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Qumulo file access hybrid cloud QF2 file system launches in Europe

US startup Qumulo, which provides software-based hybrid cloud file access storage that can run on-premise or in the cloud has launched in Europe.

The company’s QF2 is a parallel file system that scales to hundreds of nodes and can be deployed on Qumulo-supplied or approved third party hardware (currently HPE) in the customer datacentre or as software nodes in the Amazon cloud, with storage tiering in both locations.

Qumulo is taking aim at the scale-out/clustered NAS market and competitors such as Dell EMC’s Isilon products.

Qumulo’s QF2 provides a hybrid cloud Posix/Windows-compatible file system. When new hardware nodes are added the software spawns the file system to it, up to clusters of hundreds of nodes.

“We haven’t yet met the technical limit,” said Qumulo technical director, Stephan Radtke. “The architecture is made to break limits. Isilon etc were built 20 years ago when a petabyte was rare. Now a PB is normal.”

“The software is designed to adapt quickly to operate in the cloud, in AWS, in the same manner as on-premise.”

In the cloud Qumulo operates as a minimum four-node cluster on Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances, backed with elastic block store (EBS) volumes for read/write cache and secondary EBS volumes as a slower tier.

Data protection in Qumulo is provided by erasure coding at block level. A key selling point highlighted by Qumulo is that its file access, Posix-compliant, storage means customers can use it for existing workloads without having to convert to cloud storage formats such as Amazon’s S3, said Radtke.

“There’s been no file system in the cloud,” he said. “You have had to have apps that run S3, but QF2 is a file system so you don’t have to rewrite all your apps.”

Workloads targeted by Qumulo include: Organisations that need elasticity of compute and storage, to handle burst-y workloads such as video rendering; collaborative workflows, such as institutions between institutions that work on genome data, and as a repository for cold data, using tiering within QF2.

The Qumulo launch is another manifestation of the emergence of storage technologies built for hybrid cloud use with a single namespace accessible on- and off-site. Recently we have also seen the announcement of Cloudian’s Hyperstore 7, which allows file and object storage in hybrid cloud operations and Microsoft’s purchase of Avere, which also has a unified on-premise/cloud file storage capability in its C2N product.

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