Qumulo Fulfills Cloud Promise of Its Name with AWS Integration

Enterprise data storage software company Qumulo is making its technology available in Amazon’s public cloud for the first time starting Tuesday, fulfilling the promise of its cloud-inspired name five years after it emerged from Seattle’s early-2000s data storage success story.

The move to the cloud, and a related set of technology improvements that comprise the Qumulo File Fabric, means Qumulo’s customers can use their file-based data stores in various computing environments—from their own on-premises datacenters (which was the company’s primary focus since it began selling products in 2015) to global-scale cloud computing environments to meet the requirements of different tasks.

While Amazon Web Services also offers data storage through services including its Simple Cloud Storage Service (S3), Qumulo co-founder and CTO Peter Godman says he doesn’t see Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) as a competitor.

AWS S3 is built for object-based data storage, optimized for use by applications. File-based data is just what it sounds like: individual files can be opened, used, and renamed. It’s the storage architecture familiar to and used by most people, and, as Godman puts it, is the “language of discovery, creation, and innovation.” Qumulo customers include heavy data users including digital animation studio DreamWorks Animation, oil and gas companies, and outfits such as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington Center.

Godman

To provide its version of file-based storage in AWS, Qumulo’s software runs on other cloud services, including Elastic Compute Cloud and Elastic Block Store, rather than the bespoke hardware the company sells, or servers from third-party vendors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE).

Named for the towering cumulonimbus cloud formations, Qumulo always expected its business to end up here, Godman says. But it was no small technical challenge to build a file-based system that can scale to billions of files, public and private computing environments spread out around the globe, and with a layer of software that allows IT professionals to manage it all.

Since emerging in late 2012, the company has raised $130 million from the likes of Madrona Venture Group, Valhalla Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Beyers, and hired about 200 people.

Godman and Qumulo’s other co-founders—Aaron Passey and Neal Fachan—as well as CEO Bill Richter, are former executives of Isilon Systems, the Seattle company that built the OneFS file-based data storage architecture in the early 2000s, and was acquired by EMC in 2010 for $2.25 billion.

Photo credit: Cumulonimbus cloud by Bernard DUPONT via Flickr used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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