Startup 22dot6 formally launches revolutionary storage architecture

The company’s Valence software is the first product of its Transcendent Abstracted Storage System architecture, and while it is formally launching today, it has been successfully selling for months through a 100% channel strategy.

Diamond Lauffin, 22dot6’s founder and CEO

Today, Storage startup 22dot6 is launching the commercial release of a new multi-tenanted architecture designed to unify all storage resources, regardless of whether they are physical, virtual, on-prem or cloud, and irrespective of platform, protocol or original manufacturer. They are terming it the industry’s first software-defined TASS [Transcendent Abstracted Storage System] architecture. They also say that it will fundamentally reshape the storage industry.

The company’s unusual name underpins its philosophy.

“22.6 is the element on the periodic table that is the densest natural element in the world – Osmium,” said Diamond Lauffin, 22dot6’s founder and CEO. “When Dmitri Mendeleyev invented the periodic table, it had a number of black spaces, where he said that the elements had not been discovered, but which had to exist. He was slammed by the scientific establishment, but the discovery of Osmium, Gallium and these other core elements completely validated the theory.”

Laufflin said this paralleled his own experience.

“In 2001 at Nexsan, I said you could use commodity storage in an enterprise environment, and was attacked by everybody,” he said. “I was soon validated by companies like IDC, and everyone was soon doing it.”

Laufflin said that 22dot6 has the same kind of philosophy.

“We are bringing truth science to storage, which has missed the boat on almost all areas,” he stated. “It’s about bringing true concept of science of storage back into the discussion, not just adding new concepts like erasure code.”

22dot6 manages disparate types of resources through its Valence software, which  creates the unified abstractive layer, allows scale up and scale out, and provides the bridge between virtualization, hardware abstraction, data services and storage accessibility.

With Valence, administrators can manage billions of files and exabytes of data within a true scale up / scale out architecture supporting a general compute HPC cluster of up to 60 data transport / access nodes per physical or virtual location and delivering data accessibility of 600-1200 GB per second within a single global namespace.

“Valence transcends the concept of capacity,” Laufflin said. “You aren’t limited to a volume, a LUN or a device. Valence has complete true perfomance telemetry in it. So if u need 10 GB/s, it will tell you if the environment will support it. We’ve transcended the physics of the box, the network, the switch, globally. One of our goals is to establish a precedent that the industry can aspire to so we empower engineers to design to a correct conclusion. That’s what TASS does. We need to set the bar correctly so the user receives the benefit.

“VMware let you make five servers out a server, but you were still locked to the physical device,” Laufflin continued. “Valance manages data at a sub-file granularity. So you can create a tier that does anything. You could even limit it to a physical device and look like a 1998 RAID system, if you wanted to do that.”

Laufflin noted some other innovative features in the software’s design.

“We’ve been dealing with term ‘backup and restore’ forever,” he said. “Restore means that you are dealing with an antiquated system. We have replaced restore with ‘reacquisition.’ It lets the user define the next logical file, so that if you lose a file it will connect you to the next file transparently, with no restore required  while you transparently connect to the next logical copy of a file regardless of location.”

With Valence, all sites can be considered as an active site, sharing data in real time to any other site, and all sites can act as a primary site depending on the objective.

“We separate the metadata from the physical data so we can put metadata in multiple locations, and on local resource hardware,” Laufflin said. Their “Master File” model with global file awareness provides both transparent disaster prevention and multi-site, active file accessibility.

“Why should I have to recover from a disaster?” Laufflin asked rhetorically. “You can design for prevention if the application allows it, and we do. It allows the user to design a true zero RPO.”

While the formal launch is today, Valence has been being sold for many months.

“We’ve had the tech out with early adopters, as our first install went into production 22 months ago,” Laufflin said. “We have already sold enough Valence to pay for the development, and with a cost of sale under 5%. This is just the commercial release.”

Laufflin said that Valence will deliver value for smaller organizations as well as large ones.

“This product can run on a Microsoft tablet with an Atom processor, so its market extends to the small user equally as well as for the enterprise,” he said. “They will use it differently, but because of my pricing model, they can all afford it.”

That pricing model provides balanced pricing both for use and for capacity.

“There is both a subscription and a perpetual license with years of updates and supports,” he said. “So far, most customers have been buying the perpetual model. Then there is a price for rocket system use and a price for nearline use for tape and offline media. We charge appropriately for both, at a much lower price for the second. Valence also gives the ability as a clustered design to create four access nodes, which can be very low cost for less money, and that has advantages for small businesses as well as the enterprise cloud customer.”

A premium Valence Plus service is also available.

“The regular Valence is typically more regional and for a single cloud, while Valence Plus is multi-cloud and global,” Laufflin said.

The 22dot6 Go-to-Market model, like the model for all of Laufflin’s past companies, has been 100% channel.

“I’ve never sold a deal direct,” he said. “These are lots of alleged channel companies who undermine their partners all the time, both on opportunities and on profit. I have 225 key integrators worldwide who have worked with me for more than 25 years. They employ over 2000 salespeople who personally know me. That’s my market.”