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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Rozo Systems Talks Storage Challenges and Software-Defined Storage


Have you looked into Rozo Systems?  They are a provider of software-defined scale-out NAS solutions, and its software runs on any standard x86 servers powered by Linux.  The core of its patented technology is a unique erasure coding algorithm, offering high performance.  To dig in deeper and learn more about the company, I reached out to its CEO, Pierre Evenou.

VMblog:  Rozo Systems... curious, where does the name come from?  Is there an interesting story behind it?

Pierre Evenou: In French, ‘Rozo' is phonetically similar to ‘roseau,' which translates to reed. Le Chêne et le Roseau (The Oak and the Reed) is a very famous fable written in the 17th century by Jean de la Fontaine that tells a great story about an underdog (the reed) and an arrogant leader (the oak). The oak feels very strong and superior and tells the reed so. The reed humbly replies that he might not be strong, but that he is tough. A huge wind storm soon arrives and it topples the oak while the reed bends, but does not break. That is why we chose Rozo as the name of our company. 

VMblog:  Who are your target customers and how are you solving their storage challenges?

Evenou:  Rozo Systems targets its customers based on a few factors: 
  • Target markets: Rozo Systems is focused on vertical markets that require cost-effective high-performance storage solutions. Initial target markets are Media & Entertainment (M&E), Life Sciences, and Electronic Design Automation (EDA).  
  • Capacity: RozoFS is a good fit for capacities ranging from 300 TB to 20 PB. Below this range, storage systems do not require the scale-out capabilities of RozoFS. Above this range, although RozoFS is technically able to manage larger capacities, storage becomes very large for a Tier 1 file system and data should likely be archived in a more cost-effective storage solution. 
  • Performance: RozoFS is a good fit for Tier 1 storage applications. For example, movie editors that require access to large media files for special effects are a perfect for for RozoFS.

VMblog:  What partnerships do you have and how are they benefiting your customers?

Evenou:  Rozo Systems has multiple partnerships to create a more complete solution. They can be broadly grouped in the following segments: 
  • Technology partners: this includes server partners (Dell, Lenovo, HPE, Supermicro, QCT) and network vendors (Mellanox, Arista, etc.). These partnerships enable our customers to have access to the best hardware at very competitive prices.
  • Solutions partners: system integrators architect the software-defined storage solution that delivers the performance and capacity needed by the customer at the best possible price. They also integrate RozoFS seamlessly into the customers' workflow and provide expertise in the customers' target market.

VMblog:  How are you selling: direct or channel?  And why?

Evenou:  Rozo Systems believes that working with channel partners will help it reach customers faster because of existing relationships between end-users and channel partners and the partners' expertise to offer solutions that easily integrate into the customers' workflow. In the traditional world, every channel partner selects from a very limited number of storage arrays offered by the storage vendor. With software-defined storage, the options are almost unlimited with choices in server, storage devices, network configuration, etc. Hence, system integrators provide great value in architecting software-defined solutions. 

Rozo Systems is committed to being a 100% channel-centric technology vendor: all our sales will go through our channel partners.  

VMblog:  Any advice for potential customers looking for a scale-out NAS solution?

Evenou:  Companies are increasingly migrating from legacy infrastructure to software-defined technologies. The transition is happening now. As an end-user or as a system integrator, you cannot afford to wait because your competitors and customers are demanding innovative options. You cannot afford to be left behind. 

When selecting a software-defined storage (SDS) solution, several factors are critical. First of all, make sure the solution is fully software-defined, and not software from traditional storage arrays ported to a restricted set of hardware platforms. Confirm with the vendor that the SDS solution runs on any x86 commodity servers with any storage device (HDD, SSD) and on all infrastructures (on-prem, hybrid and public cloud). Also make sure that the solution delivers the performance you need at a reasonable cost: some solutions will deliver you performance goals with HDD while others will require SSD resulting in a very steep price increase. It is also important that your SDS solution deliver high availability, which requires a system based on erasure coding; solutions based on replication are too expensive and cumbersome.


Published Thursday, February 01, 2018 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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