Research Library

Formation Data Systems – Industry Snapshot

Published November 15th, 2016. Eric Slack, Sr. Analyst, gives a brief update on Formation Data Systems in this free Industry Snapshot Report.

Formation Data Systems adds Remote Replication for Cloud DR

Formation Data Systems is adding asynchronous replication to their FormationOne software-defined storage (SDS) platform. The new “SafeGuard” feature provides replication between a FormationDS storage system in the primary data center and another in a remote location, including the AWS cloud or any S3-enabled object storage system. Companies can operate a FormationOne system in both public cloud or private cloud environments. Safeguard includes integrated deduplication and compression, plus encryption for data at-rest and data in-transit.

SafeGuard is offering two consistent, bi-directional modes of replication:

  • SafeGuardSnap – copies complete contents of volume snapshots to remote target repository, then captures the changes in differentials which can be scheduled and automated based on the volume requirement – useful for Disaster Recovery purposes
  • SafeGuardAsync– asynchronously replicates volume changes to remote target in near real-time, maintaining volume consistency at the remote or AWS target – useful for providing Business Continuity

Cloud DR in AWS

A primary use case for Formation’s replication is public cloud DR, where data is replicated to low-cost storage, then moved into active storage, allowing VMs or applications to be spun up in for a recovery. This cuts the cost of cloud-based DR by not requiring dedicated compute infrastructure that sits idle until a recovery is needed.

About FormationDS

Founded by CEO Mark Lewis, longtime EMC executive, Formation Data Systems has developed an SDS solution that’s designed for enterprise environments. Its scale-out architecture leverages the cost advantages of industry standard server and storage hardware, but has a feature set that looks like a traditional enterprise storage array. The FormationOne platform supports block (iSCSI), file (NFS), object (S3) and HDFS protocols with an object storage back end running on an unlimited number of HDD, hybrid or all-flash nodes.

FormationOne storage supports data tiering, multi-tenancy with dynamic QoS, encryption, inline deduplication and unlimited volumes, snapshots and clones. The system can sustain disk and node failures without impacting applications and provides automated load balancing and non-disruptive hardware replacement.

SafeGuard will be a value-added software upgrade and is scheduled for general availability in November 2016.

Evaluator Group Comments

In general, software-defined, scale-out storage systems have found the most traction in the mid-market, driven by their deployment flexibility and low cost. FormationDS has targeted the enterprise with their SDS system and, appropriately, given it an extensive list of enterprise-level features. With asynchronous replication they have the ability to provide the remote backup and DR protection that’s essential to most larger companies, in a private or hybrid cloud-based solution.


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