We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool Storage and talk about business growth, new product features and the pandemic impact.
Double Digit Revenue Growth
StorPool announced a 40% YoY revenue growth in H1-2020. According to Boyan, most of their customers seem to be growing. Reasons seen by him are increased demand for infrastructure services, but also natural data growth, and finally customer satisfaction, which has led to additional spend (on top of organic growth) as customers adopt StorPool and extend its use to new workloads.
TECHunplugged asked about COVID-19 impact on StorPool, and overall Boyan sees that impact as positive. As with our previous mention of increased demand for infrastructure, Boyan mentioned higher utilization rates for VDI infrastructures, but also heavy impact on collaboration tools and e-commerce platforms as drivers for increased infrastructure spend.
It should be noted that the overwhelming majority of StorPool customers are infrastructure providers, telcos and cloud / IaaS platforms, in essence verticals which have benefited from the pandemic impact. Their enterprise customers run primarily mission-critical systems, and the vertical they are in have not been affected by the pandemic either.
While these are positive signs, Boyan reckons that the pandemic is far than over yet, and that a cautious stance should be followed, both from a health and economic perspective.
Kubernetes Persistent Storage
After being approached by some of their customers regarding their ability to support containers, StorPool development team worked towards Kubernetes supportability. StorPool now offers integrations with Kubernetes via CSI (Container Storage Interface).
Customers can either use bare metal nodes and the StorPool CSI driver, or run containers on top of VMs, in which case the virtualization platform consumes storage from StorPool, be it OpenStack or VMware. Because StorPool is block-based, only block-based Kubernetes persistent volume claims are currently supported… unless StorPool may want to explore file protocols in the future, despite its block storage DNA.
Besides several partnerships with Kubernetes and OpenStack companies (notably ITGix), StorPool seems to show an increased level of commitment to the Open Source Software community. For example, they recently announced a partnership with Sardina Systems to deliver KaaS (Kubernetes-as-a-Service).
This is a welcome development as this might be a way of fueling growth and diversifying the customer base, which is currently heavily focused on infrastructure providers.
With regard to their existing customer base and product several product improvements were made. New multi-cluster and multi-site features were introduced, allowing customers to better distribute their load across locations, while being also able to migrate data seamlessly across data centers. On a last note, we also heard that improvements to monitoring, analytics and the UI were made.
StorPool is one of those under-the-radar companies that deserve to be known better. They have an excellent product providing outstanding performance, a promising roadmap, and are keeping themselves busy improving the customer experience for their core market: infrastructure providers and enterprise mission-critical systems.
While StorPool’s achievements are laudable, we also hope that they will be able to continue on this growth path while diversifying their customer base.
Finally, we heard exciting news regarding StorPool’s Kubernetes leanings and the open source ecosystem. Let’s hope that these will be made public soon by StorPool.