The cloud in your living room? Well, maybe not literally…but this is indeed the idea behind the latest Melio5 release from Sanbolic. The rather more restrained terminology that Sanbolic actually uses in its announcement talks about its users being able to achieve "public cloud economics" in an on-premises deployment. [I enjoy using the word "restrained" in the same sentence as Sanbolic because—as anyone who knows its enigmatic CEO, Memo Michailov, will know—"restrained" is not the first word that comes to mind!]. Of course the recipe for public cloud economics is plastered all over the monthly business glossies and the IT blogosphere: The ingredients are a base of commodity storage hardware, enrobed in the smart specialist storage management software that your uber-smart technogeeks wrote. The trouble has been—for regular mortal companies—that getting the two things together has been extremely tough. Traditional storage companies don’t want to separate the two items, because even when they are actually packaging commodity hardware elements, they want to make margin on the "smarts"; and, sure, you can certainly buy some JBODs and Flash for yourself but writing the code is hardly a quick job that you fit in around March Madness on evenings and weekends.
The missing link is what Melio5 provides. Keeping with our recipe theme, Sanbolic has done all the hard preparation and [secret] sauce work for you—you just need to add water and eggs! To be a little more precise, you can use pretty much any hardware that you have, or add. At this point I am so much wanting to write the words "software-defined storage" because this is really a perfect example in my book—but Sanbolic did a bang-up job of steadfastly avoiding the term in all its materials that I’d hate to spoil it for them! What I shall say is that there are clearly shifts in the IT world that are both moving in favor of—and helping to enable and demand—what Sanbolic is doing.
Now of course Sanbolic is not the only player in this general space [indeed Memo will be joining me for what should be a lively panel discussion at SNW early next month] but Melio5 represents a strong contender—being capable of scaling-out to over 2000 nodes and 65000 storage devices, while providing HA and a host of table-stakes storage features. Its hybrid integration of server-based solid-state allows for the operational acceleration of applications to be combined with the economic constraint of intelligent tiering. Yet in some ways, it’s not so much what you get that is the point here—it’s what it takes to get it. This is where the economics come in—it's a big bang for your buck. Imagine regular IT as everyone having to hand-build their cars, and then Sanbolic comes along like Henry Ford to make the automobile, which was until then only available to the rich, a realistic possibility for everyone. I’m not sure that’s any better of an analogy than the one about having a cloud in your living room…but you get the point!