EP22 – Excelero – NVMe Software-Defined Storage on Steroids – with Josh Goldenhar

In this 22nd episode of the TECHunplugged Podcast we welcome Josh Goldenhar, VP of Products at Excelero. Prior to joining Excelero, Josh was responsible for product strategy and management at EMC (XtremIO) and DataDirect Networks.

Podcast co-hosts Max Mortillaro (@darkkavenger) and Arjan Timmerman (@Arjantim) talk with Josh about Excelero, the solution’s architecture, its use cases & differentiators.

Show schedule:

  • 00:00 Presentations & introduction to Excelero
  • 01:50 We learn that Excelero is software-based and uses NVMe drives. We ask Josh about whether there is a Hardware Compatibility List. Josh goes on to talk about custom built vs. co-engineered solutions (Dell, SuperMicro) and mentions a recently announced partnership with Lenovo.
  • 03:25 Josh explains how Excelero was built from the start to be hardware agnostic and provides a perspective about how each hardware vendor is looked at based on their own hardware specificities.
  • 04:46 Consuming Excelero: what customers need to do to get their Excelero storage up and running: either via pre-built appliances or via custom built hardware with installation of a couple RPM packages.
  • 06:40 Is Excelero block-based or file-based? Josh explains that Excelero is a block-based distributed storage and provides background about the rationale to go block-based only.
  • 08:40 We ask Josh about Excelero’s customers and their use cases. Low latency, consistency in response times, and ability to scale are key to those customers. Josh then goes on to explain some of the common challenges faced by web-scalers and how Excelero fits in the picture.
  • 11:25 The case of Technicolor, an Excelero customer – how the motion picture industry requires bandwidths akin to those used in HPC clusters
  • 12:35 Excelero storage deployment modes (disaggregated vs. converged) and their technical implications
  • 15:35 A look into network interconnects that are supported by Excelero and throughput capabilities
  • 19:20 Talking about HPC and Local Burst Buffer / Local Scratch – integration with SLURM job scheduler and local nodes
  • 23:50 Being mind blown and forgetting a question – the Venn Diagram of Happy and Sad
  • 24:20 Remembering a question – does Excelero supports different media / performance tiers (such as SATA SSD or HDD), or 3D XPoint. Josh provides a comprehensive view of what is supported backed by Excelero’s rationale about why things are being done or implemented in a specific way.
  • 27:30 How / where to purchase Excelero, and how is it licensed?
  • 30:15 Conclusion