Yesterday I spent the day with Syneto at their Italian event reserved for partners. I gave a talk on the future of IT infrastructures and storage (I got paid for it… disclaimer part done with).

Organic growth

syneto-logoA bunch of young guys, located all over Europe (with main offices in Romania and Italy) who have developed ZFS-based storage appliances. What’s so special about that, you might ask?

First of all they are growing at a rate of 60% yearly, without any external funding. It’s a profitable company and sales are made to hundreds of SMB customers (and we are talking about small/medium EU enterprises here).

As already mentioned, ZFS are major contributors to OpenSolaris and OpenZFS communities. The storage system (contrary to Nexenta, Syneto offers full-fledged appliances) is a pretty standard device. It’s good, it comes in different configurations (including an All-Flash one), it is fast and relatively cost effective.

Ease of use (thanks also to a really cool UI), some interesting features added on top of ZFS and a top notch support are the right elements for their target market. But this is not what is contributing to their success at the moment.

Hyperconvergence for SMB

They’ve always had a VSA (free version available here)but it became a serious thing a couple of year ago… and last year, they launched a 2U-2node machine with their VSA pre-installed. You just need to add a VMware license and you are ready to go.

product-2u-ultraThis solution can run between 20 and 40VMs (good for over 90% of European companies), very easy to use and Vmware compatible. If I got the numbers right we are in the range of €15,000 for a complete configuration.

This price is amazing, especially if you have remote offices or just a small infrastructure. And with N:1 replication to a central site (or by running one of their VSAs in the cloud), DR also comes at an affordable price… And this is exactly what customers love about Syneto!

The solution is not perfect, perhaps limited by the amount of RAM they can fit in the cluster nodes, and it doesn’t scale beyond two nodes. But again, more than enough for SMBs and remote offices.

Closing the circle

The €15,000 appliance is a great device, it is fast enough (or better, well balanced), easy to manage and good for many uses cases where the number of VMs is limited, but you’d like to have all the HA features you can usually find on much more expensive solutions.

And you know what? Now they have a reseller in the US and the UK. It’s nice to see a small European company exporting storage to the the US, isn’t it?