StorONE, run by the same team as StorWIZE that IBM bought in 2010, has a 100 per cent channel strategy and is in partner recruitment mode. They expect the partnership with Mellanox will make them appeal to Mellanox partners as well.
Five months ago, storage startup StorONE launched with considerable fanfare and a promise to disrupt the storage market with pricing at under a penny per GB. They have now expanded their value proposition on the networking side with the announcement of a technology partnership with Mellanox.
StorONE looked to partner with Mellanox because Gal Naor, StorONE’s CEO and co-founder, had worked successfully before with them in his previous startup – dedupe vendor StorWIZE, which he founded in 2004 and subsequently sold to IBM in 2010 for $140 million.
“We had very good experiences with them when I was with StorWIZE,” Naor said. “Some of our channel partners have worked with them as well, and they also had good experiences with them.”
StorONE’s value proposition lies in innovative technology. Their TRU [Total Resource Utilization] storage software is designed to eliminate storage stacks by supporting all protocols on the same drive, in a single seamless layer. This allows the same drive to be used for all kinds of disks, whether NVMe, SSD or HDD. The same drive will also support all storage protocols – block, file and object. This ensures that the customer’s hardware will match the rated IOPS, throughput and capacity of the drive, and allow a single HDD JBOD or a virtual appliance with low resources to achieve much, much higher levels of performance.
The partnership with Mellanox extends these efficiencies further. Leveraging Mellanox interconnect solutions now allows customers with a single 40Gb Mellanox port and just 6 SSDs to achieve 500,000 IOPS.
“The customer can get all the savings related to the drive that we provide, and the efficiency of the networking that comes from Mellanox,” Naor stated.
StorONE’s technology alliances strategy is based on relationships with vendors whose technology is adjacent to their own.
“Networking vendors have solved issues on one side of us, and on the other side, the drive manufacturers have solved others,” Naor said. “We are in the middle, between the networking and the drive. Seagate was one of our founding investors, and we are signed as a partner with them and leverage their technology. We have also got very good results working with other drive manufacturers, like Samsung and Micron. We are not just limited to Seagate.”
The Mellanox relationship is a technology partnership but Naor said that they expect to see added momentum through Mellanox’s channel partners.
“The mutual value that we and Mellanox bring to each other’s technology should give Mellanox partners an incentive to use our software,” Naor said. “the fact that the cost of our software is less than 1 cent a gigabyte, and that the same software lets you work with any HCI, CI, high capacity storage or backup solution provide other reasons to work with us.”
StorONE is beginning to build out a channel of its own. StorWIZE had a 100 per cent channel strategy and that is the plan for StorONE as well, with integrators being a particular target because of their fit with StorONE’s value proposition.
“When we launched, we were still highly focused on use cases and on reference accounts, but we have now reached the stage where we are looking to expand our channel,” Naor said. “We bring them a great value proposition, in being able to install in less than 30 minutes on any hardware of their choice.”