Hammerspace Unveils Global Data Environment, Expands Channel Program
Joseph F. Kovar
‘I like what the company is doing. The timing is right. As we look at the distributed workforce and the cloud, Hammerspace has a solution that fits both. Data used to be in one location. But no more. And they are addressing the issue,’ says Aaron Cardenas, founder and CEO of Hammerspace partner P1 Technologies.
Hammerspace, a developer of global file system technology to universally deliver software-defined storage services for data on any infrastructure or cloud, Monday unveiled its Global Data Environment, a new technology it said enables the creation, processing, storage, protection and access of data stored on any data center or in any cloud.
Hammerspace also unveiled an expansion of its channel program aimed at helping the Los Altos, Calif.-based company’s channel partners take advantage of the new technology.
The Hammerspace Global Data Environment solves some unique pieces of access to data that nobody has been able to solve before, said Molly Presley, who recently joined the company as senior vice president of marketing.
Hammerspace’s Global Data Environment is aimed at helping businesses solve several problems where there has not been a real simple solution before, Presley told CRN.
One is the difficulty to provide access to unstructured data that is siloed in a data center when employees are as likely to be working remotely as in an office, she said.
“There are a lot of solutions out there to do manual moves of data to a workstation, but then that creates a second copy of data, which is expensive, or a third or fourth or fifth copy of data, or you have to add new software applications in to make movements and copies of data, which are difficult and expensive to manage,” she said.
A second issue is the difficulty of working with data locked into an existing infrastructure, such as trying to get data on a specific array to work with cloud applications such as those in Microsoft Azure, Presley said.
“It’s a manual process to move the data,” she said. “And then you’re paying for the secondary storage of that copy of data in Azure, and often in the block storage where the application processing occurs. This makes it too expensive and too complicated to use your data where you want to because it’s locked into the silo where it was created.”
Another issue is when users, such as those editing video files, may not have access to the complete data sets they need, Presley said.
The Global Data Environment makes that data accessible to any user anywhere without making extra copies of data, Presley said.
“You can use the storage that you want to use,” she said. “If you have a NetApp, if you have an S3 bucket, whatever it is, we essentially just process metadata about those files and then integrate that metadata into a Global Data Environment so that whichever application you’re giving access to connects to the data environment, not to the storage below it. And the value to that is, that application has access to and visibility to the data no matter where it’s located.”
The Global Data Environment works with block, object and file data through all the standard protocols, but goes beyond that, Presley said.
It is also accessible through things like the Snowflake services, if you want to use Snowflake, she said. “If you want to use Kubernetes, it’s available as a block layer into Kubernetes. So it’s a unified Global Data Environment to any application, not just object-oriented ones or not just file-based ones.”
Hammerspace has been developing and releasing the four key components to the Global Data Environment--universal data access layer, flexible data orchestration, automated data service and expansive storage options--for eight years, with customers already using these components in production environments, Presley said.
“So we’ve tested the pieces,” she said. “It’s not like all of this is brand new and not user-tested. That would be super scary to a customer to adopt all at once. So components have been in the market for some amount of time, a couple of years, but the entire environment is being integrated.”
Instead of discussing the company vision and waiting for everything to be complete before unveiling the entire environment, Hammerspace made the pieces available as they were ready, Presley said.
“[We’ve] tested all these pieces as they went before coming to market and hiring a sales team and a marketing team and starting to promote the entire vision,” she said. ”[We] wanted to be sure that it is enterprise-ready.”
Hammerspace has a unique focus on the cloud and on the distributed nature of data with its Global Data Environment, said Aaron Cardenas, founder and CEO of P1 Technologies, a Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based solution provider with a long history of bringing new storage technologies to its enterprise and media and entertainment customers.
“I like what the company is doing,” Cardenas told CRN. “The timing is right. As we look at the distributed workforce and the cloud, Hammerspace has a solution that fits both. Data used to be in one location. But no more. And they are addressing the issue.”
With the introduction of its Global Data Environment, Hammerspace decided to take a fresh look at how it wants to focus on its channel partners, said Jim Choumas, vice president of the company’s channel sales.
The company’s channel program has all the standard features of all good programs but adds a consulting component for partners to go with the disruptive nature of the new technology, Choumas told CRN.
“Everybody’s got training, everybody’s got enablement, but when you have a new disruptive technology that’s going to change the way that customers operate, and we solve some very critical business issues that haven’t been solved before with this technology, I think that starts to really align with the value that we can bring to our partners,” he said.
Hammerspace’s Partnerspace channel program is a pretty big deal, Cardenas said.
“For a company in Hammerspace’s infancy and at its maturity level to have a good channel program is unique,” he said. “Younger companies typically need a few years to develop such a program. But Hammerspace has made a couple of great hires in [Presley] and Choumas. We work with a lot of startups that don’t have a channel program.”
Cardenas said he is a big fan of Presley and Choumas.
“I worked with them in other places,” he said. “They are two of the best people for their respective roles in the industry. Hammerspace is not only making an early investment in the channel, it’s also picking the right people.”
Hammerspace works exclusively through channel partners, Choumas said.