Today’s storage market faces a similar problem to what Tesla solved for the automotive industry. To save on gas and to reduce the impact on the environment, many consumers want to “go green” with an electric car. Electric cars are clearly ideal, but before Tesla, automobile manufacturers struggled to produce quality electric cars because they did not invest the time needed to re-architect the automobile to run sustainably and cost efficiently on batteries. The result was electric cars that were incapable of driving long distances only on batteries, and expensive hybrid models that forced the customer to compromise by requiring a standard gas engine and adding huge batteries that diminished trunk space. Tesla made going green easy for the consumer, with electric cars that are easy to drive, can drive for long ranges, and even have much better performance than a standard gas car with greater efficiency.
Tesla achieved this breakthrough with software innovations, which is also the solution to today’s storage headaches. We have already seen the potential of these innovations in other areas of the IT stack. For example, VMware taught us the value of purchasing hardware independently from software in the server market. Microsoft Exchange is purchased independently from the storage systems on which the application will ultimately run. Traditional storage solutions require large amounts of hardware and are very expensive to purchase and operate. StorONE has changed the efficiency equation of the storage stack by completely re-engineering storage software so it now dramatically boosts the utilization of storage hardware and is independent of the hardware. As a result, less hardware – and, arguably even more importantly, less expensive hardware – is needed to obtain the same results.
Other aspects of the data center, including servers and networking, have been virtualized, but no company before StorONE has virtualized storage to the point that a storage system can be created from any underlying hardware. When you deploy VMware server virtualization, you don’t purchase an additional server for each virtual machine that needs to be created. You use one server to create many virtual machines.
StorONE followed the trend of these industry leaders. StorONE’s software-defined storage solution, called S1, allows the customer to run any combination of storage access protocols and use cases, with a myriad of deployment options – all on a single, commodity system. This approach solves the biggest problems facing storage professionals today:
Multiple, siloed systems that support only a singular use case must be managed and maintained
Legacy architectures force compromises on everything from performance to data protection
Legacy architectures force vendor lock in and costly maintenance contracts