A brief walk through filer software in the AWS, Azure and Google clouds

Updated April 2019. Filer software is becoming multi-cloud, with 12 cloud filer suppliers overall and several now supporting more than one public cloud. But they all have a way to go to provide full coverage across the three main public clouds.

How do the competitors stack up? Let’s find out.

Show me the data!

Elastifile has announced availability of its software in the Amazon marketplace. It claims high performance for its scale-out filer software, citing sub-200microsecs latency and millions of IOPS. But we have no IOPS numbers and no benchmark data, thus preventing us from making comparisons.

The product is also available (April 2019) for Google’s Cloud Platform. Azure availability is on its roadmap.

SoftNAS does not support GCP. This was due last year and so it seems reasonable to see this feature released in 2019.

NetApp’s ONTAP software provides block and filer support. We do not have performance data for its various cloud incarnations.

Qumulo is another scale-out filer supplier claiming high-performance in the cloud – but without publishing detailed numbers. Its Core product is available in AWS and became avail;able in the Google Cloud Platform in April 2019.

Dell EMC’s Isilon scale out filer product had a GCP implementation in development in mid-2018 but it has not yet come to fruition. Its Unity array software can run in the VMware cloud in AWS but not natively in AWS.

In common with several competitors, Hedvig supplies block, file and object software. It says its software is high-performance but again provides no comparative data.

WekaIO does provide benchmark information, hurrah! In the absence of qualitative performance information from the other suppliers, it gets the speedy performance crown.

Object storage suppliers such as Cloudian and Scality also support file protocol access. Cloudian is able to run in AWS and Azure. Scality can connect to Azure and run in AWS and GCP.


Blocks & Files thinks some empty cells in our File Software in the Public Cloud chart will be filled in by the end of the year. 

All independent file software suppliers will go multi-cloud, supporting AWS, Amazon and GCP.  This will give them an anti-lock-in marketing cudgel to wield.

The Big Three will face pressure to support multiple file protocols, such as NFS and SMB, plus S3, Azure Blob and, maybe, HDFS. Customers will want them to add file support to on-premises instantiations such as Amazon Outpost and Azure Stack. Google lacks an on-premises presence, so far.