CRN Exclusive: Qumulo To Intro Expanded Public Cloud Connectivity, All-Flash Storage To Qumulo File Fabric

Scalable file storage software vendor Qumulo will be expanding its Qumulo File Fabric technology with new cloud partnerships, new all-flash storage versions of its hardware, and bi-directional replication.

The planned enhancements to Qumulo's technology were unveiled by Peter Godman, co-founder and CTO of the Seattle-based company, during a presentation to a small group of potential customers at the P1 Storage Summit.

The P1 Storage Summit is an annual event held by P1 Technologies, a Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based solution provider, which brings together leading-edge storage and cloud providers to introduce their technology to some of P1's top customers.

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

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Godman told the audience that the company's Qumulo File Fabric, which was unveiled last month. The Qumulo File Fabric is aimed at easing the scaling of over a billion files across on-premises and cloud environments. It allows data to be stored where customers need it and will enable customers to access that data from anywhere.

The Qumulo File Fabric is based on the Qumulo Core, a modern scale-out storage system designed for multi-petabyte data scale across on-premises and cloud environments.

It clusters cloud instances or computing nodes for scalability as part of a single, unified file system. It includes a highly distributed block store that can scale to billions of files and offers real-time analytics on all the files, real-time capacity quotas, data snapshots, and continuous replication across storage clusters.

The Qumulo File Fabric includes a hardware appliance, either from Qumulo itself or one based on an HPE server, and is already available for integration with Amazon Web Services, Godman said.

Sometime shortly, Qumulo will also add support for Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and other public cloud offerings, Godman said. "I know everyone has a preferred cloud they want to work with," he said. "But we have to prioritize."

The Qumulo File Fabric currently allows data to be replicated from one Qumulo file system to another, Godman said. "It is not bi-directional yet, but that's coming," he said.

The company also plans to unveil soon an all-flash storage version of its hardware platform to increase performance, he said.

Qumulo is also looking at other enhanced functionality, but decisions have not yet been made, Godman said.

"Later, we may support Qumulo on virtualized platforms," he said. "Some customers are already running it on virtualized platforms, but we don't yet support it. And we may do separate virtual filers on a single Qumulo Core."

Qumulo's ability to execute against its roadmap has been incredible, said Aaron Cardenas, CEO and founder of P1 Technologies, which has worked with the vendor since it was in stealth mode.

"Qumulo uses agile development, and has two-week release schedules," Cardenas told CRN. "Qumulo really lets customers drive its roadmap. The company works well with customers, and offers better customer communications than anyone out there."

Paul Barr, vice president of sales at P1, said his company had sold over 15 petabytes of capacity on Qumulo offerings, mainly to customers in the media and entertainment industry.

Qumulo has the right cloud strategy, Barr told CRN. "It's not quite ready for tiering data to the cloud, but is heading that way," he said. Even customers with large on-premises deployments want to burst to the cloud."

The expansion of the Qumulo File Fabric to multiple public clouds is important, Barr said. "Customers clearly need more than one cloud," he said. "No one would argue that AWS has market leadership. But when you start talking to all-Microsoft shops, you'll find attraction to Azure."

All-flash storage, for better or worse, has become a requirement in storage, even if not all customers need it as much as they think they do, Barr said. "But if vendors do not have it, they open the door to competitors who do," he said.

Even so, all-flash can be an easy sell because of the high-performance it offers coupled with the ability to deduplicate and compress workloads, Barr said. However, to take advantage of all-flash storage, Qumulo will likely have to add storage tiering within a cluster, he said.

Bi-directional replication is also a critical capability, depending on the workflow, Barr said. "It will be great for things like smaller deployments over a large number offices, and is something customers have been asking about," he said.