TL; DR: StorPool is helping businesses, MSPs, and hosting providers better leverage software-defined storage when building private and public clouds for demanding environments. The company’s software, which comes fully managed, combines the performance and capability of all drives into a single distributed storage pool. With 24/7 mission-critical support, proactive monitoring, and fast issue resolution, StorPool aims to stand out from the competition for years to come.
Although not always apparent, businesses of all shapes and sizes now depend on digital infrastructure to support their financial and operational objectives. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on stage at the Mobile World Congress in 2019: “Every company is now a software company.”
But it’s the businesses with mission-critical applications and workloads that have the most to lose when faced with technical failure. Online banking applications, traffic control systems, and financial trading tools are all examples of mission-critical computing, as operations grind to a screeching halt in their absence.
Service providers, hosts, and IT teams must successfully manage computing power, memory availability, and storage to guarantee the consistent performance of these mission-critical apps and workloads. The task comes with great responsibility — and not everyone has the time and knowledge to handle it.
Recognizing this, StorPool delivers a fully managed software-defined storage service that includes around-the-clock support, proactive monitoring, and speedy issue resolution. The solution, which runs on hardware in the customer’s datacenter, comes with system design assistance, hardware performance and reliability testing, remote deployment and tuning, monitoring, and long-term maintenance.
“At the end of the day, we have built something that’s ideal for storing and managing data for workloads that demand extreme reliability and low latency,” said Alex Ivanov, Product Lead at StorPool. “As one of our customers put it, ‘We basically just need to click a button reading Create VM, and everything happens in the background.’”
The company’s mission to accelerate workloads around the world by storing data more productively. To do so, StorPool builds and delivers StorPool Storage — one of the best data storage and data management platforms for companies building public and private clouds. StorPool designs solutions on a per-customer basis dependent upon storage requirements, capacity, performance, and system features.
StorPool customers can optimize end-user prices because the company separates software costs from the parameters of the underlying hardware. Instead of charging for the raw or usable capacity of the storage system, it offers several pay-per-use pricing models. Customers can choose the model that best aligns with their business practices and purchase the hardware they need to meet long-term needs while keeping software costs low.
Continuously Updated and Fully Managed Data Storage Solutions
StorPool, headquartered in Bulgaria, was founded in November 2011 to help hosts replace traditional storage arrays with a new approach to software-defined storage. The resulting solution successfully aggregates the capacity and performance of all the storage drives attached to standard servers into a single, scalable storage system with one or more storage layers. StorPool supports all-NVMe SSD, SATA SSD, hybrid, and all-HDD pools within a single system. And now, it is all expertly managed.
“We help customers architect the hardware, physical network, and logical levels of their clouds, and then we deploy the system ourselves on hardware in the customer’s datacenter,” Alex told us. “We tune everything and make sure that it’s running in the best way possible for their specific workloads. And then we monitor everything and maintain it for the long term.”
When we last caught up with StorPool, the company had just released the latest edition of its distributed storage software, Version 18.02. That edition placed a greater emphasis on integrations, enhanced hardware platform compatibility, and reduced resource use. Today, the company is continuing to move its product forward with Version 19.2.
This most recent edition is a product of StorPool’s new continuous improvement process, which allows the company to build, test, release, and deploy new versions of the software in short periods.
“This approach enabled us to push more than 30 updates of StorPool Storage to production during the past year — an achievement typically associated with the leading IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS vendors,” the company stated in a January 2021 press release. “As a result, the primary storage systems of our customers continue to improve.”
Version 19.2 introduces new capabilities in the areas of reliability, business continuity, and management. This latest edition also features support for additional hardware and software tools.
“We’ve created a really agile storage platform that lets you serve storage to multiple cloud management solutions from a single storage system,” Alex said.
Boost Speed and Simplify IT Management
StorPool offers an extensive catalog of solutions — from block storage on public and private clouds to integrations with Kubernetes and VMware.
“On the private cloud side, we work with management platforms like OpenNebula, OpenStack, VMware, and Hyper-V,” Alex said. “And then on the public cloud side, we often work with OpenStack and VMware, but also OnApp, CloudStack, and others.”
The company provides a comprehensive, alphabetically ordered list of every StorPool feature on its website. If you don’t have time to read them all, fear not: Alex said the company’s value proposition is mainly centered on simplicity and speed.
“We extract the maximum speed from standard servers with standard components and apply it to all data in the storage system,” Alex said. “On top of that, we simplify the whole IT management process to let our customers grow their clouds with the peace of mind that everything is going to just work.”
That benefit alone is music to the ears of many hosting and cloud providers, MSPs, and even game development studios.
“Managed service providers, in particular, really like StorPool, because it aligns well with their business missions,” Alex said. “They understand the value of offloading heavy IT tasks — because that’s what they do for enterprises. We do the same thing for them, but with storage, so they can focus on managing the IT environments of their customers.”
Infrastructure Optimized for Business Growth
In the long run, StorPool’s goal is to help any company or service provider responsible for mission-critical data achieve sky-high reliability and availability from their private and public cloud storage.
“In the past, we mainly served enterprises and various kinds of businesses,” Alex said. “But now, their workloads are moving away from their datacenters and are frequently being handled in a managed environment — whether that means a cloud service provider or MSP — or by hyperscalers.”
StorPool aims to make it easier for these service providers to optimize and grow their operations through effective storage solutions. Alex pointed to a recent multisite and multipetabyte deployment the company made possible as an example.
“We were working with one of the top five service providers in the world on storage for their virtual private cloud platforms,” Alex explained. “They wanted to maintain the same service quality they were offering while lowering prices.”
The MSP was looking to offer the same service quality to customers while eliminating CapEx expenses via a pay-per-use model on the backend.
“They wanted to modernize everything they’re doing to stay competitive and ensure that, long-term, they’re going to have an easy way of managing the cost and hardware life cycle of their platform — that’s where the standard component part comes in,” Alex said. “We’re increasingly focusing on these types of projects that go beyond basic services to solve core business challenges.”
Helping Businesses Navigate New Challenges
Moving forward, StorPool’s road map involves a continued focus on providing stress-free managed solutions for hosts, MSPs, and businesses.
“Many service providers are now facing increasing market competition that is threatening their profit margins and even the sustainability of their businesses,” Alex said. “We want to help people who are running into these challenges. It’s difficult to hire and retain the technical talent that you need to grow your own cloud — and that’s where we come in, allowing them to offload everything instead.”
On the technical side, the StorPool team is working to optimize the platform’s core in the name of even better performance.
“The change is also going to bring forth a lot of options for managing the data stored on each system,” Alex said. “It’s really exciting.”