Startup Qumulo Launches Storage System with Analytics

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2015-03-16 Print this article Print
Qumulo Core

Qumulo Core was designed by the inventors of scale-out NAS to store and manage billions—even trillions—of files.

Startup data storage provider Qumulo came out of stealth mode March 16 and introduced what it boldly calls "the world's first data-aware, scale-out" network-attached enterprise storage system—one that has data analytics built right into it.

The Seattle-based company, whose name is Latin for "stack," spent three full years in product development. It was founded by industry veterans from Isilon (now property of EMC), Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft. The first product, Qumulo Core, was designed by the inventors of scale-out NAS to store and manage billions—even trillions—of files.

We're talking about king-size workloads here. Isilon, for example, made its reputation on being able to handle huge computer-animated graphics projects from major movie studios before it was bought by EMC. Qumulo is attempting to take that type of storage capability to an entirely new level.

"We came to see that managing data is largely about answering questions," Peter Godman, Qumulo CEO and co-founder, told eWEEK. "What do we actually have? How's that growing over time? Who's using it? Who's driving the growth, and what application is driving the growth? What never gets touched at all? What gets touched a lot? What gets archived? And so on."

"People were spending more and more time trying to answer these questions, and the storage—rather than helping—was actually getting in the way, because it was bigger and bigger than ever. To answer those questions in a container that has petabytes of data and billions and billions of files becomes virtually impossible."

Real-Time Analytics Right in the Mix

Qumulo Core builds real-time data analytics directly into storage, giving enterprises a deep view of their data and storage resources at scale, Godman said. Users simply type their queries into the system to get real-time or near-real time answers on the state of their storage.

With greater visibility into which data is most valuable, where it is stored, what users or applications are accessing what files, what should be archived, backed up or deleted, and why data grows, Qumulo's first users reported significant gains in workflow performance and storage efficiency.

"We realized that our promise had to be this: Invisible storage that makes data visible," Godman said.

Most enterprise storage systems can't store petabytes of content. "And those that can cannot solve the primary problem, which is managing billions of digital assets," Godman said. "Enterprise data storage vendors have worked hard to make 'buy more storage' the answer to every problem, but that doesn't help businesses manage data."

At the center of Qumulo Core is the Qumulo Scalable File System (QSFS), built from scratch and designed to take advantage of the price/performance economics of commodity hardware, flash and dense spinning disk. It is designed to be both read- and write-optimized, have high sequential and transactional performance, and handle small and large files efficiently, Godman said.

In summary, Qumulo Core includes:                    
--Real-time analytics: QSFS doesn't just store data, but also curates and manages it;
--Software-only: Qumulo Core runs on commodity hardware, on dedicated appliances, or in virtual machines;                
--Flash-first hybrid design: Maximizes both price/performance and price/capacity;    
--SaaS software delivery model: Pay-as-you-go for continual infrastructure software innovation;
--100 percent programmable: Public and self-documenting REST API with interactive API explorer built into the Web UI.    

Qumulo Core runs on any flavor of enterprise Linux on commodity hardware appliances provided by Qumulo, or on approved commodity storage server hardware.

Availability and Pricing

Qumulo Core software and Qumulo Q0626 hybrid storage appliances are available immediately and are the first products in Qumulo's data-aware scale-out NAS portfolio. Entry pricing for a four node 100TB raw capacity Qumulo Q0626 hybrid storage cluster begins at $50,000. For more information, email

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK. Twitter: @editingwhiz
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