Let’s set the stage here! We got Paula Long – yes, the same Paula Long that co-founded EqualLogic – yes the same EqualLogic that Dell purchased in 2008 for 1.4 billion. We have John Joseph – another long time (as long as you can get in startups) EqualLogic member! These two get together to execute on an idea, hire David Siles, a long term member of the senior leadership team at Veeam to be their CTO and then, on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at approximately 12:01 am, weighing in at 85 lbs and 26.75” tall DataGravity was born.
DataGravity will present at Virtualization Field Day 5 in Boston on June 25th and I cannot be more excited to hear what they have to say. I’ve spoke with them before, briefly at the craziness that is VMworld – and honestly, the booth was so busy with people wanting to get into to see the new baby that I couldn’t stay long – so having a couple hours with them will be long overdue.
Just another storage startup?
Technically yes and technically no! So in terms of technically yes what I mean is DataGravity is a storage array! They are your primary storage! They can provide storage to your ESXi hosts not only through the traditional NFS mounts and iSCSI targets, but also have a built-in VM-Aware storage provider – allowing you to skip the whole LUN provisioning and treat your VMs as a first class citizen in terms of living on the array! VM-Aware of course makes it easier for us to perform things like monitoring, data protection and provisioning. That said, haven’t we seen all this before? Isn’t the market full of this?
Those questions lead me to the “technically no” part of my answer! Sure, they do the primary storage, they have their flash piece! If this blog post ended here then they would certainly be just another storage startup – but it doesn’t! DataGravity’s differentiator in my opinion is the way they split their nodes of storage, and the unique functionality those nodes provide!
Not just another storage startup!
I’m not going to go too deep into how DataGravity works, partly because they are going to jam 2 hours of awesomeness into my brain at the end of the month so I’ll save it for then, and partly because I don’t really know how it all works…yet.
The main thing I get is that they “optimize, protect, track, and analyze data as its stored” – their words. My words – it does more than just primary storage with the sweet spot being the “analysis”. Basically the primary storage is just that, primary storage – but as data comes in it’s stored on a secondary node – this node can be used for the obvious, data protection, but also for analysis. So think of it this way – it’s easy now to see who created a certain file, but do we have visibility into who has modified that file over time, who else has read that file, where else that file might be stored, what other files this person has created! DataGravity gives us this functionality – and not just on a per VM level, on a complete array level! And all of this analysis and querying being run on a secondary storage node, leaving production to do production like things. Essentially it’s like Google for your storage array!
For now that’s all I have to give you but expect a bit of a deeper post to come the end of June, early July on DataGravity as I hear what they have to say at VFD5. Don’t forget if you want to join in on the Virtualization Field Day 5 action you can do so by watching the live stream and follow along with the #VFD5 hashtag on Twitter! And just a reminder – I’ll try to have the live stream and any event related content on my VFD5 landing page here as well!