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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Qumulo Talks Enterprise Storage Trends, Challenges and Latest Qumulo Core 2.5

interview qumulo 

Last month, Qumulo announced the release of an updated version of its scale-out file and object storage software, Qumulo Core version 2.5.  At the same time, they also announced working with HPE.  So to find out more, I spoke with Jeff Cobb, the company's VP of product management. 

VMblog:  First things first, can you give readers some background on Qumulo?

Jeff Cobb:  Qumulo is the pioneer of data-aware scale-out NAS. With our award-winning scale-out file and object storage software Qumulo Core, we enable enterprises to manage and store enormous numbers of digital assets through real-time analytics built directly into the file system. Qumulo Core is a software-only solution designed to leverage the price/performance of commodity hardware coupled with the modern technologies of flash, virtualization and cloud. We're based in Seattle, and were founded in 2012 by the inventors of scale-out NAS. We've attracted a team of storage innovators from Isilon, Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft and have raised $100 million in three rounds of funding from leading investors.

VMblog:  What are the biggest trends you're seeing in enterprise storage today, and how do you expect things to change in the next five years?

Cobb:  The biggest trends are programmable infrastructure and hardware independence. Software services decisions and underlying infrastructure decisions will increasingly be made independently. Where an organization puts a particular service should be a business decision, not something forced by stodgy technology.

VMblog:  What about the main challenges in enterprise storage?

Cobb:  We are becoming a digital species. As more and more of our lives are spent producing, consuming, and analyzing digital content, more and more of our creations, discoveries, and experiences come from, and take the form of, data. Today's enterprise storage systems can't keep up with storing all this data - let alone with managing it. To support our digital existence, we offer software that knits low-cost commodity hardware together to provide a scalable, fast and reliable data storage system.

VMblog:  You recently announced Qumulo Core 2.5.  What's new with this release?

Cobb:  Qumulo Core 2.5 includes snapshots for extended enterprise data protection, erasure coding improvements delivering 80 percent efficiency, and additional data-aware software features with throughput analytics and intelligent caching of metadata on SSD.

Qumulo Core 2.5 makes it possible for enterprises to understand system throughput through the lens of data. Customers can easily get a graphical representation of the file system layout with indicators of throughput and IOPS heat and an at-a-glance view of capacity and activity, helping system administrators understand how their file storage is being used. They can drill down access to see what paths and clients are "hot" in real time provides easy troubleshooting of performance issues. Qumulo Core Throughput Hotspots is a graphical representation of hot paths in the system illuminating the load on the file system to help customers better understand system usage and troubleshoot performance issues.

VMblog:  I understand Qumulo Core is now available on HPE Apollo Servers.  Can you tell us more about that?

Cobb:  Yes, Qumulo Core is now available on Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Apollo servers, offering flexibility for enterprise customers that want next-generation scale-out file and object storage software on-premises or for private cloud workloads. Built for the highest levels of performance and efficiency, Qumulo Core on HPE Apollo servers is a future-proof solution for storing and managing hundreds of petabytes and tens of billions of files and objects, providing complete data-awareness of data footprint at extreme scale.

VMblog:  What types of customers do you have?

Cobb:  Since inception, we have doubled customer count and bookings year-over-year. We help more than 100 enterprise customers across media and entertainment, life and earth sciences, higher education, telecommunications and other industries make breakthroughs with data-intensive and mission critical workloads.

Customers include Atomic Fiction, Carnegie Institute for Science, Deluxe, Densho, FotoKem, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Hyundai MOBIS, MSG Networks, Sinclair Oil, Sportvision, TELUS Studios, UConn Health, University of Utah Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, Vaisala, ZOIC Studios, and many more.

VMblog:  Can you highlight a specific customer success story?

Cobb:  We recently announced that the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution for Science has chosen Qumulo Core to deliver the performance, scalability and simplicity needed to keep pace with evolving research data requirements. 

The Carnegie Institution for Science conducts an extensive range of pure scientific research, from earth science and biology to magnetism and astronomy. The Institution's Department of Embryology, established in 1913, is globally recognized for its innovative experimental studies, using molecular biology, genetic techniques and animal models to investigate developmental processes from single-cell embryos to whole organisms - research that has led to numerous scientific insights and three Nobel Prizes.

By leveraging Qumulo Core's flexible, fast and highly scalable storage together with the real-time analytics necessary for visibility into data usage, the Carnegie Institution for Science benefitted from the storage performance and scale the department's team wanted, packaged in a simple and affordable appliance architecture that leverages commodity hardware.

VMblog:  So tell us, what's next for Qumulo?

Cobb:  Qumulo Core on HPE Apollo servers is the first commodity hardware platform option on the Qumulo Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). We will make Qumulo Core's support on additional hardware configurations from HPE available in the first half of 2017. The HPE OEM Partner Program and availability of Qumulo Core on HPE Apollo servers enable us to focus more resources on software innovation, in order to bring products to market faster.

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Once again, thank you to Jeff Cobb, VP of Product Management at Qumulo, a leader in data-aware scale-out NAS, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.com.

Published Monday, December 12, 2016 8:13 AM by David Marshall
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