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.