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Elastifile scores OEM deal with Dell EMC

Cloud NAS vendor Elastifile has struck an OEM deal with Dell EMC, one of the startup’s first investors.

Dell EMC will integrate Elastifile Cloud File System and CloudConnect cloud transfer and object storage tiering software on PowerEdge servers. Dell EMC will sell the appliances as part of the Dell EMC OEM Solutions program, with Elastifile providing software support. The appliances include the Elastifile license and three years of support. The vendors will formally disclose the deal Thursday.

Elastifile came out of stealth in April with its scale-out file system designed for flash hardware that spans on-premises and cloud storage. Until now, it has sold its software standalone. Andy Fenselau, Elastifile vice president of marketing, said the OEM deal makes sense because many of the startup’s early customers are using PowerEdge servers.

“You can put it on any standard server,” Fenselau said of Elastifile’s software. “But we were finding as we were ramping our business that many customers and many of our partners are joint customers and joint partners with Dell. They really wanted the Easy Button. They wanted a pre-integrated, pre-bundled solution for their on-prem deployments that they could buy from their standard OEM, in this case Dell.”

The Dell EMC Elastifile appliances scale from four to 100, with performance and capacity models available. The startup claims the performance model supports from 800,000 to 26 million IOPs with bandwidth ranging from 3.6 GB per second to 120 GBps. Capacity models range from 100 TB to 3.5 TB.

Fenselau said the performance optimized node street price starts at 13 cents per IOPS, and the capacity optimized node costs $2 per raw GB.

The PowerEdge appliances are flash-only.

Elastifile’s  Cloud File System handles active data and performance-oriented workloads. CloudConnect provides access to Amazon S3-compliant cloud services, moving inactive data for archiving or analytics into an object tier.

EMC invested in Elastifile’s first funding round in 2014, before the Dell-EMC merger. The companies’ ties go back even farther. Elastifile founder and CTO Sharar Frank also founded all-flash array startup XtremIO and was chief architect at scale-out NAS vendor Exanet. EMC acquired XtremIO in 2012 and Dell bought Exanet in 2010.

Storage hardware vendors Cisco, Lenovo and Western Digital also have strategic investments in Elastifile. Those relationships could lead to more appliance partnerships.

“As customers standardize on other servers, we will work to give them what they want,” Fenselau said when asked about the possibility of working with other strategic partners.


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