Scality gets $60m but keeps quiet about what it’ll spend it on

French object storage specialist Scality recently raised $60m of funding, but what will that money go towards?

The company – most well-known for its RING object storage product – is in the middle of efforts to achieve “multi-cloud” operations, in which customers can operate within and between public cloud and on-premises environments.

According to Scality CEO Jerome Lecat, the $60m will go towards “engineering efforts”. Adding, “The idea is to give freedom in a multi-cloud world. To be able to manage multiple clouds seamlessly with metadata search and the ability to move and replicate across clouds.”

It has gone some way to achieving this with its Zenko “multi-cloud controller”, although as yet that’s in beta with one firm, Bloomberg, and GA planned for later this year.

If it means anything “seamless multi-cloud operations” must mean the ability to operate in hybrid cloud fashion, with something like the ability to drag and drop files/objects between locations, between private cloud and public, and between public clouds. Like a user in an organisation can do between drives and locations on a LAN, in effect.

I asked Lecat whether Scality aims to make Zenko drag-and-drop. Unfortunately, he couldn’t give any definite answers here.

“The target is still the sysadmin kind of person, not the end user,” he said, implying that drag-and-drop simplicity is not needed for that target market, although that type of interface is in use commonly in other environments.

He went on to say, “Included in the latest RING software is the ability to visualise S3 buckets – it’s not quite drag-and-drop but you can see files in S3 buckets. But, in multi-cloud it is not drag-and-drop. It is a picklist, but you can pick the destination cloud and Zenko does the rest.”

Keen to get to what Scality was aiming for in its engineering efforts, I asked what needs to be done engineering-wise to get to seamless multi-cloud operations.

Lecat said: “Honestly, I’m going to pass on this question. There are problems to be solved but I don’t want to give them more visibility. It’s not easy to build this.”

He went on to outline what Scality had achieved

“What we have achieved is to provide a single namespace and validated four clouds across which data can be stored: Google, AWS, Azure and the Scality Ring [private cloud]. Also, we store in the native format of the cloud, for example, S3 in Amazon, Blobs in Azure, which is super-important to take advantage of value-added features in those clouds. And you can search and, for example, delete anything according to metadata attributes across those clouds.”

It’s an impressive list of achievements so far. But, it’s a case of watch-this-space to see whether the company can go further to achieve real seamless object storage ops between multiple public and private clouds.

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