In both cases a new CEO – at Coraid, Kevin Brown – has made a world of difference. New funding, new customers, more focus. All good.
What does Coraid do?
Storage, of course. Inexpensive block-based, scale-out, network storage. Global namespace.
How does $0.40/GB sound?
Let’s start at the server. The HBAs are Intel NICs that are re-programmed to present themselves as SCSI controllers. The server sees a SCSI controller, but it’s Ethernet out the other side.
Running over the network is a connectionless datagram protocol that accesses the storage on commodity x86 servers. The protocol is fast and lightweight, being based on the simple and well-understood ATA command set.
There’s a router for connecting sites, but most users use it in a single site.
People who want a lot of inexpensive block storage. Average order is ≈175 TB. Average sales cycle is 30 days.
Coraid is a horizontal play, but they get interest from the usual big data suspects: media and entertainment; science; service providers; private clouds.
The StorageMojo take
Coraid takes the commodity game seriously: commodity servers; commodity HBAs; commodity open-source protocol; commodity network; and commodity SCSI drivers. Not much custom engineering required.
It’s prices reflect that. There’s a huge unmet need for fast, cheap storage that Coraid is tapping. Their biggest problem is that they do things differently than everyone else, and it takes people a while to decide to work with those differences.
Which is a shame. The more competition for the block storage dollar the better it is for all consumers.
Courteous comments welcome, of course. I saw Coraid as part of a Tech Field Day program, where they, among other vendors, helped pay for transportation, food and lodging.