Igneous Systems: Turning On-Premise Storage Management Into A Cloud Service

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Storage technology developer Igneous Systems has come out of stealth with an offering for turning the management of on-premise storage into a low-cost cloud service.

With the new Igneous Data Service, Igneous Systems provides an on-premise storage array that sits behind the customer's firewall to protect the data, said Kiran Bhageshpur, CEO of the Seattle-based vendor.

Monitoring, management and troubleshooting of that data is handled over the cloud by Igneous Systems, freeing customers from those tasks, Bhageshpur told CRN.

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"We're bringing the cloud to the customer's data center," he said. "The infrastructure is installed behind their firewall. We bring in the hardware and install it. Customers don't pay for the hardware."

The Igneous Data Service supports the Amazon S3 standard for cloud-based object storage, Bhageshpur said. "Any developer or third-party application with S3 support can work with our solution," he said.

Pricing for the Igneous Data Service starts at $40,000 per year, which includes 212 TB of capacity. "That's under $200 per Terabyte, or about 1.5 cents per Gigabyte, per month," Bhageshpur said. "Traditional storage solutions cost about $1,000 per Terabyte, while Amazon S3 charges about 3 cents per Gigabyte per month."

Igneous Systems offers a few key differentiators from traditional on-premise storage solutions and the cloud, Bhageshpur said.

The first is that, unlike a public cloud where data is stored remotely and unlike a private cloud where customers have to manage the data, Igneous Data Service keeps the data on-premise but does the management in the cloud. "Data is on-prem in our appliance, but the controller is in the cloud," he said. "This is close to how hyper-scale data centers handle storage."

The second is the Igneous appliance itself. Bhageshpur said traditional storage systems consist of CPUs and a bunch of storage capacity, but that leads to I/O bottlenecks and the need to manually intervene if there is a problem with lots of data.

Instead, the Igneous appliance's 4U enclosure includes 60 disks, each of which has its own ARM processor and Linux software. "So customers have unrestricted Gigabit connectivity to each drive," he said. "If one drive has a problem, there's no replacing it. We just move the data. It costs more to replace the drive."

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