At the age of maturity, Cumulo breaks into France

Using a flexible development cycle to fix and adapt its latest features to business needs, storage specialist Qumulo is hard at work developing its products. In France, mayonnaise starts to set.

Established 10 years ago, Qumulo offers a hybrid storage solution (local and cloud) designed for large amounts of structured or unstructured data. Based on a platform using SSD and HDD or full flash as needed, the vendor’s offering is based on software, Cloud Q, support for AWS environments, Google Cloud and very soon Microsoft Azure. And also, in partnership with HPE and Fujitsu, a server infrastructure that can be implemented in corporate data centers. Founded in particular by former members of Isilon System (Aaron Passy, ​​Neil Fachan and Peter Godman), acquired by EMC in 2010, Qumulo relies on simplicity (management and use) to attract companies and make it easier to manage their storage clusters, the number of nodes ranges from 2 up to several hundred. It also intends to differentiate itself from players like Isilon or NetApp by supporting a wide variety of data sources, being able to scale and view data in real time, and automating integration tasks.

In France, activity began shortly before the health crisis, but it has proved especially promising. “France has always been an important territory and a top priority for growing regions,” said César Fertivo, Qumulo’s commercial director in France. The manager has just launched the 4th edition of their QumuloNight event on April 7, 2022. “The return to the field has supported very strong growth in France since mid-2019 and strengthened its presence across all historical media, entertainment and health.” The momentum of growth – to date 30 clients in France, including audiovisual service provider Cognacq-Jay Image – is materializing in many markets, not only in the historic media, entertainment and healthcare segments, but also in the public sector, research, monitoring. … “We have strengthened our technology partnerships as well as our cooperation with local integrators,” continues Cesar Fertivo.

Focus on the latest features

Insisting on its agile development logic in a sprint mode with a release every two weeks “to add, fix, and improve key by key”, Qumulo took the opportunity to review its latest achievements. Qumulo CloudQ instances (4-20) deployed using AWS CloudFormation and Terraform templates can now support up to 6PB each as part of the infrastructure. well planned from ABC. Currently, 50% of Qumulo’s customers use the full cloud. Regarding the structuring of backward compatibility, the vendor acknowledges some ambiguity that is now seeking to fill: “We used to have clusters that could replicate with each other, but we did not know when there would be a version update if this compatibility was taken into account. We’ve hardened this in the code so we won’t be able to replicate two clusters with more than two different versions, which gives us the flexibility to upgrade versions on primary and secondary storage systems,” explains Alexandre Hermier, Systems Engineer at Qumulo France. . Among other innovations, we also find the possibility of a serial or global reboot during the process of updating the server firmware, which allows to increase and reduce periods of unavailability of the service. The NFSv3 protocol has also been improved with Nconnect support to create multiple read/write streams from an NFS export on multiple channels and multiple interfaces (1GbE, 10GbE…). With better performance in terms of aggregation and thread parallelization.

“The Qumulo cluster is used to store unstructured data with access mode to file protocols such as FTP, SMB, NFS, including HTTP via REST API,” continues Alexander Hermier. “We started developing S3 on the front of the cluster, it’s a much talked about implementation but also a highly requested one that we didn’t want to do with cookie cutters.” This feature, first offered in read-only mode, will then expand beyond the file protocol scenario, for example, to backups and new back-end applications designed to access numerous microservice-type developments accustomed to REST communication. API. “Instead of mounting space in K8 with NFS export to access datasets in persistent storage, the idea is to share data between users and applications,” explains Alexandre Hermier. Other recent features include a checksum (for comparing data change errors with the original state), which however will not be present in the entry-level K-144T and K-168T solutions. Or even Atime (updates of operations, directories, access times, etc.), a K8 CSI driver for accessing persistent data and Metric-API, a standardized API format for tracking monitoring items to the cluster, and nfsv4.1 for more security .

Use cases for a rendezvous in France

In addition to technical developments, Qumulo took advantage of its event to capture the attention of customers. Portalliance, a digital simulation company for the aviation industry, selected the Fujitsu-Qumulo duo in late 2019 as part of its HPC infrastructure deployment project. The main selection criteria are scalability and performance for connecting your computing system with a network storage cluster in the context of large volumes of unstructured data. As for Fichorga publishing house, which specializes in notary management solutions, the issue of access to a large number of simultaneous files was also extremely important. Users, notaries, and clerks do open 400 to 500 files every minute, and the Windows cluster limit of 16 million files has been reached, requiring maintenance cuts that no longer happen with Qumulo. In production since November 2021, five months after the start of the project, the established infrastructure of 4 nodes manages 70 TB of data, which is 260 million files in the long term. But the limit is far from being reached, Fichorga estimates that it is only 15% of the IOPS throughput of its platform, which leaves much to be desired.

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