Scality Software-Defined Storage: Product Overview and Insight

eWEEK PRODUCT ANALYSIS: Scality offers respected software-defined solutions for today’s reality of hybrid- and multi-cloud data storage and management.

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Today: Scality (software solutions for global data orchestration and distributed file and object storage)

Company Description

Scality is a global technology company based in San Francisco with development and support teams both there and in Paris. Recognized as a leader in distributed file and object storage by both Gartner and IDC, Scality offers software-defined solutions for today’s reality of hybrid- and multi-cloud data storage and management.

Jerome Lecat (Scality’s CEO), Giorgio Regni (Scality’s CTO), Brad King, Serge Dugas and Daniel Binsfeld, five veterans of the internet infrastructure space (UUnet, Software.com, Sun Microsystems, Bizanga and more), founded Scality in 2009 with the belief that enterprise and public cloud services needed a new breed of data management solutions to be competitive in the new reality brought by the fourth industrial revolution. Recognizing that the value of the enterprise now centers on its data, the core essence of the company is to bring freedom and control to people who create value with that data.

Distributed through alliance partners HPE and Cisco Systems, as well as by a network of value-added resellers, Scality ensures seamless data storage and management across a broad range of use cases. Scality is the only commercial company to have open-sourced its implementation of the AWS S3 API and, through this ubiquitous API and its award-winning native scale-out storage system, has tested and validated more than 60 ISV and application partners.

Privately held Scality has raised more than $152 million in funding to date, including a strategic equity investment by HPE. Current investors include Menlo Ventures, Iris Capital, FSN PME, Idinvest Partners, OMNES Capital, Galileo Partners and BPI.

International Operations: San Francisco; Reston, VA; Paris; London; Spain; Germany; Tokyo

Markets

Vertical markets and use cases for the RING (distributed, scale-out file and object storage):

Telco and service providers:

  • Storage for Email & Messaging
  • XaaS: STorage-as-a-Service (STaaS), backup as a service, video on demand, document sync and share

Media and Entertainment (broadcasters and TV channels):

  • Storage for video nearline archive, video streaming & cloud workflows

Bank and insurance in the Global 2000:

  • Storage for Backup, STaaS, Splunk, Archive

Transportation, aerospace- and energy-related Global 2000 companies:

  • Storage for AI/data lake, Splunk, Backup

Hospitals in cities of more than 200,000 inhabitants:

  • Storage for PACS/VNA, Genomics, Backup and CCTV

Government (intelligence agencies, police department, national archives and libraries)

  • Archives based on proprietary software

Products and Services

Scality Ring: Scale-out file and object software defined storage (SDS). The RING is 100% software and provides native object storage & file storage, and can be deployed on standard x86 servers.

Scality Zenko: Multi-cloud data orchestration software. Zenko provides global S3 namespace, data mobility and search across RING, NAS and public clouds (AWS, Azure, Google, Wasabi and more).

Key Features

Ring:

  • Access over object (AWS S3 API and OpenStack Swift) and file storage over NFS, SMB and FUSE
  • Scales out to dozens of petabytes, data protection through replication, erasure coding with self-healing in the event of system failures

Zenko:

  • AWS S3 API with global namespace and search to any supported back end
  • Data mobility policies across RING, Ceph, NAS, AWS, Azure, Google & Wasabi clouds

Insight and Analysis

Scality Ring, from a professional review on Gartner Peer Insights in 2019:

Overall Comment: "Scality has delivered on its uptime and durability promises. It is highly scalable and fits the needs of our business well. The biggest challenge for us has been the learning curve for all the complexities of Scality and its administration requirements. It is a 500-level technology, and it is not a set it up and forget about it technology. It requires almost constant administration and dedicated headcount to administer it."

Scality Ring, from a professional review on G2Crowd:

What do you like best? "The best thing I like about Scality is how easy it is to scale servers. It makes the process hassle free. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com."

What do you dislike? "If I had to choose something that I dislike, I would choose making it easier to pick up. Particular for new developers. Review collected by and hosted on G2.com."

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized? "A business problem I am solving with Scality is that I can use this product to easily scale our servers to even thousands if necessary. It makes it hassle free so you don't have to spend so much time on that and focus your efforts to other problems. It makes our work very convenient."

Scality Ring, from a professional review in IT Central Station in 2019:

What is our primary use case? "We used Scality during the capacity extension."

What is most valuable? "I think it's the economic factor. This solution has the lowest cost for storage systems."

What needs improvement? "If I had to choose a new aspect for the system, it would be the rebalancing. The ease of use during capacity upgrades would be the most important improvement. I don't know if they manage it better right now or not, but it was really hard to extend capacity on Scality at the time that I used it.

"When you add new servers in the node or ring, Scality does rebalancing to split the workload across all the nodes and servers. It moves the data well from one server to another."

What do I think about the stability of the solution? "This solution is stable."

What do I think about the scalability of the solution? "It's used within Orange in France, which handles petabytes of data. I don't know exactly how much it was, but I think we are talking about five, or even more than that. When I worked on this project, it was during migration. It is definitely getting higher and higher in terms of capacity that you can use."

How are customer service and technical support? "Scality's technical support team is good."

What other advice do I have? "I would recommend Scality, but there is another solution that I'm going to dig into more, which is OpenIO. Right now for new projects, I don't know yet if I'm going to recommend Scality or OpenIO."

Rating: I would rate this solution as 8 out of 10 stars.

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List of current customers: Bloomberg Media, Comcast, Orange Amadeus, Temple University Health, U.S. Department of Energy, Natixis, Telent and more.

Delivery: Software, on-premises.

Pricing

RING software pricing is based on protected (not raw) capacity. For example, if the user has 1PB of data, the RING license is based on that 1PB, not on the data protection scheme selected later (number of replicas or erasure coding parity levels). RING software licenses are offered for both hardware lifetime and perpetual.

RING software support is priced at a fixed price per usable TB per year. Scality offers two additional premium support options called "Dedicated Care Support" (DCS-F and -X) for proactive maintenance, and with DCS-X this also provides a 100% uptime SLA.

ZENKO software pricing is based on Total Data Managed (TDM) across all managed “clouds” and is charged on an annual subscription basis.

Other key players in this market: EMC ECS, EMC Isilon, NetApp StorageGrid, Hitachi HCP, IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS)

Contact information for potential customers: https://scality.com

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...