Cold cuts from Infinidat, Pivot3 and Pavilion Data, plus some dish on ex-Docker boss

Storage mezze to start your week

Roundup In this week's roundup of bite-sized storage snacks: Infinidat has added a second data protection partnership, NVMe-oF startup Pavilion Data has lost one of its two co-founders, a peer-to-peer storage startup nabbed a Docker high-flier, and Pivot3 downsized its HCI product to a slim 1U shelf.

DCIG

This research house has published a short article on NVME flash use.

It says the number of all-flash arrays that support NVMe remains in the minority with only 18 per cent of the 100+ all-flash arrays that DCIG evaluated supporting NVMe connectivity to all back-end SSDs.

Customers wanting to use NVMe need to set realistic expectations as to how much of a performance boost it will provide when deployed. The author, Jerome Wendt, singles out applications with built-in wait times as something customers should be aware of, because they cannot take advantage of NVMe performance.

Infinidat

The high-end array supplier has integrated its arrays with the Veeam Availability Platform data protection software.

It claims its new Infinidat InfiniSnap snapshot integration helps customers of all sizes manage and protect on-premises and cloud-based VMware vSphere workloads.

We're told InfiniSnap provides snapshot technology at petabyte scale that delivers thousands of snapshots with no performance impact, and the Veeam Availability Suite allows for backup from snapshots with little impact on production storage environments.

  • Backup from Storage Snapshots: lowers the impact from backup activities on a VMware environment by retrieving virtual machine data
  • Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots: quickly and efficiently recovers individual items or entire VMs
  • Veeam On-Demand Sandbox: creates complete isolated copies of a production environment in just a few clicks, for fast and easy developing, testing, analysing and troubleshooting
  • Snapshot Orchestration: improves recovery point objectives and mitigates potential data loss by using snapshot-only jobs to create additional, more frequent recovery points in the form of application-consistent or crash-consistent primary storage snapshots

The Infinidat Plug-In for Veeam Backup & Replication was developed using the Veeam Universal Storage API and supports Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3. It is available for download here.

Back in February Infinidat partnered with Commvault "to deliver a single data protection solution to large enterprises for primary and secondary storage uses cases." Infinidat's InfiniSnap is fully integrated with Commvault IntelliSnap technology to support advanced snap management and application consistency data protection, lowering cost for non-production copies.

Turmoil at Pavilion Data Systems

This NVMe over Fabrics array startup, with proprietary hardware technology, has lost a co-founder, VP for hardware engineering Kiran Malwankar, and some members of its hardware engineering team.

Pavilion Data Systems was founded in February 2014 by Kiran Malwankar and gained around $1m in startup funding that year. That was followed by a $15m A-round in 2016, and a $6m second A-round infusion in 2017.

Malwankar was the starting CEO. VR Satish was recruited as CTO in December 2015, coming from Symantec Veritas. Gurpreet Singh became CEO in August 2017, with Malwankar moving to the VP Hardware Engineering position.

We asked Singh about Malwankar's departure and whether Pavilion was becoming a software-only company.

He told us: "It is true that Kiran Malwankar has decided to part with Pavilion Data Systems for personal reasons; we still have a sizeable hardware engineering team and as such we are certainly not becoming a software-only company. Pavilion has always believed and continues to believe that hardware innovation is essential for developing an NVMe array. Our key IP spans hardware and software and in the tight interplay between these two.

"Pavilion is growing rapidly. We are aggressively investing in and building out our go-to-market team and expanding our engineering (software and hardware), supply chain, contract manufacturing and service logistics and operations capabilities. We are also moving into a larger facility next quarter. All of these changes, including personnel changes, are typical in the evolution of a rapidly growing startup company."

Pivot3

Pivot3 has announced its Acuity X3 Series HCI (hyperconverged infrastructure) products. This is a physically small – 1U rackmount – device for SMBs, remote and branch offices (ROBO), edge, and enterprise use cases that require a smaller footprint.

The data services include erasure coding, data protection, data reduction, policy-based management, automated quality of service, and integration with VMware vSphere and vCenter. Pivot3 says it offers guaranteed performance of critical applications.

The X3 system provides the same features as the larger Acuity X5, and both use NVMe flash drives. Pivot3 says the X5 delivers six times the performance of conventional HCI solutions and runs two to three times more virtual machines per HCI node.

The X3 can scale to an 8-node cluster and the X5 goes up to 16 nodes. Both the X5 and X3 are available in hybrid flash/disk configurations.

Download an Acuity HCI datasheet here.

Storj and Ben Golub

Docker and Gluster kingpin Ben Golub is now running a little-known storage startup called Storj, a developer of blockchain-based, open-source, decentralised and distributed peer-to-peer network storage.

Data is stored on users' spare desktop hard drive space and provided as an object storage public cloud repository. The providers of the storage are called "farmers" and there were more than 8,200 of them by February last year. Now their number is in the tens of thousands and they handle more than 60PB of data spread across more than 150,000 of the distributed storage nodes in more than 200 countries.

All file data is encrypted, sharded, erasure coded, and then distributed over 84 nodes, of which more than 42 would have to fail for data to be lost. This makes the data extremely secure and also speeds large file reading as many nodes are involved, operating in parallel.

Customers pay for Storj capacity and bandwidth, using Storj cryptocurrency units, with which farmers are also paid. They can receive dollars instead.

The number of users is in the tens of thousands as well.

Storj co-founder and first CEO, Shawn Wilkinson, is now Storj's chief strategy officer.

Golub was at Docker from 2013 to 2017. According to Wikinson: "[Golub] joined Docker when it was dotCloud, when Docker was a one-week-old open source project. Under Ben, Docker exploded and he led it from an open source project to a team 400 strong, with hundreds of G2000 customers, a broad partner network, nearly $250m in funding, 3,300 contributors, millions of Dockerized apps, and 12 billion downloads."

Golub writes about joining Storj here.

Before Docker, Golub was president and CEO at storage software company Gluster, bought by Red Hat for $136m in 2011. ®

People

In-memory computing supplier Gridgain has named Tim Carley as managing director of EMEA, heading up sales and customer operations across the region. Lalit Ahuja has been named VP of professional services and will lead GridGain's expanding global professional services organisation.

Infinidat has hired Mitch Diodato as director of channel sales for North America. He was previously at Arrow ECS. Also Hanan Altif is its new EMEA Channel Director, coming from VMware.

Storage-as-a-Service supplier Zadara has appointed Tal Rotem as its sales director for South Europe, Middle East & Africa. This is a new position. Rotem comes from Intel and will report directly to Dani Naor, VP International Sales. ®

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