This June @ SFD13 Primary Data will make their 5th appearance at a fully fledged Tech Field Day event despite having just GA’d their flagship product just 9 short months ago at VMworld 2016 (They have a few TFD Extra events as well). Now, pardon my math but for a company that was founded in 2013 that means they spent roughly 3 years in development – gathering loads of customer feedback and beta testing before releasing their data management platform to the wild, all the while giving updates via TFD – there’s an example of a company taking it’s time and doing something right!
Now, before we go into detail about Primary Data’s products and what they provide I wanted to take a second to talk a little bit about their founders and leadership team – because we all know great products and execution start from the top – and Primary Data has quite the top! Let’s have a look below…
Lance Smith (CEO) – Despite holding many top level leadership positions over the years perhaps the most relevant would be COO of Fusion-io and following the acquisition moving into Senior Vice President and GM inside of SanDisk.
Rick White (Co-Founder and CMO) – This isn’t Rick’s first go around as he was also one of the orginal co-founders and CMO at Fusion-io. Are you beginning to sense a little pattern here around Fusion-io?
David Flynn (Co-Founder and CTO) – Here comes that pattern again! Prior to founding Primary Data David Flynn was a co-founder and CEO at Fusion-io. Now reading his bio off of the site it also states that David holds over 100 patents across a wide range of technologies – not too shabby.
Steve Wozniak (Chief Scientist) – Yeah, that’s right, the Steve Wozniak, you know, the guy from Dancing with the Stars – oh, and he kind of helped found and shape a small little valley startup named Apple.
Now keep in mind these are just 4 people that I have picked out off of Primary Data’s company page! And even though there is a ton of brainpower listed here, there’s still a lot more people at Primary Data whose experience in the industry that just blows my mind!
So what exactly does Primary Data bring to market?
Primary Data’s key storage solution focus around their flagship product DataSphere. Now DataSphere in itself isn’t a storage array, being best more described as what they coin a “Metadata Engine for the Enterprises”. So what does this really mean? Well, hopefully I’m getting it here but to me DataSphere looks like it is somewhat of an abstraction tool – a way to de-couple all of your applications from the data that they use and store. The first step is to take all of an organizations storage and pools it together into a single logical namespace. It’s this storage, be it direct-attached, SAN based, or even cloud which can be in turn presented back to your enterprise applications. But its not necessarily this pooling which drives up the value of DataSphere – it’s the analytics and automatic data movement that really stands out for me. DataSphere is able to map a set of application rules or objectives to automatically move data across different tiers of storage in order to ensure that certain SLA’s are met, or more-so, that the right resources are being assigned for the right applications. Meaning the proper storage resources are provisioned to applications, no matter where that application is running, no matter where that storage is running – All we need to do is specify that we want Application X to have Storage Requirements Y and let DataSphere tier and tune to its heart delight! The metadata engine keeps track of where things are and whats going on.
As you can imagine this gives us a really good opportunity to scale in terms of storage – and really prevents the need to over provision which has become such a defacto standard in deployments today – in turn, organizations save dollars! Now from what I can tell DataSphere doesn’t necessarily sit inside the data path for the application either – meaning it’s virtually invisible and not affecting performance in anyway. Instead it lies in somewhat of an out of band architecture – allowing applications to have direct paths to their data while DataSphere simply handles the metadata processing and analytics.
There are a ton of benefits that I can initially see with DataSphere – thinking of scaling, migration to cloud, and simply performance compliance are a few that come straight to mind. I’m most certain there is much much more than can be done and I know I’m just scratching the surface, so with that I guess we will have to wait until Primary Data presents at Storage Field Day in June to learn more. As always follow along with the hashtag #SFD13 or check out my page here for all that is SFD13!