More bang for your enterprise storage buck with parsimonious StorONE and Seagate

StorONE’s software and Seagate’s 84-slot drive chassis make a low-cost, high-capacity storage array with enterprise features which is available as a bundle.

The chassis is Seagate’s five rack unit Exos AP 5U84 with dual Xeon E5 v4 family CPUs on each of the one or two controllers, and an internal 12Gbit/sec SAS fabric. The unit supports HDDs and SSDs. Maximum supported capacity is 1.344PB with 84 x 16TB drives. That makes for a theoretical 6.72PB rack in which the five drive chassis weigh 675kg (1,490lbs) — better have a strong floor.

Seagate Exos AP 5U84 array.

Mike Herbig, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for Seagate, said in an announcement statement: “Seagate is a leader in storage data infrastructure, and our Exos AP series makes for the perfect turnkey system for data centre professionals. When combined with StorONE’s Enterprise Storage Platform, the Exos AP is a storage workhorse solving a wide range of use cases including backup, archive, VMware and database environments.” 

S1 features

StorONE’s S1 file, block and object storage software includes a cacheless architecture which delivers high performance through its redesigned storage SW stack, and includes vRAID with support for 3+ drive redundancies and rapid drive rebuilds — a 16TB drive can be rebuilt in less than five hours and an SSD in less than three minutes.

It’s been reported that a 16TB drive rebuild can take 24 hours if the host array is dedicated to the rebuild. It can take longer still if the array is doing other IO work at the same time.

An S1:Snap feature can take a snapshot every minute and keep the snaps for decades, which is said to be great for ransomware protection. You recover from the snapshots taken just before the attack.

The S1:Replicate feature provides synchronous and asynchronous data replication within the data centre and off-site to a remote location, an MSP, or the public cloud.

StorONE suggests customers start with the S1-Seagate AP 5U84 bundle by using it as a backup target, and then move on to address archive, then NAS storage, VMware and database workloads as they gain confidence with the array and its multi-tasking capabilities.

Gal Naor.

Gal Naor, CEO and Co-founder of StorONE, said: “The increasing price of storage and limited availability creates a significant challenge for IT as they try to keep pace with ever-increasing organisational demands. With StorONE software and Exos AP, IT professionals can stay ahead of organisational expectations with a platform that is flexible enough to adapt to any workload IO requirement while significantly reducing both the CAPEX and OPEX of storage.”


The Seagate-StorONE relationship started in March. StorONE is patiently building a partnership ecosystem with, for example, Storbyte in July, and relationships with Intel for Optane SSD support and Dell for as as-a-service offering.

It has ported its S1 software to Azure and so has a hybrid cloud story. The company has openly available pricing and encourages competitor price comparisons, believing it will deliver better value.

In our view the company is playing a long game, proceeding towards early profitability without indulging in blitz-scaling — using tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars of VC cash to go for growth and high customer numbers over profitability. Thats the path taken by Pure Storage and Nutanix, both still unprofitable after their IPOs, and arguably by VAST Data with its $263 million funding. 

Indeed, VAST marketing head and co-founder Jeff Denworth says VAST uses funding rounds as market validation tools — it didn’t actually need the cash in its $83 million round earlier this year. If the VCs believe in VAST’s potential so much then so too will customers.

StorONE had a $30 million A-round in 2012 and has lived off it, and latterly its revenues, ever since.

Naor is an extremely patient and determined CEO, and parsimonious StorONE may well get to profitability before Pure, Nutanix and VAST. The odds are though that it will not be a high-growth company VAST-style, while heading towards its profit paradise.