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Komprise unveils data management platform

Komprise's data management platform appears as an NFS or SMB client. It crawls storage and points inactive file storage at object-based storage.

Komprise has surfaced from stealth with data management software that scours file storage and uses policy-based automation to move inactive file data to object-based storage targets, running locally or in the cloud.

The Komprise data management platform as a service sits outside the data path to analyze file storage across silos. Komprise's analytics encompasses file data and metadata, showing how much data is never or rarely used, what type of data you have and who is using it. It projects the potential cost savings or performance gains of shuttling seldom-used or older file data to an object store.

The initial release is available as a virtual storage appliance that runs in VMware ESXi servers. Support for Microsoft Hyper-V and open source KVM hypervisors is on the product roadmap. 

Komprise uses an adaptive framework to avoid interference with production traffic. The software consumes no more than 2.5% of available network bandwidth to run analytics. If network traffic increases, Komprise backs off until excess bandwidth is available.

Komprise COO Krishna Subramanian said the adaptive data management platform serves as housekeeper of data.

"You want a housekeeper to clean your house, but not while you're eating dinner. Komprise is like a housekeeper for your data. It's almost invisible to the active work that's happening, and that's by design," Subramanian said.

Hosted data analytics shapes data placement decisions

Komprise hosted data management appears to storage as an NFS or SMB client. The software consists of two components that work in tandem. Komprise Observer is a downloadable virtual machine (VM) that runs locally in a hypervisor, crawling storage and gathering information. Komprise Director is a cloud-based controller that provides intelligence and analysis customers can use to make decisions on data placement.

Komprise Observer indexes and tags file data stored on premises and in the cloud, creating a virtual repository across silos. Observer VMs spawn as data grows, with all of the virtual observers managed from one interface.

The first version of Komprise's data management platform focuses on moving file storage to cloud, traditional NAS, object storage or tape systems equipped with an object interface. Komprise analyzes file data and moves it to the desired target via an NFS, SMB or REST interface. Block support is another item on the vendor's product roadmap. 

"We analyze what's happening to data across storage. A customer can have any NFS or SMB NAS and point Komprise at those environments. They are able to do 'what if' analysis, and we project a management strategy and the ROI if they decide to activate that change," Subramanian said.

Subramanian founded Komprise with Kumar Goswami, who serves as CEO, and Mike Peercy, who serves as CTO. The company launched a beta version in 2015. The three entrepreneurs previously launched scale-out desktop virtualization infrastructure vendor Kaviza, acquired by Citrix in 2011, and Kovair, which sells application lifecycle management software as a managed service.  

Komprise said its data management platform can move file data to object storage in Amazon Web Services, Cloudian, EMC, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, NetApp, Quantum Corp., Scality and Spectra Logic tape. Stubs are not used, and Komprise does not install agents or require proprietary interfaces to access storage.

One of the interesting parts of it is they support both SMB and NFS. A lot of [competing] vendors are only supporting NFS.
Deni Connorfounding analyst, SSG-Now

Deni Connor, a founding analyst at SSG-Now in Austin, Texas, said Komprise takes a different approach than other storage analytics vendors.

"What Komprise is doing is really interesting in that they can look at data from all aspects, whether it's capacity that needs to be reduced or better utilized by storing it on a different tier, like the cloud. One of the interesting parts of it is they support both SMB and NFS. A lot of [competing] vendors are only supporting NFS," Connor said.

"Another interesting thing they've put in is a policy engine and an editor, so they can watch what's happening and then apply policies for the movement of data based on what impact it has," Connor added.

Komprise targets enterprises with growing unstructured data 

MedPlast Group is an early beta customer. The Tempe, Ariz., company makes plastic injection-molded products used in the medical field. MedPlast runs Komprise to analyze 50 TB of storage on two Microsoft StorSimple hybrid cloud NAS devices. IT director Dan Streufert said Komprise helps him better manage growing unstructured storage related to engineering files, images and video data.   

"The Komprise tool looks at how much cold data we have, how it's being used and how often," Streufert said. "It also projects how much bandwidth and storage we need and the potential savings or performance benefits. It helps us figure out how much cold storage we have and tier it to Azure. That's information we didn't know before."

Pricing for a Komprise data management platform software license is listed at $150 per terabyte. Total cost is $750 per terabyte, which includes the software license, secondary storage and a disaster recovery option.

George Crump, president of IT analyst firm Storage Switzerland LLC, said Komprise has cleared one hurdle, but still has some obstacles in front of it.

"Komprise has a unique framework that should make it easier for users to consume," he said. "It has addressed the big challenge of consumption. Now, it has to address the second biggest challenge, which is getting customers to believe their product could really make a difference."

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