StorPool : New Capabilities, New OPEX Model, And Stronger Support For Cloud Customers

We recently had a discussion with Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, about the latest company whereabouts.

Latest News & New Capabilities

StorPool reports a 80% YoY increase in bookings, a rather remarkable feat considering the current uncertainty fueled by the global pandemic.  

The company also completed its formal transition to a CI/CD pipeline with version 19.2, citing positive outcomes such as more harmonization in existing processes, notably with testing, automation and packaging.

Among added capabilities are:

  • Maintenance Mode
  • In-Server Disk Tester
  • Data-at-Rest Encryption
  • Public-facing Knowledge Base
  • StorPool VolumeCare, a new business continuity feature
  • Several management improvements

The release notes for these new capabilities are in this blog post.

Pay-as-you-grow

Several customers had expressed an appetite to consume StorPool in a more flexible way. This is now possible thanks to the introduction of an OPEX-based pay-as-you-grow consumption model.

Thinking about it, that makes great sense considering a lot of customers are cloud operators which prefer to have this level of flexibility. Not only that, but it puts also StorPool on-par with some of their competitors, and it puts more options on the table for potential customers.

We do not have details yet about existing packages and minimum commitments (capacity, length, etc.) but we will update this article as soon as we know.

Containers

We had covered StorPool in June 2020 and at the time Kubernetes integration with CSI support was one of the major announcements.

StorPool continues focusing on Kubernetes use cases. According to Boyan, there is a strong customer base with smaller public cloud operators, which are working at integrating k8s to offer it to their own customers. StorPool also works with Telco operators, these being major adopters of containers.

Boyan sees the market as made of three company types:

  • New age solutions (pure container-only players)
  • Last-gen SDS
  • Legacy vendors

Among these, Boyan places StorPool in the last-gen SDS stack. According to him, this “best of both worlds” space is made of companies offering robust software-defined storage solutions built on the latest available technologies, and yet able to cover the full spectrum of enterprise storage requirements.

The ability to support multiple platforms and multiple protocols, combined with integration with multiple major tools allows organizations to backport nearly everything.

Offering a CSI-supported persistent storage implementation for Kubernetes environments allows StorPool to seize the opportunity at their public cloud customers. These operators compete with the larger public cloud providers (AWS, Azure, GCP) and have to strongly differentiate their offering to attract and retain customers.

SDS 2.0

During our briefing, emphasis was put on what StorPool calls “SDS 2.0” i.e., modern, high-performance scale-out architectural designs. This concept was presented at Cloud Field Day 9, make sure to check out the blog post and video.

Those solutions are good for large and complex use cases. As an example, a customer with 10+ locations across the globe with a need to provide multi-tenancy and provide three storage tiers (primary, secondary, archival), with 50-100 TB and up is seen as typical by Boyan.

TECHunplugged’s Opinion

This was yet another interesting conversation to have with Boyan Ivanov. We could feel that StorPool is re-focusing its messaging towards a cloud audience, which makes sense considering their solution is a sweet spot for public cloud operators as well as larger organizations building private / hybrid clouds.

The focus on containers is also important, and persistent storage for containers has truly become an industry trend, as we have seen in the recent industry events such as Cloud Field Day and Storage Field Day.

All of this places StorPool in the perfect lane to become very soon a top-tier players in software-defined block storage. We in fact expect to see them break the ranks in the next industry analyst reports to be released.

Overall StorPool seems to be growing quite strongly both in market share and capabilities, perhaps the next step in 2021 will be to double-down on communication and creating awareness around their great solution.