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RStor Emerges From Stealth With Overlay Fabric Enabling Multi-Cloud Deployments

The Cisco-backed startup, which is partnering with Equinix, spans clouds with high-bandwidth connectivity and can unlock supercomputing facilities for enterprise customers.

RStor, a Silicon Valley-based startup backed by Cisco Systems and led by a roster of experts in high-performance computing, enterprise IT and hyper-scale infrastructure, emerged from stealth last week looking to enable a true multi-cloud experience.

Giovanni Coglitore, RStor's founder and CEO, told CRN his company has developed an overlay fabric that spans on-premises and co-located environments, public clouds and specialized computing facilities to seamlessly connect infrastructure across vendors and geographies.

"We like to think of ourselves as sitting above the cloud," Coglitore said. The fabric enables enterprises to orchestrate and automate their interactions with cloud providers and even centers for supercomputing that are almost entirely inaccessible to businesses.

[Related: 10 Hot Startups That Raised VC Funding In March]

RStore Multicloud Fabric became available last week through a beta program, with a larger rollout planned for the summer.

The launch came in partnership with data center powerhouse Equinix, which is deploying the technology in some of its IBX facilities in North America and internationally, Coglitore said.

"All Equinix customers have the opportunity to connect into our fabric through cross-connect," he said.

"Customers can decide if they want to move data into the cloud, or keep it in remote repositories and then access compute in cloud."

Equinix is just a start, Coglitore said. RStor plans to extend its solution to all co-location and compute environments.

The fabric deploys a mesh topology that delivers high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity, making possible novel functions like mounting remote file systems.

RStor's fabric also unlocks some of the world's leading computing facilities, giving enterprises access to powerful resources once only the province of the largest research labs and academic institutions.

RStor can broker for its customers use of supercomputers at centers in San Diego, Texas and New Mexico to power jobs like artificial intelligence training and 3-D modeling.

"You can transact with them without having to put your data in, or we can inject you into the facility. It’s a scheme based on choices, delivering the right decision for the task at hand," he said.

To access those restrictive facilities, RStor leverages Singularity, an open-source containerization application created at the U.S. Department of Energy. RStor backed researcher Greg Kurtzer in founding SingularityWare, productizing the technology that gives access to trusted environments in a way virtual machines and Docker containers cannot, he said.

Coglitore previously founded Rackable Systems, a pioneer in the development of hyper-scale infrastructure.

He went on to oversee a data center expansion for Facebook prior to the social networking giant's IPO, where he worked on the design for the Open Compute Project, a technology still used by Facebook.

After leaving Facebook, Coglitore worked as CTO at Sony for two years.

Rounding out his team at RStor are other experts in high-performance and hyper-scale computing that came from companies including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Dropbox and Amazon.

RStor not only makes it possible to access diverse environments, but also uses machine learning to suggest those to best support the performance and cost needs of enterprise workloads.

"We have a robust analytics engine in our orchestration layer that guides our customers to the right vendors with the right compute in hand," Coglitore told CRN.

While the company isn't launching with any formal channel program, "ultimately this is something that's very suitable to resellers and the classic channel," he said. "We are very channel-friendly."

Coglitore said his company is very receptive to conversations with solution providers interested in engaging with the technology it has developed.

The company raised $45 million in a Series A funding round and already has more than 50 employees.

While Cisco led that funding round, RStore's product is entirely hardware-agnostic.

The funding will be used for product development and to build out a partner and customer ecosystem, he said.

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