Storage startup Exablox Wednesday came out of stealth mode with a solution that brings enterprise storage capabilities to the SMB market in a package it says is very attractive to solution providers.
Exablox initially is targeting the management of unstructured data, one of the biggest pain points for both customers and channel partners, said Sean Derrington, senior director for products at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup.
The Exablox OneBlox solution includes such storage capabilities as scale-out, deduplication, snapshots, failover, replication, ease-of-use, self-diagnosis and self-repair, Derrington said.
"We've made this very easy for the channel to sell, with recurring revenue," he said. "We looked at all the different attributes customers need from storage but saw no one company offering them all while making it easy for channel partners."
The Exablox OneBlox is a 2U or 4U appliance that comes with eight drive bays. Customers can add any hard drive or SSD to the appliances, each of which serves as a scale-out node in what Exablox calls a ring.
"Users can add any disk drive or any node to the ring, and it is immediately available for use," Derrington said. "They can add performance or capacity drives. There is a maximum of six nodes totaling 192 TB of capacity per ring to start. However, architecturally, you can scale beyond that."
The Exablox OneBlox also features the company's own distributed object-base file system, which allows the appliances to be deployed without the need for partners to set RAID levels or LUNs, Derrington said. The file system provides inline deduplication for primary storage and disk-based protection, continuous data protection, and encryption and replication of all data, he said.
Also new is the OneSystem cloud-based management software, which allows partners to get the OneBlox up and running in less than five minutes, all without the need to do any configuration or answer questions. "In five minutes, public shares are ready for writing data," Derrington said.
Bill Connolly, business development director for the Northeast for Netrix, a Chicago-based solution provider, said he likes the simplicity provided by the Exablox OneBlox.
"If there's one thing storage people do, it's complicate things," Connolly said. "Sometimes I think fresh minds and fresh blood helps people think outside the box."
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