Juicedata gives data processing giants a big squeeze on price

Juicedata is a startup promising “cheaper” data management for large workloads. It recently launched the Enterprise Edition of its open source JuiceFS software, and Blocks & Files met execs on the recent IT Press Tour of data management firms in California.

JuiceFS was initially launched as a Community Edition, which is still available. On the enterprise side, though, Juicedata presents cheaper data processing scenarios when compared to an AWS FSx for Lustre deployment, for instance.

Juicedata was founded in 2017 by Davies Liu and Rui Su. Liu is a developer who has contributed to projects such as MooseFS, BeansDB, and DPark. He has also previously worked at the likes of Meta and Databricks. Su has been a tech lead and engineer at companies including Douban Movie and Maxthon Browser. In his early days he started a car wash business that cleaned cars in their owners’ driveways.

Rui Su, Juicedata
Rui Su presenting at IT Press Tour

“Storage does not mean expensive hardware and complex maintenance work. Juicedata is committed to empowering every enterprise to easily tackle the challenges of massive data and high-performance workloads,” Su told us.

The enterprise version is designed for data-intensive, high-performance workloads that can serve thousands of concurrent clients for mixed data jobs. The developer already has customers in the generative AI, autonomous driving, quantitative trading, and BioTech spaces.

Su outlined the “persistent challenges” organizations face with existing file systems and object stores like S3. While “convenient” for web services, he said, they often lack the requisite POSIX compatibility, elasticity, and high throughput to easily handle big data analytics, AI/ML, and other data-intensive workloads.

The big pain points for firms included the inability to scale performance independently from capacity, inefficient management of small files common in AI, and restricted data access across multi-clouds and hybrid environments.

He claimed JuiceFS was a POSIX-compliant distributed file system with “strong consistency guarantees” across thousands of clients. And key, said Su, was an architecture that disaggregates storage performance from capacity, while enabling independent scaling of throughput.

“You can leverage a multi-layer caching strategy, utilizing local storage on compute nodes, as well as dedicated cache pools, to accelerate performance. Also, an object store backend ensures data durability, allowing you to decouple these critical aspects in a cost-effective way.”

JuiceFS is billed as a cost-effective alternative to incumbent offerings such as S3FS/GoofyS, AWS EFS, and AWS FSx for Lustre. While AWS’s managed Lustre service can cost upwards of $0.60/GB-month, excluding metadata and data transfer fees, said Su, JuiceFS’s pricing starts at $0.04/GB-month, through a combination of the Juicedata service fee and underlying cloud storage costs.

The firm’s existing go-to-market includes the main cloud providers of AWS, Google, and Azure, along with Oracle Cloud and French cloud services provider Scaleway.

As part of the scale-up in the enterprise software market, Su revealed Juicedata is preparing to first establish its marketing and sales team in North America, before moving to build up its presence in the EMEA region.