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Qumulo Intros New Highly Scalable File System That Stretches On-Premises Data Infrastructure To The Cloud

The new Qumulo File Fabric, or QF2, scales over a billion files, large and small, between on-premises and cloud infrastructure with full management of and visibility into the data, and is now ready for use with Amazon Web Services.

Scalable file storage software vendor Qumulo on Tuesday unveiled its first file fabric for easy scaling of data across on-premises and cloud environments, and said the new fabric allows easy scaling of billions of files to the Amazon Web Services cloud.

The new Qumulo File Fabric is the IT industry's first universal-scale file storage system, said Jay Wampold, vice president of marketing for the Seattle-based company.

The idea of universal-scale file storage systems is Qumulo's way to bring file-based data with billions of objects to the cloud, Wampold told CRN.

[Related: Intelligent Storage Startup Qumulo Raises $30M More]

NetApp invented scale-up NAS about 30 years ago, while scale-out file storage has been around for about 20 years, Wampold said.

"But now businesses want to scale up and out, and scale to billions of objects," he said. "They want to scale to the cloud, scale across geographies, and manage it all. That's universal-scale file storage."

The Qumulo File Fabric, or QF2, is a modern, highly-scalable file system that runs in data centers and in the cloud, Wampold said.

"QF2 lets customers scale files to anywhere on-premises or in the cloud, regardless their hardware platforms, and scale to anywhere in the globe," he said.

That kind of scalability is increasingly important as customers need new ways to store and manage increasing amounts of file data, Wampold said. For example, he said, an single autonomous vehicle can generate 14 TBs of data per day.

The Qumulo File Fabric solves two fundamental things, he said. "We are ensuring file-based data fits customers' requirements, and giving customers with global operations the ability to share information worldwide," he said.

To customers and their applications, the Qumulo File Fabric looks like an on-premises data infrastructure while stretching seamlessly to the cloud, starting with AWS, Wampold said. "QF2 provides real visibility to the data," he said. "Sure, you can use cloud gateways to move data to the cloud. But there has not been a lot of success here. They tend to be the worst of file services and the worst of object data on the back end."


The Qumulo File Fabric includes a number of new capabilities that make it applicable to both on-premises and cloud infrastructure. It is built on the vendor's cross-cluster replication technology which allows the data to be moved where it is needed as it is needed, along with real-time quotas, directory-level snapshots, and real-time visibility into large data sets.

It was designed to be used with over a billion files, both large and small, yet is optimized for standard hardware with SSDs and spinning disk for both performance and capacity tiering, Wampold said.

Just as important, it is available immediately for Amazon Web Services, giving customers scalability to the cloud with full management and visibility capabilities, he said.

There has been slow adoption of appliance-based gateways for moving data to public clouds like AWS, and the Qumulo File Fabric as a gateway alone may not garner any more success, said Jeff DiNisco, chief technology officer at P1 Technologies, a Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based solution provider and Qumulo channel partner.

What is unique about Qumulo, however, is its data management platform with its massive file support and deep analytics capabilities, DiNisco told CRN.

"QF2 lets customers manage their data on-premises and in the cloud," he said. "That's its real strength. There will also be features that AWS does not provide now, and may never provide. But the real strength is having that data on-prem and ready to burst to the cloud."

Qumulo from the start defined its product as software, and like other vendors offered it as an appliance to get it out the door as a stable offering, DiNisco said.

"Now customers will be able to move data between the hardware appliance and AWS," he said. "Because of the initial design of the technology, the company has been able to make the change very easily."

The Qumulo File Fabric is currently available on a subscription basis that includes software and support. When used on AWS, the QF2 clusters have utility pricing based on hours of use, capacity and performance.

QF2 can be used on AWS at no charge in non-clustered, stand-alone mode.

In the past, file systems were hard to evaluate because they typically needed to be purchased first, Wampold said. Qumulo is changing that paradigm by offering options to evaluate the Qumulo File Fabric free-of-charge via virtual machines, via Amazon Web Services, or via an on-line cluster the company is making available to customers, he said.

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