Storage Soup

Apr 2 2014   8:04AM GMT

Open Source Storage hits the comeback trail

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

An early open-source storage player is back, seven years after going out of business mainly because it was ahead of its time.

Open Source Storage (OSS) re-launched in January with an undisclosed amount of funding from private investors and has since released two product lines.

OSS first launched in 2001 and was gone by 2007 despite landing a few big customers including Facebook.

“We were the guys who pioneered this,” said OSS CEO Eren Niazi, who was 23 when he founded the company. “We started the open source storage movement.”

He said the movement stalled because the storage ecosystem did not warm to OSS. “A lot of tier one vendors didn’t want to work with us and investors didn’t want to back us,” he said. “The business came to a halt.

“Seven years later, people say ‘Open source storage, I get it, it’s exactly what I need.’’

Of course, OSS faces a lot more competition in 2014 than it did in 2007. Today there are open source storage options such as OpenStack, Hadoop, Ceph, and products built on ZFS. Still, adoption remains low as vendors such as Red Hat, SwiftStack, Cloudera, Nexenta, Inktank and now OSS are trying to break out.

OSS’s Open Cluster software can run on solid-state or SAS drives and supports block or file storage. Niazi said OSS has more than 30 customers with others evaluating the software. He said his products are used mostly by enterprises “with large data demands and large deployments and are trying to reduce their costs.”

OSS produces are based on its N1.618 Plug and Play Middleware and open-source software. Last month it brought out the Open Cluster ZX that scales to 1,024 nodes. Open Cluster ZX is built for virtual servers based on OpenStack as well as NAS, object storage and virtual machine-aware storage. OSS this week added its Open Cluster Cloud Series designed for virtual servers, cloud-based services, high performance computing and big data analytics. The cloud series comes in two-node and four-node bundles.

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