Excelero Technology Pools NVMe In Multiple Servers For High Performance Block Storage

Software-defined storage technology startup Excelero on Wednesday unveiled its NVMesh Server SAN software. The product is designed to pool NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) storage from multiple servers as a high-performance base for serving mission-critical applications.

Excelero wants to offer enterprise data centers the kind of block storage performance used by hyperscaler cloud providers such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google in their public clouds, said Yaniv Romen, chief technology officer of the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor. "We're looking to build the solution for everybody else," Romen told CRN.

Excelero, founded in Israel in 2014, has $17.5 million in funding so far, with David Flynn, founder of Fusion-io, as a lead investor. The company is targeting large data center operators with software featuring the company's patented RDDA, or Remote Direct Drive Access, technology that works as a storage layer across commodity servers with internal NVMe-based storage, Romen said

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"We say, if you put a software layer on top of the servers, you can pool the NVMe of multiple servers and allow it to be a shared resource," he said.

NVMesh adds only about 5 microseconds of latency compared to local NVMe storage in the servers to ensure customers can get much better performance from their pooled storage than provided by all-flash storage arrays, Romen said. It is already being used by early customers, including NASA, PayPal, and Hulu, he said.

"Nobody else is running software like this that is optimized for NVMe," he said. "With RDDA, we can target enterprise-scale customers. We provide scale with very high performance."

Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook either have their own NVMesh-like technology or they are developing one, the company said. Therefore, the Excelero expects the top 200 data center operators will be direct customers of the company, while the rest of the large data center operator market will be managed by a combination of direct and indirect sales activities, Romen said.

Excelero can help eliminate the proprietary file systems like Lustre that are used for block chain, IoT, and other high-performance applications, said Ted Wueste, executive vice president of U.S. sales at RPI Consulting, a Cypress, Calif.-based systems integrator and early Excelero channel partner.

"Lustre is very slick for parallelism in large block storage environments," Wueste told CRN. "But it doesn't perform well in small block environments. Excelero in the software-defined space offers the opportunity to do away with proprietary technologies."

Proprietary solutions provide scale, but none provide true file system automation and the full range of necessary security capabilities, Wueste said. "We're using Excelero to remove purpose-built, vendor-lock-in solutions," he said. "Excelero lets us get smart about accelerating data while securing it."