Software-defined storage vendor Scality has announced the availability of Zenko 1.0, their cloud-native multi-cloud data controller. After germinating as Scality’s S3 service, Zenko was launched in July 2017. At that time, it was available only as an open source offering, which is now deployed by over a thousand users. Now it is available in a commercial version as well, and has additional capabilities which have been added since the product’s initial launch. Scality says the broadening of Scality’s multi-cloud data management capability is great news for partners, who can use it to articulate a multi-cloud strategy conversation with customers, and who can monetize both the commercial and open source versions.
“The fourteen month delay since the original launch was very much anticipated and par for the course in the open source world,” said Wally MacDermid, Scality’s of Business Development. “When we released the first iteration, it was very much early days, and there were just a couple of modules. Since then, we have released further modules and gotten feedback from developers and from lighthouse customers. We also now have the enterprise version, as well as open source.”
The Enterprise and Open Source versions are similar.
“They are functionally equivalent, with the difference being the support,” MacDermid said. “The enterprise version has 24/7 support from us. The Open Source version has community-based support.”
Zenko was created to bring Scality not just into the cloud, but all clouds, with a unified interface to store, manage and search data across private and many public clouds, enabled by advanced metadata search and an extensible data workflow engine. Out of the gate, in addition to Scality’s RING on-prem deployments, Zenko supports the Amazon, Azure, Google, Digital Ocean, and Wasabi clouds, with more to be added based on customer demand.
“Zenko is a universal translator for the different clouds,” MacDermid said. “Now the application only has to speak one language – Amazon S3 API. It translates it and manages the differences.
“Zenko was born because customers told us they wanted to put some of their data in use cases in these clouds,” MacDermid continued. “Before Zenko, we didn’t have any answer for these people. We will continue to sell RING for those who want the majority of their data to be on-prem. But we made the decision to build Zenko as a separate product, rather than as a component of RING, so that it could be a cloud-native application. This gives us real value, even for customers who only manage data in the public cloud. We had nothing to talk about with them before. Now we have something that directly addresses their needs.”
One of the new additions, the upgraded extensible data workflow engine, is significant here.
“This was very rudimentary last July, and just had 1 to 1 data replication capability,” MacDermid said. “Now, we can do 1 to many replication, which is an extension of S3. This will save the customer money, because the data is replicated to all clouds at the same time, so they don’t have to move data around.”
Another new feature is the Zenko Orbit SaaS based management portal.
“Before, if you wanted to configure Zenko, you dropped it in the command line,” MacDermid said. “That’s great if you are a developer, but Orbit lets data people who don’t write code use Zenko as well.”
Zenko Orbit lets users manage 1 TB of data in the Open Source version.
“It’s a very small number to let users play with it,” MacDermid said. “If they want to really use it, we will push them to the enterprise product.”
Another major add is the ability to use the Kubernetes orchestration framework, either on-prem on bare metal servers, or in the cloud.
“The Kubernetes architecture didn’t exist in Zenko last July,” MacDermid said. “We can now leverage this platform, both on-prem and in the cloud, which is expanding among developers every day.”
The expansion of Zenko to true multi-cloud capability is critically important for the Scality channel.
“We think this gives them an opportunity to talk to customers about their multi-cloud strategy,” MacDermid stated. “Everyone is doing multi-cloud in some form today. This gives the channel a product they can use to talk with customers about their multi-cloud strategy – even when the customer may not actually know yet that they have a multi-cloud strategy.”
Some partners who offer data management-as-a-service will also find this of considerable value.
“Zenko fits very nicely into that – one managed service with multiple clouds behind the scene,” MacDermid noted.
He also indicated that partners can make money off the Open Source version, as well as the Enterprise one.
“NodeWeaver, which makes a private edge cloud, makes money off the Open Source version because they have embedded it in their product.”
The Zenko 1.0 Enterprise Edition is sold on annual subscription pricing by the TB. The Zenko 1.0 Open Source Edition is available for free download at https://www.zenko.io