What’s that I see off the right side of the ship? It appears to be Starboard Storage coming out of its “stealth mode” and diving into the hybrid storage space. The company now has more than 50 customers who utilize its hybrid SSD and spinning media storage, and, according to company officials, this is where the industry is heading, eastward toward easier to manage storage with a lower cost for big data.
At the recent Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, California, I sat down with Lee Johns, vice president of product management at Starboard Storage to discuss the company, its position in the space, and its vision for the future. Johns pointed to three differentiators for the company: lower dollars per aisle, lower dollars per Gb and lower opex and capex.
Johns opined that we are moving to a world where everything is more service oriented and more immediate. He said that Starboard takes the latest SSD technology and merges it with dynamic pooling for disc storage. The company has stripped away the complexity, making sure to deliver storage that can adapt to businesses, meaning that companies do not have to understand or manage workloads in order to accelerate them.
The core issue, according to Johns, is to leverage SSD, while lowering cost on the back end. The company virtualizes SSD. Each application is different in its use of I/O and data at rest, but when these applications need performance immediately, the SSD layer is available for every application when and where it is needed. The storage pool stretches across all discs, making one pool of space. Every application has access to all the space in the system and can access capacity and performance on demand.
In the future, Johns sees the benefits to customers of visibility into performance that was previously unavailable without the need to trouble administrators. Johns feels that the market is moving toward what Starboard already delivers, and that the company has a head start on this journey into an undiscovered country. They will, perhaps, be the first to shout “Land, Ho!”
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