News this morning from object storage vendor Cloudian who, in an effort to further build out its product offering and customer base in order to create an attractive IPO candidate, is announcing its acquisition of Infinity Storage, a Milan-based company working in the software-defined file storage space.

With the acquisition, Cloudian gains the ability to offer a broader storage story, one that encompasses both file and object-based approaches. Add to that the fact that Cloudian’s offering is built to be compatible with the default cloud standard – Amazon Web Services S3 API, and you have a smart, forward-looking offering.

It also means that Cloudian can now offer both file and object-based storage and thereby consolidate the different storage requirements that many of their customers have. Cloudian suggests that its simple management approach can reduce TCO by 70% when compared to traditional multi-silo NAS systems.

Cloudian and Infinity Storage have actually been working together for awhile and collaborated to launch Cloudian’s HyperFile NAS controller to offer file services from Cloudian’s HyperStore storage pool. HyperFile covered the gamut of features, including SMB(CIFS)/NFS support, snapshot, WORM, non-disruptive failover, scale-out performance, POSIX compliance and Active Directory integration.

While Infinity Storage wasn’t well-known, it’s founder was. Caterina Falchi was an inventor of the write-once-read-many (WORM) file system that provides jukebox file management and transparent access to data within this protected environment. WORM was originally designed to preserve data integrity for regulatory compliance and now also plays a vital role in protecting data from corruption caused by malware or ransomware. Post-acquisition, Falchi continues on with Cloudian as vice president of file technologies.

Of her company’s history, and it’s Cloudian-flavored future, Falchi has this to say:

For more than a decade, 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. While launching HyperFile with Cloudian, we immediately recognized that our company cultures and technologies meshed perfectly. We are genuinely thrilled to be joining the Cloudian team.

MyPOV

Increasingly organizations are looking to combine their various storage needs under a single platform vendor. The cost and management implications of various standalone products have become too great to continue with the status quo. Add to that the fact that unstructured data is creating a veritable tsunami of storage needs and it makes sense that scale-out platforms like Cloudian are increasingly attractive.

Of course, Cloudian isn’t alone and other vendors such as Scality, SwiftStack, and Rubrik are, to a greater or lesser extent, going after the same prize. That said, the prize is a big one, indeed Gartner predicts that by 2021, more than 80% of enterprise data will be stored in scale-out storage systems in enterprise and cloud data centers, up from 30% today – that’s a whole lot of storage to sell to these large organizations and Cloudian is gunning for a slice of that pie.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

1 Comment
  • Well, when I first saw the feature set of Cloudian HyperFile it made me curious. I compared HyperFile to what Infinity Storage was offering and it looked similar in a number of ways that did not seem coincidental. HyperFile was also available shortly after Cloudian made the announcement in December 2017. Nothing had been pre-announced or “leaked” about HyperFile before it was available as an EA (Early Availability) release from Cloudian in January 2018. This was markedly different than Cloudian’s attempt to create a “Panzura like” offering with code licensed from BridgeSTOR which Cloudian called HyperStore Connect for Files. In this situation Cloudian announced HyperStore Connect for Files in December 2015 about six months before it was actually released around June 2016. I suspected the delay was due to unanticipated coding complexities that affected the product’s stability and/or performance. HyperStore Connect for Files fell off the radar around the middle of 2017.

    HyperFile is a NAS Controller or NAS Head that can do interesting things like migrate files from existing NAS appliances to a Cloudian HyperStore cluster. HyperFile does not run on Cloudian HyperStore cluster nodes. HyperFile runs as a VM or hardware appliance. A basic HyperFile feature set is included with Cloudian HyperStore licensing. An enterprise HyperFile feature set is available at additional cost. Cloudian acquiring Infinity Storage is a good thing.

    Cloudian is surging while Scality is stumbling and SwiftStack is not going anywhere fast. Cloudian needs to put some distance between itself and its competitors like Caringo, Scality, and SwiftStack. Cloudian can do this by attracting a thousand plus new customers using their recently announced software and hardware consumption model for Cloudian HyperStore. This model turns public cloud storage on its head by making the same storage consumption model available for private storage clouds. Business is about getting customers and the first one in this group to reach $100M in revenue can think about filing for an IPO.

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