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Quobyte Goes Big On Security With New File System, Offers Free Edition

The free edition ‘lets customers see how it works and then provides an opportunity for channel partners to make a sale. We’re trying to focus on the low end of the market and let our partners focus on the more value-added opportunities,’ says Quobyte CEO Bjorn Kolbeck.

Storage system software developer Quobyte Tuesday unveiled Quobyte 3.0, the latest version of its scale-out file system.

The company also introduced a free version of its software that is identical to its standard cluster edition but available at no charge, as well as a new multi-cluster version for larger implementations.

The Quobyte scale-out file software, which has been in production since 2016, is targeted at businesses looking to manage large amounts of data with Google-like simplicity, said Bjorn Kolbeck, CEO of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

[Related: The Heartbeat Of Business: The 2020 CRN Storage 100]

The Quobyte software provides linear scaling with unlimited performance and no bottlenecks as it scales to thousands of servers, Kolbeck told CRN. It is a software-defined offering with all the important file services but that runs on almost any standard x86-based server, he said.

Quobyte 3.0 and its 360 Security capability is very much focused on security, including end-to-end data encryption, Kolbeck said.

“You don’t have to trust the network or the machines,” he said. “It’s all protected with the highest level of data protection.”

The new software also includes TLS, or transport layer security, for high security and high performance across multiple data centers, Kolbeck said. “Or use TLS in a single data center, if you’re paranoid,” he said.

Quobyte 3.0 also includes access keys for the file system, X.509 public key certificates and an auditable event stream with information about metadata and file access across all accesses, he said.

In addition, Quobyte 3.0 has a new policy engine across tenants, volumes, files and customers, with new controls for file layout, tiering, quality of service, recoding, caching and the expiration of old data. Kolbeck said. It also provides automatic file layout and automatic selection of replication factor based on customers’ policies.

Another new capability of Quobyte 3.0 is self-service to give business users a cloud-like experience, Kolbeck said.

In addition to the standard Quobyte Cluster edition, Quobyte introduced two new editions.

The first is a free edition that in almost every way is similar the Quobyte Cluster edition, including capacity of up to 150 TB of hard disk and 30 TB of SD storage or 10 TB on the cloud, AWS S3 compatibility, fault-tolerant replication, and support for Kubernetes containers, Hadoop and TensorFlow.

However, Kolbeck said, the Quobyte free edition features community support as opposed to the email support provided by the $8,999 or $12,000 versions that provide company support.

“Customers can download Quobyte 3.0 for free and use it forever if they want,” he said. “In our experience, most customers want enterprise support. Even if they don’t, they can use it in production, talk about it, help us make it better. We feel it’s important to give meaningful technology. It’s a great way to test AI and machine -learning workloads.”

Kolbeck said that, as a developer himself, he does not like the “call sales” button. “I’d rather have developers use our free edition,” he said.

While Quobyte is a 100 percent channel-focused company, the Quobyte free edition does not require a channel partner, Kolbeck said.

“But it’s a lead tool, a marketing tool,” he said. “It lets customers see how it works and then provides an opportunity for channel partners to make a sale. We’re trying to focus on the low end of the market, and let our partners focus on the more value-added opportunities.”

Having a free edition for complex software like this is important, said Tom Holt, vice president of sales at InterVision Systems, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based solution provider that has worked with Quobyte for several years.

“I’m happy to see it,” Holt told CRN. “It shows that software-defined storage has finally arrived. It’s not for everybody. It’s not meant to get rid of NetApp filers. It’s for engineering-based complex jobs. Software like Quobyte is not just about the software. We also bring in the hardware and develop a broader solution. A free edition only helps to seed future sales.”

Also new is the Quobyte Infrastructure edition, which is priced based on volume. It provides unlimited capacity and clusters, as well as multi-tenancy, 360 Security and self-service. It also works with Linux, Macintosh and Windows systems, unlike the other two editions, which are limited to Linux clusters, Kolbeck said.

Holt said Quobyte 3.0 has become a good alternative to file-based storage offerings like NetApp, Dell EMC’s Isilon, and Pure Storage’s FlashBlade.

“Quobyte has everything customers need in software that’s independent of the hardware,” he said. “If you believe software-defined is the future of storage, Quobyte has the best-engineered solution.”

Quobyte 3.0’s 360 Security is second to none, Holt said.

“For our clients in oil and gas, media and entertainment, and genomics, that’s a critical feature,” he said.

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