Elastifile Raises $35M In B Round For Flash-Optimized File, Block, Object Storage

A new storage kid on the block has unveiled the largest IT industry investment round so far this year, with the list of investors including some big, as yet unnamed companies in the server, storage and data center space.

Elastifile, an Israeli startup with U.S. headquarters in San Jose, Calif., that is developing a software-defined storage solution optimized for all-flash storage architectures, on Tuesday said it has closed a B round of funding totaling $35 million.

Strategic investors in the new funding round include six major server, storage and data center vendors, said Allon Cohen, vice president of products and business development. However, Cohen told CRN, he was not yet at liberty to disclose the identities of those six companies.

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Elastifile is developing a distributed file system that works with block, file and object storage and is optimized for all-flash storage solutions, Cohen said.

"In the array world, people thought they could replace hard drives with SSDs to get the benefits of all-flash," he said. "But you need to design from the ground up for all-flash to enjoy the benefits. We're the first to do this with a distributed file system across thousands of nodes, all optimized for flash."

Most software-defined storage offerings deliver connectivity and offer file access based on technology that does not scale, Cohen said. Other solutions were written for a time when the underlying media was hard disk, and not flash, he said.

"We're the first from the ground up with a distributed file system optimized for all-flash storage," he said. "This allows us to scale the solution while bringing the full benefits of flash storage."

Actually, Cohen's description of what Elastifile's technology does is not doing the company justice, said Jamie Shepard, senior vice president for health care and strategy at Dallas-based solution provider Lumenate, who said he has been watching the company for over a year.

While Elastifile claims to be building a file system optimized for flash storage, what it is really doing is offering a QoS, or quality of service, for different types of data running on distributed flash storage nodes, Shepard told CRN.

Other companies, including Scality and Hedvig, are building file systems for block, file and object storage data on flash, Shepard said. The difference is that Elastifile builds a better QoS algorithm to run file and object data.

"Putting object and file data on flash is normally a waste," Shepard said. "Those types of data don't dedupe well, and so you lose the performance benefit of flash. Flash storage is normally better for block storage."

Saying Elastifile is "optimized for flash" is not the right marketing move, Shepard said. "Everybody's optimized for flash," he said. "Elastifile's difference is the built-in QoS to take better advantage of flash so that when data like file and object storage is addresses, the flash is not wasted."