Seanodes: Small Company Willing to Stand Up Against All Data Storage Conventions

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-02-28 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Seanodes is a true "disruptive" factor in the data storage business -- not because it has a new concept, but because it has taken an older idea and refined it for the virtualized world of IT. Its shared internal storage concept clashes completely with conventional enterprise storage operations because it requires no external storage hardware.

PARIS -- A little more than two years ago, eWEEK published an article about "Ten Disruptive Storage Technologies." At the top of that list was a startup called Seanodes, based here in a city much more known for romance than data storage.

We called Seanodes a "disruptive" factor in the data storage business -- not because it has a new concept, but because it has taken an older idea and refined it for the virtualized world of IT. Its shared internal storage concept clashes completely with conventional enterprise storage operations because it requires no external storage hardware.

That's correct. It requires no external storage hardware. No storage box, no controller, no SAN or NAS -- nothing. There are no distributed software agents; every node in the system with an IP address gets discovered and accounted for, and the storage it contains flows into the central pool for production.

An enterprise's data becomes tucked away in chunks throughout a system, including in production and non-production database servers, Web servers and dedicated application servers. IT managers can choose which servers they want to use for storage and which ones they don't.

This pooled-storage concept was used in some systems in the mainframe days of the 1960s through '80s, but not to the extent that Seanodes uses it.

"Most of a data center system's storage capacity is wasted, just sits there, and is never utilized," Seanodes CEO and founder Jacques Baldinger told me. "Its overhead disk space that never gets used because the conventional wisdom is to always have much more than you actually need to get the work done."

And the convention says: "If it works well enough, then leave it alone." This is certainly not the most efficient way to run a data center, but it is the way it's done in most data centers.

Seanodes' Exanodes was originally designed as an architecture for high-performance computing and enterprise environments.

Seanodes, which totals only about 100 employees -- in its development center in Colomiers, France, and at its corporate offices near Paris and in Cambridge, Mass. -- also brings to the table an intriguing green IT concept: It puts to work virtually all of a system's wasted spinning disk capacity for a hugely less power draw than a typical one that spins up numerous NAS, SAN and SATA disks and cools them in racks.

Naturally, conventional storage companies downplay the whole concept of jettisoning external storage racks to move it over to internal production capacity.

"I've never heard of a dumber thing in my life," one marketing rep from a prominent data storage company told me. "Why would anybody want to mix up dedicated application and DB servers with tiered storage? Two different animals, totally. Talk about mixing oil and water!"



 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
 
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters























 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rocket Fuel