Scality Blog

Software Defined Storage at Petabyte Scale

Scality: Storing the Information Age

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“I’m Jerome Lecat, CEO of Scality. I am extremely excited to share with you a massive transformation that will affect every one of us, in our personal lives, and in every business in every industry. This change is how data storage is done. In the next couple minutes, our customers, our partners, our shareholders, and our leadership team will talk to you about this massive change, and about how Scality is at the core of it.”

“Software is really taking over, I think, every area of infrastructure, and so, in the past, great companies have been built who’ve developed proprietary hardware – and that includes storage, it also includes networking, it includes compute. And If you look at the trend we’ve seen over the last several years, it started in compute, with virtualization where the physical hardware that you’re running on is really irrelevant, and the added value is all in software. And we’ve now seen that go to networking and go to storage, and so it’s been a great commoditization of the hardware involved. And the companies that are the next generation of leaders in the storage area are going to be companies whose core value is really in the software that they build and that software is going to be able to run on almost any type of commodity hardware,” Mark Siegel, Managing Partner at Menlo Ventures.

“It used to be that when you bought storage, you were buying, you know, a million-dollar piece of hardware that rolled out of a big company’s factory. It was very complex, it had a lot of moving parts, and it scaled sort of vertically. Today, when you buy large-scale storage, you’re buying a distributed system that’s probably built on top of white box technology, and then you’re putting, you know, intelligent software on top of that distributed hardware. And, all of the intelligence, all of the “smarts” of the system, have really moved into the software layer,” Mark Muehl, Senior Vice President of Platform Technologies, Comcast.

“We think that, especially in the storage part, there will be more and more software-defined things coming up. Because people don’t want to have black boxes as hardware or anything. They want to use standard IT components. That’s what we also see in the broadcast environment,” Hans-Josef Lauer, IT Manager at RTL II.

“Petabyte-scale infrastructures tend to break everything. It’s interesting – the challenges people face when going to scale that size. And it’s not just the big guys anymore. You look at what data growth rates are across the board. Sooner or later everyone’s going to be a petabyte-sized data shop. It’s doubling, you know, almost every year. And with that doubling comes some really difficult challenges. First of all, just, how do you store it? And once it’s stored, how do you access it in a timely enough fashion to have, you know, value to the company, right? And when you do access it, is it accurate? Those are all really difficult things to do that only get amplified as the size gets increasingly larger,” Jim Dawson, Operating Partner at Menlo Ventures.

“Certainly storage needs to scale. The more storage you give users, the more- the more they will use. The more they use, the more storage you need to give them. So, storage needs to scale to very very large sizes, very large updates- update rates, and also storage needs to be shared between users who are spread worldwide, and therefore geographical replication, geographical span is important,” Marc Shapiro, Research at INRIA and distributed systems expert.

“The applications are changing. They’re evolving to be more cloudlike. Data points are being generated all over the place. We are seeing a need for an evolution in the storage space, and object storage represents that. And, the vision that HP has for where we want to go with object storage on servers aligns very with what Scality’s vision is. That sort of reliability, that sort of flexibility, is what our customers are looking for. And I agree with it – I believe that’s where our customers are, and I believe that’s what HP’s vision is as well,” Joseph George, Director of Big Data Servers and Solutions, HP

“Changing the world takes investment. We are changing the data storage world and we are very excited to announce 45 million dollars new round of funding, bringing total invested in the company since the beginning to over 80 million,” Jerome Lecat.

“We’re now six years old, so we’ve made sure our go-to-market principles are basically three simple pillars: software-only, indirect – hence the alliances with the likes of HP or Dell, and third, it’s about an initial focus on service providers that we’re now broadening to large enterprise and targeted verticals. What the funding allows us to do is basically fuel and accelerate that strategy – reaching out to new geographies, reaching out to more partners who are targeting the same large enterprise and verticals we focus on,” Erwan Menard, COO, Scality.

“So, the funding is going to allow us to accelerate existing development. So, advanced file system features, with redundancy and hardware performance. Scality does a lot of research internally today, and with the funding, we are going to be able to migrate some or such project to engineering. Some of them are file and object interoperability, multi-geo services, as well as security,” Giorgio Regni, CTO, Scality.

“The world is changing. In the information age, the businesses who own the data will win. To continue winning, businesses will need to harvest, store, mine and distribute ever more data for – and about – their customers, as well as about their production processes. Our job at Scality is to bring to the world the software to securely store all this data and make it readily available at all times from everywhere,” Jerome Lecat.

“The main technical benefit we experienced from implementing Scality RING was the ease-of-use on off-the-shelf hardware. There were near-to-no issues within the implementation of the project because everything worked as advertised,” Pierre-Yves Karembellec, Head of Architecture, Dailymotion.

“Really, we wanted a solution that could evolve over time. We wanted to be able to continue to grow, be able to add more nodes, and with the software-defined storage we’re able to do that – and evolve over technologies and also use commodity hardware underneath. And it’s easily expandable that way as well. You’re not tied down to one particular piece of hardware, you can go to a new technology over time and keep adding new nodes of that nature, and you’re data’s still preserved. One of the biggest problems is, you know, once you get petabytes and petabytes of data, it’s not easy to move or copy off. And so, you really have to pick a long-term solution,” Allan Lamkin, SVP and CTO, Deluxe OnDemand.


Enterprise Meets Software-based Storage (SBS)

00Blog, Dell, News, Partners

Today Scality and Dell announce our partnership to bring Software-based Storage to Enterprise. You can read the full announcement here:

It is indeed the formalization of the work accomplished together in serving joint customers such as Deluxe. We are very proud that a market leader such as Dell acknowledges the revolution we are bringing to the storage world. And more importantly we are delighted to make our joint value-proposition available to a wide range of Enterprise customers around the world.

To date, deployments on our Strategic Alliance partners HP and Dell represent more than 50% of Scality’s installed base around the world. In 65% of cases, large Enterprise and Service Providers choose to deploy the RING on 4U / 60 drives server form factor. So yes, the Hyper-scale players’ secret sauce is definitely getting a lot of traction in the Enterprise world. Indeed HP and Dell were originators of the modern-age datacenter design: software on industry-standard high-capacity servers. Actually IDC sees this particular storage market segment growing 3x faster than the conventional enterprise storage system market.

The trend continues to go down market. Again, inspiration comes from the Hyper-scale players; we at Scality productize their secret sauce. Early adopters were of course the service providers, Telco, Cable or large Web&Cloud players, like Dailymotion. Now large Enterprises and basically any Enterprise organization who faces petabyte-scale data storage challenges are open to this new approach of software on industry-standard hardware:

  • Media: Over the last 18 months we’ve seen great momentum in this vertical, for example, see one of our most recent videos with RTL II:  RTL II Creates a Petabyte-Scale Active Archive Using Scality RING;
  • Emerging Cloud services e.g. Internet-of-Things: a global industrial conglomerate relies on Scality RING to build their IoT Cloud services;
  • High Performance Computing in Research and Development: multiple labs (public and private ones) store vast amounts of unstructured data on object storage by Scality, building “active archives”
  • Government: US, UK, Germany and France government agencies have deployed petabyte-scale RING storage systems to handle the vast amounts of unstructured data generated in their Defense, Intelligence or Space missions, as opposed to using conventional storage appliances.
  • And Life Sciences (think genomics), Healthcare and Financial Services are surely next.

At the end of the day, we believe it is fair to say that the customers who will still operate their own datacenter 10 years down the road will all be in the dozens if not hundreds of petabyte swim lane from a storage standpoint. And at such scale you absolutely need freedom to pick your underlying hardware. That’s the modern Enterprise. The modern enterprise environment is evident within our first customer, Telenet, who shared the vision in 2010 and since then grew their RING 20x, mixing 5 different generations of servers into it.

Why “hardware freedom?” Because it drives better economics of course.

You want to dial your hardware configuration based on the capacity/performance/cost target of yours. That’s a very important aspect of our Strategic Alliance engagements (such as with Dell): broad servers portfolios allow us to jointly design systems covering a wide range of use cases. And “hardware freedom”  is also absolutely key to manage the growth of these large storage pools. Your classic hardware refresh on a 100TB cluster is simply unbearable from a strict operational standpoint, as soon as your storage pool size is multi-PB. And indeed you want to leverage hardware innovation as soon as it becomes available. You don’t want to wait 6 or 9 months for “certification” or “integration” testing to happen. This is where storage software that operates as a simple application on standard Linux makes a huge difference. Welcome to Scality.

We take a strong commitment to bring the RING to any Enterprise customer facing petabyte-scale storage challenges. Whatever they control their application stack and can natively leverage our object interfaces (RESTful, S3, Openstack Swift, CDMI, etc.) or rely on legacy applications requiring our Scale-Out File System (NFS, SMB).  To that end we’ve successfully launched over the last few months multiple initiatives typical of Enterprise products adoption:

  • Strategic Alliances with HP and now with Dell, offering to their customers a one-stop experience;
  • Open and online trial;
  • Certification program for our Value-Added Resellers who want to participate servicing and supporting the RING.
  • Simplified pricing leading to predictable costs, solely tied to your usable capacity needs;
  • SLA-based contractual commitments on data durability and availability;
  • Opened offices in Japan, Asia-Pacific and other growing markets.

Stay tuned as we keep reaching out to petabyte-scale storage users around the globe, with the support of our strategic partners such as Dell. The revolution is on. Enterprise meets SBS.


Scality and Dell Collaborate on Software-based Storage Solutions

00Blog, Dell, News, Partners, Press Releases

New Relationship Considerably Extends Scality’s Market Reach through Dell’s Worldwide Sales Organization and Provides Enterprises with One-Stop Shopping for Large Capacity Storage

San Francisco, CA – August 18, 2015 – Scality, the leader in software-based storage for the information age, today announced that it has entered into a new relationship with Dell to create a robust solution to high capacity-driven storage challenges by offering the Scality RING petabyte-scale storage software on Dell’s enterprise infrastructure including server, storage, and networking hardware. Through this collaboration, Dell now will offer Scality RING-based solutions built on its Dell PowerEdge server, Dell Storage and Dell Networking portfolio. With this new offering, enterprises can reap the benefits of Scality’s 100 percent reliable, high performance, infinitely scalable, and hardware agnostic software combined with the innovation, quality, reliability, and support they expect from Dell hardware.
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Deluxe OnDemand meets need for 100% reliability and 100Gbps performance

00Content Distribution, Customers

“Deluxe OnDemand started about four and a half years ago. And, originally our target was the rent-tailers and retailers – so providing a library of content to power their online video stores. And over time we’ve really morphed a little bit to help power cable operators. So, both to direct to the set-top for playback and also for their TV Everywhere strategies for a delivering video-on-demand content. We have to take in all the content from 200-plus different content providers; aggregate it all, normalize all the meta-data, create transform rules and as well as do all the video transcoding to all the various formats. So whether it’s for mobile tablet all the way up to 1080p, even your ultra high-def TV.

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Being in three (or more) places at once

00Active Archive, Blog

Let me let you in on a little secret. Data can really be in two places at once. Or three. Or even more. And you can do this without specialized WAN acceleration technologies or overlay/virtualization technologies on top of your storage.

How is this possible?

First, you need software that can treat distributed hardware and bits as one logical entity. Second, you need to present those bits to customers in protocols they (or their computers) can understand like NFS or SMB. Third, you need to protect all the bits and tolerate issues like site failures. Finally, you need to be able to tolerate the moderate latencies (10-50ms) of metro networks.

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RTL II creates a petabyte-scale active archive using Scality RING

00Active Archive, Blog, Customers


Scality Interviews Hans-Josef Lauer, Manager of IT Operations at RTL II, a top German TV Station who built a petabyte-scale Active Archive with the Scality RING software.

“RTL II is a classical TV Broadcaster but by now it’s transforming more and more into a digital media house. We not only have content for the classical TV channels but also for online purposes for YouTube and also use the social networks to connect more and more people for those channels.

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06 24 2015 - Welcome to the Petabye Era - Erwan Menard

The Information Age drives Storage’s Petabyte Era


Software is Eating the Storage World. It’s Happening Here and Now – with Scality.

The ones who own data will win. That’s what defines the exploding “Information Age”. What does it mean to the Storage industry? Well, it opens the Petabyte era, which not only pushes the limits but challenges the fundamentals of Storage.

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Let’s Define "Software-defined Storage."


Every few years, a new buzzword pops up in the data storage industry. This is our cue to quibble over the exact definition, hopefully drumming up some interesting conversation in the process, mainstreaming the term, and pushing for clearer roadmaps from the participating vendors.

10 years ago, the word of the day was “virtualization.” 5 years ago, it was “cloud.” Today, I believe, it is “Software-defined.”
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Changing the Way I Think About Storage

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It’s not every day you get to ride the wave of a fundamental shift in technology. I’d like to talk a bit about how I am staying afloat.

My introduction to shared storage was with the original HP EVA series. They were pretty awesome – a single, user-friendly web interface could get you from power up to production in a couple of hours. LUNs (Logical Unit Numbers) so massive that they could host upwards of 20 virtual machines were automatically spread across hundreds of drives, utilizing the aggregate capacity and performance to deliver what would eventually be coined ‘private clouds’. Dedicated, segregated, and redundant Fibre Channel (FC) networks guaranteed efficient data delivery under the most extreme utilization.

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OpenStack Vancouver Summit Wrap-Up

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Last week the global OpenStack community gathered in the beautiful city of Vancouver (Canada) to celebrate the release of OpenStack Kilo (which Scality recently announced support for), share knowledge, and report experiences in hundreds of technical sessions, as well as to start planning and designing the features that will be part of the next release; dubbed Liberty. More info


Announcing enhanced Scality RING support for OpenStack Kilo

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The OpenStack cloud framework has been growing rapidly in popularity over the last few years, as witnessed by the incredible attendance growth at the last few OpenStack summits. Last fall we attended the Paris OpenStack summit for the Juno release and saw the growing momentum and interest firsthand, including real mainstream customer use for this next generation cloud framework. We’re excited to see Kilo, the next release of OpenStack, be officially announced at the Vancouver Summit.
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Proud to be the 2014 IDC MarketScape leader


IDC has led the analyst community in defining how the $100 billion storage market is rapidly changing. Instead of continuing to classify the market by now outdated categories (e.g. NAS), they were the first to increase the focus on the content itself, identifying that the fastest growing and most disruptive segment addresses unstructured content. More info


The object storage paradox

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Next month, it will have been exactly six years since I wrote my first object storage blog, even though I didn’t mention object storage in that specific article. I had my head in the clouds as our early cloud startup was being acquired by Sun Microsystem when someone asked me to write a piece on EMC’s new baby, Atmos so I took a spin at it. That was object storage before object storage.

A lot has happened since. I’ve traveled around the world to evangelize object storage, organized dozens of object storage panels and wrote hundreds of pages on why companies need object storage, object storage use cases and early customer success stories. Today, I’m on a mission to help grow the success of the Scality RING, probably the most successful object storage platform in the industry. Since I joined Scality six months ago, I’ve seen more happy customers than the four years before combined.
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Openstack Paris Summit: A Technical Wrap-up

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The OpenStack Summit in Paris ended a few days ago. I was fortunate enough to be there with several of my colleagues from Scality. There were many interesting sessions and I’ve captured the high points below.

Manila Networking Multitenancy

Currently, writing a backend driver for Manila is quite difficult because the driver has to deal with network isolation so that the provisioned NFS/CIFS share can only be accessed from the intended network. In practice this makes Manila coupled with OpenStack Neutron because Manila drivers have to deal with the network plumbing.

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Looking back on the OpenStack Summit – Paris Edition

00Blog, Global Enterprise Cloud, OpenStackTags: , ,

Last week the OpenStack community gathered in Paris, France to celebrate the Juno release of the OpenStack platform, and simultaneously get together to brainstorm and collaborate about the Kilo release, the next cycle.

This was the first time I attended an OpenStack Summit and gave quite an impression. The OpenStack community is huge! The sheer amount of companies involved, ranging from small start-ups all around the ecosystem up to the largest IT vendors around (hello HP, IBM, Cisco, RedHat, Intel, Ericsson and so many others!). It amazes me how many companies provide consultancy & training, innovative storage solutions integrations, enhance the operational management of large installations and provide scalable software solutions all around OpenStack.

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