StorOne: Transparent Innovation

Introduction

Last month I had the privilege of being briefed by StorOne CMO, George Crump on their most recent announcement around their S1 storage solution innovation.  I know what you’re thinking, what more can a storage company innovate on that we haven’t already seen?  Well, you might be surprised, but before I talk about the announcement, let me first give you a little background on the company, StorOne.

Who is StorOne

StorOne is a hardware-independent software solution addressing all storage use cases with wicked performance, robust storage services, and all the protocols you’re used to seeing in an enterprise-class solution.  See the chart below for the protocols supported.

Protocol Support
Block File Object
Fibre Channel, iSCSI SMB, NFS S3

Because they do all of this natively, without sitting on ZFS or some other opensource code, George mentioned they can get about 85% of the drive performance where many others will only get 20%.  He attributes that the fact that they are doing this natively and as such have much greater efficiency over others in the market.  So, what does that mean in real-world terms?  Well, below is a chart with some of their performance numbers to give you a perspective.

AFA Performance
92TB 184TB 1PB 3 Optane Drives
400K IOPs 500K IOPs 900K IOPs 1.2M IOPs

While these are based on all-flash arrays, it is still super impressive but the crazier part is the 1.2M IOPs with 3 Intel Optane drives.  The numbers were so high Intel insisted on having StorOne set it all up in their labs to show it again, according to Crump.

The company boasts they are about 60% less than the competition and have had customers say their 3 year TCO with StorOne is often less than 1 year of maintenance of current solutions in house.  This leads me to the reason for this blog as I mentioned at the outset, StorOnes S1 storage solution innovation.  They have taken up the torch as the cost crushing solution, which is a good thing for customers.

As I mentioned before, it is relatively difficult to really innovate in the storage market unless you are the hardware manufacturer or you have created massive value through software as StorOne has already done with its S1 solution.  So, what more could be done to innovate?  I call it, transparent innovation, as in the title of this blog.

Transparent Innovation

IT decision-makers across the globe are constantly looking at solutions to improve performance and efficiency in the data center while also making sure these solutions fit within their own budget and spend for these solutions.  This oftentimes can cause some contention as the customer and sales rep begin the negotiation process over solution quotes.  Or worse yet you work with a storage vendor that quotes you an under-sized solution just so it would fit within your budget only to find yourself out of luck six months down the road with a solution that must be upgraded to meet the user and application demand.  I have personally worked with a client who had that exact situation happen to them and it was disastrous.  Users would be down from a couple of hours to a day or more.  Just a horrible situation all around.  This is why transparent innovation is so important, and I’ll explain what that is in a few more paragraphs.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

— Ernst F. Schumacher

Wouldn’t it be nice to know upfront what the solution pricing would be based on exactly what you need?

Welcome to StorOne TRUprice

What is TRUprice?

TRUprice is StorOne’s way of simplifying life for the customer and putting the rest of the storage industry off balance by their bold and unprecedented move.  By going to StorOne’s TRUprice page on their website you can quickly and easily navigate your way to a complete and configured solution in just a few clicks with pricing.  Yes, you read that right, with PRICING.  You don’t have to register, give your email, phone number, blood type, or anything.  You can be a competitor and go check it out – StorOne is not concerned.

StorOne wanted to make it easier for customers to do business with them, so they took a page from the cell phone service providers who sell a number of hardware platforms using their software service on top of it.

Simple, right?

It really is.

You simply select whether you want all flash, all HDD, or hybrid and whether you need an HA pair. After that you select your capacity, followed by connectivity selection and you’re done.

Some of you may notice that these servers on their TRUprice page are mid-range servers, but according to Crump “that’s the whole point to our native solution and getting up to 85% performance from the drives when you are this efficient you don’t need a large massive server.  This is what efficiency looks like.”  Another way to keep the acquisition price down.

In Closing

From The CTE Group perspective, this fits right into our philosophy of Business-Centric IT, which is focusing on the goals and objectives of the business through smart use and deployment of IT technologies in the data center and/or the cloud.

I learned a long time ago during one of my business courses five key pillars of running a business are

  1. A Great Product/Solution
  2. A focus on Customer Service = Customer Loyalty
  3. Internal Morale; Make sure your team is happy and earning well
  4. Generating cash
  5. Make it easy to do business with you

What StorOne has done is really bold, they made doing business with them very easy.  Now IT decision-makers can work alongside their own technical teams to determine what is needed from a performance, capacity, and a protocol(s) perspective with the price right in their hands immediately to be used for budgetary purposes before contacting anyone in sales.  If this takes off, and I have no reason to believe that it will not, we may see other storage solution providers following their lead.  Very interesting pivot by StorOne, it will be good to watch the market reaction to this new kind of innovation, transparent innovation.

David A. Chapa, Founder, The CTE Group

http://www.thectegroup.net

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