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VMblog Expert Interview: StorONE's Vision for Unified Storage - CEO Gal Naor Discusses Version 3.8 and Future Plans

interview storone 

In an exclusive interview with VMblog, Gal Naor, CEO and co-founder of StorONE, sheds light on the company's latest developments and future trajectory. As StorONE prepares to launch version 3.8 of its S1 storage platform, Naor discusses how the company is addressing market pain points, aligning with Gartner's recommendations, and preparing for the AI-driven future of data storage. With a focus on delivering high performance at tier 2 pricing, StorONE is positioning itself as a versatile solution provider in an increasingly complex storage landscape.

This Q&A offers insights into StorONE's strategy, the features of their upcoming release, and their vision for a unified storage platform capable of meeting diverse enterprise needs. 

VMblog:  There's been some buzz around StorONE recently. We know you've been hard at work assessing the market.

Gal Naor:  At StorONE have been heads down working on v3.8, while simultaneously building strategic partnerships, expanding our client roster, and strengthening our company overall. 

We were pleased to see Gartner's recent research titled, "Stop buying storage, embrace platforms instead," as it aligns to our overall software strategy and the foundational reason that StorONE was built.  

VMblog:  Can you tell us about your new version of the S1 storage platform and its new enhancements?

Naor:  In version 3.8, we continue to strengthen our product's value with a focus on providing high performance at tier 2 pricing. StorONE is the only vendor offering high-capacity, high-performance storage at tier 2 prices, delivering a flexible, agile, and cost-effective solution.

We achieve this through our efficient software optimization which includes numerous enhancements for performance, optimized NAS volume management, and efficient memory management. Operational efficiencies are further bolstered by features like local relay, evacuation/tiering management, and comprehensive support functionalities.

Secondly, our optimized data placement strategy integrates advanced tiering capabilities. The redesigned tiering system in StorONEoptimizes both performance and durability, allowing users to dynamically adjust upper-tier capacities, control data pinning to the fastest tier, and seamlessly migrate data to lower tiers during off-peak periods to minimize application disruptions.

Finally, robust security is a non-negotiable. Features like immutable snapshots ensure data integrity by preventing alterations after capture, facilitating swift recovery and forensic analysis. Multi-factor authentication is augmented by multi-admin approval for administrative actions, enhancing security resilience against compromised accounts. Real-time anomaly detection through heuristic analysis alerts users to suspicious activities, while comprehensive audit logging provides complete visibility and traceability for every access and operation.

VMblog:  What pain points are you seeing in the storage market that 3.8 addresses?

Naor:  So many competitors in the storage industry prioritize faster drives over efficient software solutions. This approach leads to inflexible storage silos, such as All-Flash Arrays (AFA) which are costly and geared towards high performance at the expense of flexibility. HDDs offer lower performance at a dramatically lower cost, while low-cost flash options provide higher density but slower write speeds compared to regular flash, often relegating them to storing less critical data. These solutions struggle to meet the demands of emerging applications like AI, contributing to expensive and operationally disruptive migrations and forklift upgrades.

VMblog:  How does 3.8 fit in with StorONE overall vision for storage and your corporate strategy?

Naor:  StorONE's vision is a ONE storage platform for all use cases. We are excited to announce that even with high capacity and performance, we provide exceptional data security services without compromising performance. This includes immutable snapshots, offering full agility for customers to choose their preferred storage media and networking hardware today and be assured that they will be able to adopt new technologies as they become available. 

Gartner recently published research titled, "Stop buying storage, embrace platforms instead." This concept has been StorONE's corporate strategy since the company's inception. We developed the S1 Enterprise Storage Platform to provide storage clients with the flexibility and convenience of one platform for all storage use cases.

VMblog:  Is 3.8 generally available now?

Naor:  It will be released on July 8, 2024.

VMblog:  How is the rise of AI impacting StorONE and its offerings?

Naor:  StorONE was designed with the foresight to accommodate new uses-cases like AI and we will be able to continue to evolve with changing data center needs. From the outset, we anticipated trends in data growth and the exponential increase in storage requirements. Our platform is uniquely positioned to handle the massive data demands such as that of AI applications/use-cases.

StorONE allows users to store tremendous amounts of data without paying a hefty price tag. Our platform's high-performance capabilities ensure that AI processes can run efficiently without bottlenecks or latency issues. 

We also continuously optimize our data placement and management technologies to support the dynamic needs of AI workloads, ensuring seamless integration and operation. As AI continues to evolve, we remain committed to innovating and enhancing our offerings to meet the future needs of our customers.

VMblog:  What's on the horizon for StorONE over the course of 2024 into 2025?

Naor:  StorONE has several exciting initiatives planned for the remainder of this year and next. The company aims to establish partnerships with leading hardware manufacturers, enhancing our offerings and market reach. And StorONE is focusing on forming distribution and reseller agreements with prominent storage distributors and resellers to further broaden our channel network. 

The development of unique AI solutions is also on the horizon, promising innovative advancements-stay tuned for more details. Our primary focus right now is to ensure our platform is compatible with all major public cloud service providers, offering customers complete flexibility and seamless cloud integration.

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Gal Naor is the CEO and co-founder of StorONE, the only vendor providing all enterprise storage use cases on ONE software platform. With over two decades of experience in the storage industry, Gal has a proven track record of driving growth and innovation. Under his leadership, StorONE has become a disruptive force in the storage market, offering high-capacity and performance, cost-effective, and secure storage solutions to a diverse range of industries. 

Before founding StorONE in 2011, Gal was the CEO and founder of Storwize, the first company to develop real-time, inline data compression, which was later acquired by IBM. 

Gal has brought his experience and talents to the boards of numerous successful technology and pharma companies and is passionate about leveraging technology to solve complex business challenges.

Published Monday, July 08, 2024 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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