US Signal scales its Storage As A Service (STaaS) offering to help meet growing demand


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Grand Rapids, MI., September 14, 2021 – SoftIron Ltd., the world leader in task-specific appliances for data center solutions, and a global leader in Ceph expertise and implementation, today announced that it has successfully engaged with Michigan-based IT solutions company, US Signal, to seamlessly upgrade and expand its Storage As A Service (STaaS) infrastructure. The initial implementation, which immediately increases US Signal’s storage capacity by over a petabyte, leverages SoftIron’s Ceph-based HyperDrive™ storage appliances and is being facilitated with a no-downtime migration across multiple distributed data center sites in four midwest states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The US Signal expansion is being driven by the company’s need to scale its critical infrastructure due to increasing customer demand. Having already established a Ceph software-defined storage architecture in 2012, the company took the opportunity to re-evaluate its incumbent solution against evolving requirements. These requirements included the need for cluster management across multiple, disconnected sites, the need for seamless integration with services billing, stringent cloud service SLAs, as well as limited resources (including skills, space and power). Because customers were in current operation, zero downtime during the capacity expansion was a critical requirement. SoftIron’s expertise and Ceph-based HyperDrive solution proved to be an ideal fit for the expansion, which is being accomplished with zero downtime.

“The strategic focus for this project was to ensure a truly future-proofed and seamless growth plan for US Signal, providing the best outcomes for both our business and our customers,” said Derrin Rummelt, Executive Vice President of Engineering at US Signal. “We chose open source Ceph as a foundational building block for our needs early on because of its innate power and capability. Ceph’s virtually infinite scalable nature combined with an uncompromising feature set made it a natural fit for our company, which provides world-class services in a highly competitive, mission-critical environment. SoftIron quickly demonstrated its deep understanding of complex storage environments, and how to maximize Ceph to provide the best of its wide-ranging feature set. They’ve delivered value over and above the hardware and software, providing expert guidance and support as we execute on this project together.”

The expansion, leveraging SoftIron’s expertise and HyperDrive storage appliances, further validates the enterprise-grade status of open-source Ceph, the software-defined storage platform that supports object, block, and file storage in a distributed, no single point of failure architecture. SoftIron’s HyperDrive storage appliances are engineered to maximize the performance and utility of Ceph, built using SoftIron’s “task-specific” approach, which counters the traditional commodity approach to appliances that use commercial off-the-shelf hardware (COTS). SoftIron’s approach optimizes component-level hardware design to the needs of the software at the source code level. Using this approach, SoftIron produces units purpose-built for maximum performance, eliminating commodity hardware inefficiencies, and creating greener, higher-performing, more efficient appliances.

“SoftIron continues to lower the bar for enterprises to adopt open source, and Ceph in particular, as a key part of their infrastructure strategy. Ceph provides organizations with all the robust features needed for always-on enterprise operation and delivering all the value that people expect in a world-class open source solution,” said Phil Straw, CEO of SoftIron. “SoftIron has built the ultimate productization of Ceph in our HyperDrive storage appliances, simplifying the operations and life cycle experience with Storage Manager and making Ceph accessible for today’s enterprise workloads with Storage Router. Our goal is always to meet our client organizations and their infrastructure wherever they are, and work with them to maximize every aspect of performance and efficiency that both Ceph and HyperDrive, together, have to offer.”

The SoftIron HyperDrive family storage appliances span from high-value to high performance and are available for POC and purchase today. SoftIron offers both traditional purchasing (CAPEX) and as-a-Service (OPEX) options. For more information, visit SoftIron’s HyperDrive Storage page.

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