Q&A With Mark Lewis, CEO Of Formation Data Systems, Regarding Its Hyperscale, Software Defined Storage Solution For The Enterprise

Cloud Computing Today recently spoke to Mark Lewis, CEO of Formation Data Systems about the innovation of its hyperscale, software defined storage platform and ability to virtualize all enterprise storage components. The questions below examine the Formation Data Systems product suite in the context of an overview of its capabilities, its relationship to cloud and Big Data technologies and its ability to support storage-related analytics.

Cloud Computing Today Question #1: Describe Formation Data Systems and the innovation it makes to contemporary storage.

 Formation Data Systems Response #1Formation Data Systems is an emerging technology company that combines the benefits of public cloud web-scale approaches with the capabilities of private datacenter storage. The FormationOne Dynamic Storage Platform is a software-defined storage solution that has been built for Enterprise IT, SaaS application providers, and service providers with innovations such as PriorityOne QoS, Timeline data protection, Dynamic Data Tiering and Firebreak infrastructure analytics and anomaly detection engine to transform how enterprise storage is deployed, managed and maintained.   

Cloud Computing Today Question #2: How does Formation Data Systems respond to the contemporary proliferation of cloud and Big Data technologies?

 Formation Data Systems Response #2: The complexity and high cost of current enterprise storage solutions have caused IT professionals to look at cloud storage alternatives. Cloud storage is often simple, elastic, and inexpensive compared to most enterprise storage today, this is especially true when it comes to Big Data deployments. But there are challenges; cloud storage often lacks the flexibility, security, performance, and control required for enterprise data environments.  Formation addresses these challenges by providing a platform that delivers the scale and flexibility to support HDFS workloads that allow big data scientists to deploy storage solutions that provide cloud elasticity and economics but with the data governance and control of private data centers.   By using software data connectors to support block, file, object and HDFS interfaces, the FormationOne system can simultaneously support production and analytics workloads taking advantage of the Single Origin functionality of the Formation software-defined architecture.

Cloud Computing Today Question #3: How does Formation Data Systems address the challenge of analytics on storage? What analytics can customers access about their storage infrastructures?

 Formation Data Systems Response #3: FormationOne offers real-time analytics via a feature called FireBreak that supports storage and application analytics that provide deep insights for storage and application administrators. FireBreak collects rich telemetry data for the storage system at the per-volume, per-application, and per-domain level via a streaming API. It also collects data on each application’s behavior and performance. This provides storage administrators with a set of tools to monitor the system capacity and health and application behavior in real-time.  In addition, FireBreak issues alerts about any critical conditions that occur, such as capacity or IOPS problems, through configurable SMS, email or SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) traps. This facilitates early detection and resolution of any storage failures and keeps the customer informed. FireBreak sends alerts to the customer and displays them in the UI. The alert displays the volume in red for 1 hour. As the system recovers from the event, the color slowly returns to green over a 24-hour period (assuming no other alerts occur).


Qumulo Announces $40M In Series B Funding For Enterprise Data Storage Solution In Stealth

Seattle-based enterprise data storage startup Qumulo today announced the finalization of $40M in Series B funding in a round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers with additional participation from existing investors Highland Capital, Madrona Venture Group and Valhalla Partners. The funding will be used to accelerate product development and expand Qumulo’s sales and marketing efforts. Still in stealth, Qumulo tackles data management problems specific to storage infrastructures for massive amounts of data. The company aspires to become the “company the world trusts to store, manage, and curate its data forever” as noted in its mission statement. In a phone interview with Cloud Computing Today, Qumulo’s CEO Peter Godman remarked that the condition of possibility for the retention of “data forever” involves the ever depreciating cost of storage-related hardware infrastructures. That said, industry-wide and global cultural expectations to retain data forever create a veritable constellation of problems related to data retrieval and archiving of billions or trillions of files within cost-effective, scalable storage platforms. Today’s funding raise brings the total capital raised by Qumulo to $67M. Sujal Patel, founder of Isilon, the storage vendor acquired by EMC for $2.5 billion, will join Qumulo’s board of directors and complement a leadership team that includes storage experts from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google. As Qumulo emerges from stealth to provide more details of its product offering, the industry should expect dramatic innovation in enterprise-grade scale-out NAS that forthrightly tackles thorny problems related to the curation and organization of massive amounts of data on storage infrastructures designed for big data sets.