Storage Soup

Nov 2 2017   2:06PM GMT

SwiftStack objects to object storage label

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Tags:
Object storage
SwiftStack

SwiftStack’s leadership team appreciated being selected a visionary in Gartner’s recent Magic Quadrant for distributed file systems and object storage. The vendor even put out a press release celebrating Gartner’s inclusion of SwiftStack object storage in the report.

But SwiftStack’s chief marketer said the object storage neighborhood is not where the vendor wants to live anymore.

“We’re a software company, not an object company,” SwiftStack VP of marketing Mario Blandini said. “We just happen to have our own object storage system on premises.”

So Blandini admits SwiftStack’s cloud storage software based on the OpenStack Swift object project is indeed object. He just thinks that’s not chic. Or at least SwiftStack customers and potential customers don’t think SwiftStack object storage has the right ring to it.

“People say to us, ‘How can an object storage company be doing something cool? Don’t object storage companies all suck?’” Blandini said. “No one loves object storage because it doesn’t do enough to be transformative. There’s nothing wrong with NAS, why replace it?”

Blandini also wants to distance SwiftStack object storage from OpenStack, even if SwiftStack is the main contributor to OpenStack. “SwiftStack is too often known as an OpenStack company,” he said. “In reality, we are a data management platform across multiple clouds.”

The multiple cloud part, more commonly known as multi-cloud storage, is what’s cool now. Ask just about any storage vendor out there, because we’re hearing that phrase a lot more these days.

“We like the concept of multi-cloud,”Blandini said. “Do you want to be locked into one cloud provider, or be able to put your data closer to the user?”

SwiftStack object storage includes a file system gateway on top of its native object storage software. Earlier this year SwiftStack beefed up its Cloud Sync feature for moving data in and out of Amazon Web Services and the Google Cloud Platform as part of the multi-cloud plan.

This week SwiftStack added policy-based auto tiering, the ability to use erasure coding across regions, client capability to access objects in private clouds as if they were on-premises, and more granular policies for determining which nodes and regions data should reside.

Blandini said these features are merely setting up a significant product release coming around AWS re:Invent this month. He’s keeping quiet on details for now, but you can expect it to center around managing data on multiple clouds (just a wild guess).

“We architected our product to be cloud from the beginning,” he said. “I’m not saying this will kill NAS and there will be no more Fiber  Channel. There always will be those things. But there’s always room for new types of storage.”

Or new labels for storage, anyway. So say goodbye to SwiftStack object storage and hello to SwiftStack multi-cloud storage.

5  Comments on this Post

 
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  • cloudguy
    Well, this sounds like a pivot for SwiftStack away from the head-to-head competition with OBS software vendors like Caringo, Cloudian, Red Hat, and Scality.  Yes, everyone knows SwiftStack is the principal code contributor to OpenStack Swift.  No shame in that but it does cast the OpenStack shadow on them. They developed a control plane for Swift OBS which you don't get in the Swift project. Perhaps the SwiftStack control plane has been re-engineered as a "multi-cloud" control plane for cloud data storage. Nothing wrong with doing that either.  The bottom line is SwiftStack has received less funding than its direct OBS competitors. The company has fewer employees and fewer customers than its OBS competitors. Maybe SwiftStack needed to pivot to a multi-cloud data storage management position to survive. There is nothing wrong with that either, and time will tell just how important this announcement turns out to be.
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  • CacklesfromtheCloud
    This is a joke right?
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  • cloudguy
    Well, by definition an object-based storage software company is a software company. SwiftStack is the major code contributor to OpenStack Swift, and there is nothing wrong with that. This announcement looks more like a pivot for SwiftStack. It developed a control plane to use with OpenStack Swift, and now it looks like it has been re-engineered to work in a multi-cloud storage environment. On the competitive front, SwiftStack appears to be losing ground to object-based storage software vendors Caringo, Cloudian, Red Hat, and Scality. SwiftStack has not had a new funding round in several years. It also has fewer customers and a smaller number of employees than its competitors. Announcements like this are interesting for what they say and what they don't say.  Time will tell just how important this announcement will be for the future of SwiftStack.
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  • cloudguy
    Well, by definition an object-based storage software company is a software company. SwiftStack is the major code contributor to OpenStack Swift, and there is nothing wrong with that. This announcement looks more like a pivot for SwiftStack. It developed a management control plane to use with OpenStack Swift, and now it looks like it has been re-engineered to work in a multi-cloud storage environment. On the competitive front, SwiftStack appears to be losing ground to object-based storage software vendors Caringo, Cloudian, Red Hat, and Scality. SwiftStack has not had a new funding round in several years. It also has fewer customers and a smaller number of employees than its competitors. Announcements like this are interesting for what they say and what they don't say.  Time will tell just how important this announcement will be for the future of SwiftStack.
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  • CacklesfromtheCloud
    Agree with the assessment on the company, and would add that the interest in Swift and OpenStack has dropped through the floor too, and while the company's technology can play with S3 and general server platforms, that market sentiment doesn't help these folks.  A company on life support either needs to have the cables pulled or needs to make a significant change.  But "multi-cloud" is the new "hybrid-cloud," so saying the company is multi-cloud is nice, but saying it and doing it are two different things.  Swiftstack may finally end the debate over whether dead cats bounce.
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