intel, which is currently engaged in a fierce competition in the server market with NVIDIA and a newly-reinvigorated AMD that it has not had to endure previously.

“The partnership with Panzura is part of the Intel Go-to-Market strategy to advance Optane,” Harr stated.

Panzura will drive this business through its channel, particularly its Cloud Service Provider [CSP] partners, with phoenixNAP being used as the reference partner for the announcement.

“Since Vizion.ai is a SaaS service on the AWS platform, our work with CSP partners like phoenixNAP and their 3700 customers is critical,” Harr said. “We are working hand in hand with Intel to work with CSPs and drive Optane into the market. We will also work hand in hand with them to bring it into enterprises like banks.”

Historically, Panzura has gone to market primarily direct, with about 20 per cent of business going through partners, but that has shifted dramatically in recent years. Panzura had 70% of their business go through channel partners in their last fiscal year, and the goal for this year is to be 100% channel led, with their own sales people being disincented to do a deal that doesn’t go through a partner.

“We are fundamentally committed to channels, with CSPs in particularly having become a very important channel for us,” Harr said.

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