Storage vendor StorONE adds a new backup solution, which will be free to current customers, and while it is being touted for its ransomware protection, it has other benefits which significantly lower the cost of backup protection.
Today, storage software vendor StorONE is announcing S1:Backup, as the company moves into the backup space where they will work in harmony with existing software backup vendors. The primary emphasis is as a ransomware defense, by ensuring the immutability of backup data. It also adds selective optimized flash, to improve efficiency, while also using ultra-high density drives to reduce costs.
“Our vision was to come in with a compete backup solution to address all issues around backup,” said Gal Naor, StorONE’s CEO. “The public focus is on ransomware, but we really solve all aspects of the backup. It’s not a point solution. Software backup vendors do a great job but can’t protect modern hardware like we do.”
George Crump, Chief Marketing Officer at StorONE, explained the company’s decision to move into the backup adjacency.
“We have spent the last two and a half years focused on storage consolidation and storage for enterprise workloads, but we still always looked on consolidation as something that isn’t going to happen in most cases,” Crump said. “Customers won’t throw out everything. So we look for wedge use cases to start our relationship with a customer. The use case that kept showing up was backup.”
Crump emphasized that S1:Backup is intended to work with existing backup vendors rather than displace them, and with a focus on four in particular: Veeam, Rubrik, HYCU, and Commvault.
“The efficiency we bring for storage makes us incredibly competitive in the backup price band,” Crump said. “We didn’t add anything to the backup vendors, but we do allow their work to take full form. They aren’t the only four we support, but they are the four that we see the most. We have some Avamar customers, for example. They talked about how they saw the value, and we realized if we did some further optimization, we could help them out. Backup storage has done a good job at detecting ransomware once it goes to storage, but once it is there, the storage needs to protect itself. We wanted to make backup more than an insurance policy.”
Crump explained how their technology works, and what it adds to the backup equation.
“There are three big things we wanted to solve,” he said. “We didn’t want it to be just ransomware or just recovery. We wanted to solve all the pain points. but ransomware is foremost. We took our snapshot capabilities and optimized them for this use case. All the snapshots are immutable and hidden, and are done every 30 seconds. They retain that state, technically indefinitely. So if a ransomware attack happens, the customer recovers the immutable 30 second-old version.”
Another major add was bringing an optimized flash tier to the solution.
“Cost is an issue with backup, because backup cost is 4-5 times the cost of production in most cases,” Crump indicated. “The time is right for some flash – not all flash. An intelligent balance is required, but this flash tier lets software execute more backups more frequently.”
The third issue StorONE addressed is that many customers now want to retain backups longer.
“Some now use it for archiving,” Crump said. “We exploit technology from the hardware side, embracing ultra-high density drives which we run at 90% capacity utilization using less hardware, which reduces footprint and cost. We are at 15 PB drives now, and will be at 50 PB drives in two years, and at 100 PB by the end of the decade. IT pros are high density drive shy, but S1: Backup lets them use the highest density hard disk drives without compromise.”
The key here is that ability to auto-tier between the flash tier and the high capacity hard-disk tier. S1 Backup is optimized to deliver very high IO from eight flash drives – and twelve in some cases – at backup storage pricing. Because they run on standard ISS servers, they can also provide HA at all times. They have broad protocol support, including NFS, SMB, S3, iSCSI, Fibre Channel, and NVMe-oF, plus the ability to add more quickly. In addition, SI:Backup doesn’t require data migration.
“We also let the customer start small and grow, scaling today from 30 TB to 30 PB,” Crump said. “5 PB is the normal start point.”
Finally, current customers get all these benefits immediately.
“This is just an optimized version of our code,” Crump indicated. “It’s being very well received.”