Nodeum scaling up for exabyte environments

Profile: Belgian hierarchical storage manager Nodeum is developing exabyte-scale gen 2 software as it seeks to bolster its channel.

Nodeum software runs on Linux and provides a storage virtualizing control plane and global namespace. This is used to take less-active unstructured data (files) on third-party primary storage and send it to secondary storage tiers – NAS, LTFS tape or, via S3, on-premises object storage (Cloudian, Dell ECS, Scality, OpenStack Swift) and the public cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP). In other words, classic hierarchical storage management (HSM) with data protection and storage cost-effectiveness as its main benefits.

Nodeum search dashboard
Nodeum search dashboard

It provides policy-based workflow software to move files between these storage tiers and search facilities to locate data. The on-disk (or SSD) Linux Ext4 journaling file system is used to store metadata, such as a content catalog, and front-ends the other tiers. Nodeum’s software supports both NFS and CIFS/SMB.

Nodeum has data-moving software, with checksumming for integrity, file-level search facilities, and an open API. The tape library management part of its software supports SCSI access and ACLS tape libraries with LTO drives. LTFS is its standard way of writing data to tape. 

Nodeum’s software is used in the research, genomics, digital pathology, geospatial, university, and media (broadcast, production, post-production) markets. Geographically its customers are mainly based in Europe. 

Nodeum customers
Some Nodeum customers

Nodeum’s customers use the software to analyze data usage to predict future needs. Nodeum claims it classifies, stores, and retrieves massive volumes of structured and unstructured data. However, it is updating the software to handle greater scale.

Valéry Guilleaume, Nodeum
Valéry Guilleaume

CEO Valéry Guilleaume said Nodeum partners with AWS, Azure, Cloudian, DataCore, Dell, HPE, Huawei, Nexenta, Oracle, Quantum, Scality, and Wasabi.

Next-gen software

The next-gen architecture will feature hook and trigger functionality, with detected state changes causing a workflow process to take place. There will be a workload manager interface with, for example, SLURM, a Bash client, IDP, and the code will be Docker and app marketplace ready.

Bash (Bourne Again Shell) emulates a git command line experience. The Bash client should support data movement directly from a compute node. IDP, or Intelligent Document Processing, involves extracting information from paper documents via scanning.

Guilleaume said this would arrive in January and have the throughput and scale to cope with exabyte environments. It should handle a sustained 5,000 requests per second and cope with 10 million simultaneous transfer requests. This Nodeum upgrade will make it suitable, he said, for use in banking and HPC. There will be a public API and SDK to enable integration with specific research applications.

The second generation software will support S3 and Swift from the get-go, with mountable file system storage. Tape storage support is on the roadmap and will feature in a subsequent release of the gen 2 product.

Nodeum background

Nodeum was founded in 2016 in Liege, Belgium, to provide file management software for massively scalable hybrid cloud storage. Guilleaume started Nodeum after an eight-year stint as CEO of MT-C – a digital image and video storage and protection supplier that he still runs. His co-founder is CFO Jessica Delage, a tax and financial exec who is also CFO at MT-C and works with Guilleaume at JD Tax & Services.

MT-C was started in 1997 as a management buyout of Memorex Telex and focused on digital transformation with a specific focus on storage. Guilleaume was a co-founder of the Phoenix Consortium in May 2012, which was a merger and acquisitions consultancy. It took over MT-C that same year, with Guilleaume becoming MT-C CEO. He devised the outline of Nodeum at that point and the company itself was launched in 2016 with investors joining its board.

MT-C designed, coded, engineered, and sells the Nodeum code. The Nodeum business is basically just a website, board, and senior execs – a shell. MT-C also provides the LMS data protection product for IBM System i and mainframe environments as well.

Nodeum competes with Hammerspace and Komprise in that it is global file system software, and also Quantum’s StorNext as file management software.

The company enjoyed a stream of IT media articles about LMS and Nodeum in the 2016 to 2019 period but its website records no more after that. Its press release news activity operated from 2016 and stopped in 2019, but media outreach has started again this year with an IT Press Tour presence in September.

Nodeum milestones

This follows channel expansion in the UK, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland markets last year, with further expansion scheduled for next year. That should broaden its exposure to competing products.