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VMblog Expert Interview: David Flynn of Hammerspace Talks Hybrid Cloud Storage, Remote Workforces and More

interview hammerspace david flynn 

VMblog recently caught up with David Flynn, CEO of Hammerspace, to get an update on the company and learn more about their hybrid cloud storage and global file system.

VMblog:  It has been a while since we last spoke, can you give us a refresher on what Hammerspace is all about?

David Flynn:  Hammerspace helps CIOs push their digital transformation agenda forward. By aligning data with business priorities our customers can take a data-centric approach to how file data is served and managed, rather than any of the typical infrastructure-centric approaches that only hold back the full potential of services deployed across hybrid cloud environments. We believe that Hammerspace is the only true hybrid cloud storage and data management product on the market because we abstract away the infrastructure so that users can easily access their data anywhere and self-service its management.

Our principles dictate that hybrid cloud storage should deliver on three high-level benefits in a way that doesn't require you to compromise one against another: 
  • Agility - Greatly simplify data management by abstracting data from complex infrastructure to serve it anywhere at high-performance.
  • Control - Have built-in and consistent data services following the data to govern, mobilize, protect and recover it regardless of what infrastructure is available.
  • Efficiency - Make data as highly optimized as possible across hybrid cloud using high levels of automation. Data should be managed at fine granularity to reduce the overall TCO of data across the organization.

VMblog:  How does hybrid cloud storage from Hammerspace differ from any of the other options on the market?

Flynn:  Hybrid cloud storage from Hammerspace is backed by our global file system. Completely software-defined, our file system can be deployed in public or private clouds, on commodity hardware, or to manage enterprise storage from any of the usual suspects.

We are truly infrastructure agnostic because we virtualize data, abstracting it from the infrastructure by separating the data plane (data) from the control plane (metadata) using standard protocols NFS, SMB, and S3. This is what allows users see and access their data anywhere, moving it live and non-disruptively. Also, our file system is fully parallelized and built to scale-out, so performance is never compromised.

Since our file system can be deployed anywhere, it means we can serve file data services anywhere. So, things like snapshots, disaster recovery, undelete, replication, mobility, compression, encryption, and dedupe are consistent and available across the entire hybrid cloud environment; making it easy to self-service, automate, and optimize.

VMblog:  Making data universally available everywhere seems like it would be especially relevant to customers who suddenly find themselves supporting a broad remote workforce.  How does Hammerspace facilitate remote workforces today?

Flynn:  We hear from our customers that this sudden shift to supporting a remote workforce has created an urgency to get more workloads to cloud; both to take advantage its elasticity in the face of great uncertainty and because they are not in a position deploy new infrastructure.  An additional wildcard is the disruption to supply chains making hardware difficult or impossible to procure.  Of course, one of the biggest challenges to moving workloads to cloud is the data migration - and this is where Hammerspace can help.

VDI in cloud is a great example of what I'm talking about.  Moving profile and user data is typically done using some flavor of rsync replication, which is a big lift if you suddenly find yourself having to sort through and manage thousands of new remote workers. Hammerspace can instantly make all that data available to your cloud VDI services, automating mobility and data protection while skipping over that data migration phase entirely. Now with Hammerspace, your entire hybrid cloud infrastructure is delivering elastic services as you support thousands of remote workers without you needing to deploy any new hardware.

VMblog:  What does a Hammerspace customer look like?

Flynn:  Our customers tend to have large amounts of file data and are struggling to make private and public hybrid cloud work well for them. They might be using it for archiving to cloud, or data intensive workflows like cloud rendering or genomics, or simply sharing and collaborating across many sites like law firms, insurance, or accounting.

One thing common across almost all our customers is their desire to reduce their dependency on legacy NAS. They may have tried this before by using software-defined storage, but things didn't really work out because SDS doesn't fully address the potential of hybrid cloud, even with cloud gateway features.  Data needs to be agile, controlled, and efficient anywhere across the hybrid cloud to free people from their NAS dependency.

VMblog:  Where can readers learn more about Hammerspace?

Flynn:  Additional information about Hammerspace is available on our website and you can find us on LinkedIn or Twitter @Hammerspace_inc


Published Wednesday, April 29, 2020 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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