Saratoga, California-based RStor recently entered the market with its Multicloud Platform, which enables new means for organizations to compute, connect, and operate across disparate and highly distributed IT resources and clouds. RStor offers users a single pane of visibility into their distributed computing, so they can determine the most efficient and cost-effective path for running and executing workloads.
CEO Giovanni Coglitore hails from Optical Archive (acquired by Sony Corporation of America in 2015) and was part of the pre-IPO team at Facebook, running Facebook Labs and the hardware engineering team that developed the compute designs currently used to run Facebook. He was previously founder and CEO at Rackable, where he led the business from pre-revenue to IPO, and later the acquisition of SGI. Coglitore leads a seasoned team of cloud and infrastructure engineering professionals who have built hyperscale infrastructures for the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Drobox and Amazon.
RStor has raised $45m in a series A funding round led by Cisco Investments, and employs a team of 53. It is using the funds to grow its staff, accelerate product development, and build out customer and partner ecosystems. Additionally, RStor incubated, funded and later spun off Sylabs, a container platform for high-performance computing environments.
Strategy and Products
RStor believes that legacy, hyperscale
and extremely consolidated cloud service models are already outdated and due for disruption. It states that new business models and applications like IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence and
real-time analytics run best in a distributed architecture. While there is an abundance of low-cost compute
resources, they are often idle, difficult to access and not networked together. RStor unlocks these resources, networking them together and making them easier to use. It's building a set of enterprise services that sits atop globally distributed IT and cloud resources for subscription use. Moreover, its offerings can enable spot market purchases and clearing exchange services for both compute providers and consumers with spare capacity. RStor calls its approach
Enterprise Performance Computing (EPC).
The RStor Multicloud Platform is composed of three core products. 'Secure' can build and deploy Singularity containers in public and private repositories. It seeks to use any x86, GPU, Power, Arm or
Cray resources as cloud nodes. It enables RStor's
vision of EPC, as well as multi-cloud spot markets and compute
exchanges. 'Connect' includes a network fabric to enable the fast access and movement of data, and a data lake to control, configure, and access data and applications; it also provides edge storage. 'Orchestrate' controls unique data and compute
configurations, jobs, and access to clusters, in addition to managing data. It's designed to be a virtual datacenter
that securely links and coordinates all compute resources in the world, and is capable of bursting when needed. Collectively, these core products enable the creation of a virtual cloud service provider that unifies and coordinates the resources across multiple other CSPs, managed service infrastructure vendors and on-premises IT resources.
The technology that enables Orchestrate is a 'smart system' capable of economic analysis that determines the best execution venue for workloads based on the performance characteristics required of the workload and the available resources within reach of RStor's Multicloud
Platform. It can help control cloud spend, and may prevent underbuying or overbuying. Orchestrate assembles unused resources in a logical virtual cluster, potentially helping to prevent vendor lock-in. RStor also developed a proprietary networking protocol designed to overcome the speed and latency issues of the internet and other proprietary network services. RStor states that it has the ability to bring compute resources closer to data stores, thus minimizing the need for mass data distribution. One can imagine that managing service-level agreements across the multiple services that can compose a virtual CSP would be a challenge. RStor says its Multicloud Platform is so equipped.RStor's
business model is for its technology to be provisioned within colocation service providers' infrastructure (e.g., Equinix, Level 3 [CenturyLink], Zayo, etc.). Colos
provide internet access and act as on-ramps to the global field of cloud service providers (e.g., AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, etc.). Its services are based on consumption of compute
, storage and network resources, with pricing plans starting at $5,000 per month.
RStor has partnered with Equinix to install the RStor Multicloud Platform at Equinix's IBX datacenters. RStor's services are available to Equinix's customers in San Jose; Ashburn, Virginia; and the United Kingdom – with expansion soon to follow in Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil. Customer references were not provided, but RStor says its offerings are in use at a large pharmaceutical firm, technical manufacturing organizations and a medium-size entertainment company. Furthermore, the company has partnered with a collection of OEMs for channel leverage.
RStor operates in the hyper-distributed cloud computing
market segment. HDCC is an overall IT architecture designed to handle millions and potentially billions of workloads, users, endpoints and nodes at scale. It can analyze the characteristics of workloads and the capabilities of execution venues (distributed compute, storage, network infrastructure and
devices) to intelligently determine whether, where and when to move logic to data or data to logic based on policies, rules and machine-learning-based performance analysis.
Examples of evolving HDCC architecture include hyperscale
cloud service providers such as AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, IBM and
Oracle. Less obvious are the cloud connectivity network service providers designed for high speed, bandwidth and throughput, such as Equinix, CenturyLink, NTT Communications, KDDI Telehouse, Digital Realty, Interxion, Megaport, Epsilon and PacketFabric; the CDN service providers designed for low-latency global content distribution, such as Akamai, MaxCDN, Rackspace, Cloudflare, Verizon EdgeCast and Level 3; IoT (core/fog/edge) computing vendors, such as Cisco, GE Predix, IBM, Intel and Siemens MindSphere; and emerging blockchain vendors and consortia, such as IBM, Ethereum and R3. Indeed, while all these vendors participate in the HDCC market as we define it, we are unaware of any with similar features and capabilities equivalent to those from RStor. In fact, many of these vendors are likely to be partners or customers of RStor.