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Spotlight on Scality: The Silicon Valley startup specialising in petabyte scale storage solutions

To say Scality is an office with a view is quite the understatement. Towering over San Francisco Bay in an imposing skyscraper that cuts through the Californian skyline, you can see all the way to Treasure Island from the lofty vantage of one of its boardrooms. Clearly, the enterprise storage company is quite at home with its head in the cloud, so its recent decision to partner with Germany’s Earth Observation Centre, providing storage solutions and access to both traditional file systems and cloud storage resources seems, really, only natural.

Considering that its CEO and founder, Jérôme Lecat, describes the typical Scality customer as “basically anyone who needs a lot of storage,” it makes a lot of sense that an organisation like the German Aerospace Centre would choose to deploy Scality’s large-scale storage solutions. Scality specialises in petabyte-scale storage and hosted ITProPortal at its headquarters on a recent trip to Silicon Valley to tell us more about its latest ventures.

The recent deal is an example of the type of work Scality does. The Earth Observation Centre in Germany uses remote sensing to tackle tough issues in environmental and climate science, including the prevention and management of natural disasters. Understandably, this generates a lot of data and the Photogrammetry and Image Analysis department required a data storage system that could scale to meet its growing data storage needs.

With over six million files, many exceeding one terabyte in size, and data being accessed on up to 40 client workstations, the department’s productivity was becoming hampered by the inability of its current infrastructure to support image manipulation tasks.

The solution was to deploy Scality’s RING system, which enables parallel processes to be handled efficiently and without system bottlenecks, allowing unlimited growth and high IOPS across many information system formats, including access to traditional file systems and cloud storage resources via CDMI.

What that basically means is that Scality provides a durable storage solution that allows a system to grow naturally and cost effectively as a DLR’s data storage needs expand.

It’s a solution that Professor Peter Reinartz, Head of the Photogrammetry and Image Analysis department itself, called “very unusual.”

He said: ”Scality’s RING provides us with a proven solution unlike any other we have found… As we grow, it is proving to be an essential element of our work flow and infrastructure.”

The storage industry is big business in Silicon Valley at the moment, with many startups and businesses vying to provide the best solutions to meet enterprise level needs at affordable prices. Storage is currently in a period of transition from hardware-based solutions to software-based systems based in the cloud, so the number of businesses pushing the boundaries of innovation is growing.