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Small change yields Quantum leap for StorNext scale-out file system

Quantum StorNext scale-out file system upgrade integrates support for public cloud and third-party object storage. StorNext manages data as a unified namespace.

Quantum has a message for customers: If you like your cloud storage, you can keep your cloud storage.

Quantum has upgraded its StorNext scale-out file system software with integrated support for third-party cloud and object storage. StorNext 5.4 allows customers to take advantage of their existing public cloud accounts as an unstructured data tier in a StorNext-managed environment. 

Quantum customers were previously required to purchase cloud storage through the vendor's FlexStor service. The StorNext scale-out parallel file system manages data across disk, flash, object stores and tape. Quantum file storage is used in life sciences, media, surveillance/security and technical computing.

StorNext 5.4 ships on Quantum Xcellis, StorNext M-Series and Pro Solutions hardware, and Artico Archive NAS gateway appliances.

Quantum does not provide data hosting; it presents local and cloud storage within a single namespace.

"We manage customers' data as part of a unified namespace," said Molly Rector, vice president of marketing at Quantum.

Embedding applications in Xcellis hardware provides greater deployment flexibility, said Scott Sinclair, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. Xcellis combines compute and the StorNext file system gateway into an appliance.

"You normally deploy scale-out file system architecture to serve as external storage," Sinclair said. "Quantum is targeting industry-specific applications whose performance would be better served by preloading it on the hardware."

"A lot of times it's just easier to provision [storage] by adding capacity to the file system, rather than adding physical hardware," Quantum's Rector said. "But knowing what data you have in the cloud and being able to bill against it has been difficult."

The StorNext Connect API ties into Amazon Web Services, Amazon Glacier, Amazon Commercial Cloud Services and Microsoft Azure public clouds. Certified object storage vendors include IBM Cleversafe, NetApp StorageGRID Webscale and Scality. An S3 interface allows StorNext to move data between platforms.

The latest edition also allows metadata and asset management applications to run directly on Quantum Xcellis and Artico storage hardware, a move aimed at boosting the performance of streaming workloads. 

Cantemo, CatDV, Evolphin Software, FocalPoint Server, Glooko, IBM Aspera, IPV, Metus, Novotx Elements and Telestream are among StorNext-certified asset management platforms. 

Licensing for StorNext is based on capacity under management. List pricing is on a sliding scale starting at $50 per TB annually for a cloud account and $100 per TB annually for third-party object storage.

Quantum is best known for its Lattus Object Storage and Scalar Tape Libraries, but StorNext file storage accounts for a growing share of revenue.  Total revenue grew 15% to $135 million during the most recent fiscal quarter, including a 20% increase in branded revenue.  Scale-out file system revenues surged 56% to a record $47 million.

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