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Qumulo gets HPE upgrade as customers ‘come back from object’

Distributed file system maker Qumulo benefits from HPE Apollo hardware upgrade in a market where Qumulo exec says customers are coming back from object storage for unstructured data

Qumulo’s distributed file system is now available on upgraded HPE hardware. The move to the HPE Apollo Gen 10 platform will see benefits that include faster CPUs, increased hard drive capacities and software enhancements such use of HPE’s Infosight performance analytics.

Qumulo is part of a new wave of scale-out NAS and distributed storage products that seek to address the growing need to store unstructured data and often in the cloud as well as the customer datacentre.

Analyst firm IDC said the scale-out file storage market will become an $11bn market by 2022, up nearly 2x from previous forecasts.

The HPE/Qumulo hardware – available in three products – will get faster CPUs with more cores and slightly higher clock speed, while one of them will also get a boost in capacity. That’s in the bulk storage-focussed Active Archive model, which will get 14TB HDDs where previously it had 12TB drives.

Additionally, Qumulo has expanded the maximum number of nodes in a cluster from 50 to 75 with total cluster capacity going up to just over 20PB from about 17PB.

All HPE-powered Qumulo nodes come on 2U Apollo 4200 hardware. Two of the three models aim at hybrid flash performance use cases. These are the HPE-90T and HPE-192T, which scale to 90TB and 192TB raw capacity respectively with spinning disk hard drives and flash drives in a ratio of about 3:1 to 4:1. That gives usable capacity of 200TB and 469TB respectively.

The bulk storage Active Archive model scales to 336TB raw (784TB effective) with 24 14TB HDDs and just under 8TB of flash in four drives.

Qumulo’s ecosystem is based on its QF2 parallel file system, which scales to hundreds of hardware nodes and can be deployed on Qumulo-supplied or HPE hardware in the customer datacentre or as software nodes in the Amazon and Google public clouds, with storage tiering in both locations. When new nodes are added, the software spawns the file system to it.

Qumulo’s QF2 provides a hybrid cloud Posix/Windows-compatible file system, to which has now been added S3 connectivity and the ability to run file and object workloads in the same Qumulo cluster.

Qumulo product director Molly Presley said that although Qumulo is hybrid cloud capable and very much focused on the cloud, most customers don’t deploy to the cloud.

“About 40% of our deals are cloud-influenced,” she said. “The top reason there is that we can take people to the cloud, although only about 20% of actual deployments are hybrid cloud. Meanwhile, some customers – about 5% – are pure cloud deployments.”

Presley said the company is seeing the benefit of a backlash against object storage.

“There was a shift in the market with the growth of unstructured data and scale-out NAS couldn’t cope,” she said. “That’s when we saw the emergence of object storage. But modern file systems are built to cope, and we are seeing customers that had moved to object storage coming over to scale-out NAS.

“The most important advantage of scale-out NAS over object storage is that all your data is available in a single tier. Applications are built to talk to file systems. You don’t have to re-write things to talk S3, for example. Modern file systems can do what object storage does, but with performance.”

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