Cloudian Acquires Italy's Infinity to Combine File, Object Storage

Company claims that the result of the acquisition will be storage management that reduces TCO by more than 70 percent when compared with conventional multi-silo NAS (network-attached storage) systems.

Object storage software provider Cloudian revealed March 15 that it has acquired Infinity Storage, a Milan-based pioneer in software-defined file storage solutions. Terms of the transaction were not released.

In adding Infinity’s technology, Cloudian is able to offer customers integrated file and object-based storage packages that consolidate all unstructured data types into what the company calls a “limitless, scalable storage pool.” This relieves enterprises from having to segment and identify file types for various types of storage, which ostensibly will save time and resources in administering storage services.

Cloudian claims that the result of the acquisition will be storage management that reduces TCO by more than 70 percent when compared with conventional multi-silo NAS (network-attached storage) systems.

The acquisition is the result of an existing relationship between Infinity Storage and Cloudian. The companies worked together to launch the Cloudian HyperFile NAS controller last December, which offers enterprise-class file services from Cloudian HyperStore. Cloudian HyperFile incorporates all NAS features essential for enterprise applications, including SMB(CIFS)/NFS support, snapshot, WORM, non-disruptive failover, scale-out performance, POSIX compliance and Active Directory integration.

Cloudian Had Been Seeking a Partner

“We had been looking for a good file solution that would work with our object storage platform,” Cloudian CEO Michael Tso told eWEEK. “The reason we were looking for this is because there are a lot of legacy file-based applications out there. Everybody is moving toward object, but we still needed to support those legacy applications. Specifically we are interested in being able to take data in through files and to read the data out using objects.”

Infinity is a well-established, privately owned but under-the-radar company that has been known in the business as an innovator in enterprise file systems for more than a decade. The firm’s founder, Caterina Falchi, was one of the inventors of the write-once-read-many (WORM) file system that provides “Jukebox”-type file management and transparent access to data within this protected environment.

The standardized file system (UDF) used by Germany’s PoINT Jukebox Manager can be read by the major current operating systems (Windows, Linux, UNIX). For example, due to PoINT Jukebox Manager, the integration of something like optical storage into an existing IT infrastructure is a simple and straightforward process.

WORM was originally designed to preserve data integrity for regulatory compliance and now also plays a key role in protecting data from corruption caused by malware or ransomware. Falchi has joined Cloudian as vice president of file technologies.

“Infinity Storage software has helped enterprise customers simplify file management with enterprise-class features that provide a familiar user experience on next-generation storage platforms,” Falchi said. “While launching HyperFile with Cloudian, we immediately recognized that our company cultures and technologies meshed perfectly.”

When combined with the scalability of Cloudian HyperStore enterprise storage, HyperFile gives organizations new on-premises options for managing the tsunami of unstructured data, now estimated by a majority of analysts to be growing at more than 50 percent annually.

Defining Object Storage

For the record: Object storage (also known as object-based storage) is a storage architecture that manages data as objects, as opposed to other storage architectures such as file systems—which manage data as a file hierarchy—and block storage, which manages data as blocks within sectors and tracks. Each object typically includes the data itself, a variable amount of metadata and a globally unique identifier.

Companies that specialize in—or at least offer—object storage options include Cloudian, Pure Storage, Digital Ocean, IBM/Cisco, Dell EMC Virtustream, Spectra Logic, SwiftStack, Qumulo, Minio, NetApp, Hitachi Data Systems, Cohesity and Veritas, among others.

Scale-out platforms such as Cloudian’s are becoming an increasingly critical element of the IT landscape. Gartner has projected that by 2021, more than 80 percent of enterprise data will be stored in scale-out storage systems in enterprise and cloud data centers, up from 30 percent in 2018.

“Not only does Infinity bring deep technology expertise to the table, but also our two companies’ cultures fit perfectly, with the same uncompromising dedication to the customer, to the team and to technical excellence,” Tso said.

Cloudian is based in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, go here

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...