Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Sinclair Oil Taps Qumulo Storage 

The oil and gas sector is slumping, cutting back on exploration and drilling as energy prices continue to slump. Perhaps based on the strategy that it's best to invest during a downturn, Sinclair Oil announced this week it is deploying new scale-out network-attached storage from intelligent storage startup Qumulo Inc.

Seattle-based Qumulo announced earlier this year that Sinclair was among the roster of new customers for its "data-aware" NAS offering dubbed Qumulo Core. The storage startup said Monday (Oct. 19) that Sinclair, the $7 billion energy company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is replacing an outmoded storage system with its Core platform as it imports millions of files to the new data repository. The deal was announced during this week's Society of Exploration Geophysicists conference in New Orleans.

The core of Core storage the Qumulo Scalable File System, which the startup says it build from scratch using a “flash-first” hybrid approach that incorporates flash and “dense” spinning disk storage. As a software application running as a user application on a Linux operating system, Qumulo Core will be sold using a software-as-a-service delivery model, the startup said.

A hybrid storage appliance provides 24 TB of raw hard-disk capacity and 1.6 TB of raw solid-state disk capacity. Qumulo Core can be scaled from four to more than 1,000 nodes in a single cluster and single namespace, Qumulo said.

The integration of data analytics with network attached storage is intended to allow the scalable file system to storage, manage and curate data, making critical data accessible when needed.

Qumulo touts its approach to intelligent storage as giving users the ability to manage and store billions of files as a way to improve storage efficiency and workflows.

Along with upgrading and scaling its storage capabilities, Sinclair said it is leveraging the Qumulo Core's real-time visibility and analytics designed to to assess system usage. The real-time analytics capability is integrated into the Core file system, the foundation of the startup's "data-aware" strategy.

Qumulo announced a second funding round earlier this year that included Silicon Valley heavyweight Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers. The storage specialist has so far raised $67 million and recently added Sujal Patel, founder of Isilon Systems, to its board.

The enterprise storage specialist was founded in 2012 by a group of Isilon veterans. It has also attracted storage experts from Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft, the company said.

Co-founder Peter Godman, a former director of software engineering at Isilon, is Qumulo’s CEO.

Along with Sinclair Oil, Qumulo's other early customers include the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the University of Utah’s Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute and SportVision, the media company known for its "first down" line on football broadcasts.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times.

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