Why now is the best time for all-flash file storage

Posted November 13, 2017 by Biren Mowli — Senior Product Manager. Filed under Company, Market.

I am excited to announce that, as of today, we can offer Qumulo File Fabric (QF2) on an all-flash platform. There are several reasons why we believe the time is right for this move. Many industries are carrying out more and more data intensive workloads and the economics of an all-flash system make more sense today than they did last year. Let’s take a closer look at why now the best time to launch QF2 on an all-flash system.

All-flash systems help power today’s data intensive workloads

The types of workloads that demand the highest performance are growing. For example, in genomic sequencing researchers generate huge amounts of data looking for ways to treat disease. To do this, they must match sequences to reference data sets. The access patterns are quite random and spinning disks are simply too slow to make this use case feasible without all-flash.

Another example is video. Only a few years ago, 4K video was considered state of the art. Now we’re talking about 6K and even 8K video streams. In particular, real-time streaming and editing put tremendous demands on a storage system.

These are just two use cases. There are many more, and everyone who’s involved in these areas realizes that an all-flash storage system is the only way they can make their ideas a reality.

So we know that customers want all-flash systems, but we also know there are several vendors who sell it. What makes Qumulo and QF2 different? What do we offer that no one else can?

The short answer is, “plenty,” but I think I should elaborate.

All-flash for your needs

QF2 on all-flash runs on the most modern standard hardware available. Other vendors are focused on their custom hardware, which locks customers into proprietary solutions. Proprietary hardware for flash storage is expensive because it lacks the economies of scale of standard hardware. It takes expensive people, expensive processes and expensive supply chains to keep the flow of custom hardware coming, and, worse, the hardware becomes obsolete every 24 months or so.

In general, we’re seeing that commodity all-flash costs are very close, and actually converging, with the costs of SATA drives. By riding the cost curve of commercial, off-the-shelf hardware, QF2 is less expensive than proprietary all-flash systems today and will continue to take advantage of commodity economics over time.

Another consequence of custom hardware is that it delays innovation. Proprietary hardware requires that vendors focus on device drivers and other low-level software components. They don’t have the time or the budget for new software features. Using standard hardware frees Qumulo to focus on rapid innovation. We already have a proven history of delivering frequent performance upgrades and new features. Our customers can expect the same with all-flash.

Finally, proprietary hardware means that high-performance workloads exist in data silos. But more and more, customers with compute-intensive workloads want to move data from their on-prem storage system to the cloud to do some burst computing. That’s a challenge when your entire file system is dependent on custom hardware sitting in your data center. QF2 clusters running on all-flash instances in the data center have all of the advanced capabilities of QF2, including the ability to connect to the public cloud. Qumulo provides the only cloud-integrated all-flash file storage.

In short, QF2 instances on all-flash extends our vision of what a file storage system should do to even more workloads than before. Now, our customers with even the most demanding workloads can take advantage of what QF2 offers with QF2 on all-flash.

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Biren Mowli
Senior Product Manager
Qumulo works hard every day to solve real challenges facing real people. Never have I seen such a collaborative culture of top-notch talent come together to delight our customers every day. It is a great experience to be a part of that

Biren has 18+ years of progressive experience in corporate strategy, product/program management, supply chain & operations across multiple industries. At Qumulo, he is a product leader with end-to-end responsibility in the creation and delivery of hardware and software strategies.

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