Matt That IT Guy

Racking And Stacking In A Cloud-Based World

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Tech Field Day 12 Primer: Igneous Systems

Igneous SystemsIgneous Systems, founded in 2013, is a Seattle-based company who will be making their first Tech Field Day appearance. According to Crunchbase, they are under the 50 employee mark, so still very much in startup mode, which can have its benefits alongside some challenges.

I have not heard of them prior to the Tech Field Day 12 event, but I am definitely curious to see what they bring to the table. Doing some research, I found out that Igneous Systems currently holds 11 patents with the US Patents Office – so not a huge number, but it is an indication of some sort of innovation. One of those patents appears to be for their ‘distributed erasure-encoding protection (DEEPr)’ – I’m not sure what that scheme is, but hopefully we’ll find out.

Their main focus is on having cloud storage in your on-premises environment. They do this by working with local IT and bringing in their own hardware. Although the hardware sits on the customer’s site, it is managed via the Igneous Cloud. The whole idea is that you get ‘cloud storage’ on-site so your applications can talk to it, but you are not stuck managing it.

So, let’s dig a bit deeper. The storage is comprised of a unit called a dataBox which is 4u and holds 60 drives (I imagine it has a hefty weight to it too) and has a minimum usable capacity of 212 TB. You’ll also need their dataRouter which is used to for the cloud management portion of the setup. The dataBox has four 10Gbe interfaces while the dataRouter has two 10Gbe interfaces. These are subscription based and start with 1 year agreements. This might be appealing for organizations that would rather look at an operating cost versus a capital cost. According to their webpage, you can get the base-config for under $40,000 USD a year – definitely a bit of an eye-catcher.

Once all this gear is in your datacenter and setup, what can you do with it? The dataBox supports data access via the S3 API or FTP. This where the whole ‘cloud storage in a box’ concept really comes in. You can build cloud-native apps that leverage local storage, which translates into fantastic speeds from a user perspective. If all of your data resides locally and you can avoid having to transmit it across the WAN, then response times should be great. This might also be a great solution for instances where you don’t want your data stored in the cloud (privacy or security restrictions come to mind), but you want to leverage cloud-based applications.

I’m excited to learn more about Igneous Systems as their offering appears to be somewhat unique at first glance. You can catch their presentation November 15th at 16:30 at Tech Field Day 12.

Disclaimer: I was invited to participate in Tech Field Day as a delegate. All of my expenses, including food, transportation, and lodging are being covered by Gestalt IT. I did not receive any compensation to write this post, nor was I requested to write this post. Anything written above is of my own accord.

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