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Open source object storage vendor MinIO's claim that it can make backup software work at primary storage speeds now has the backing of Veeam.
Last week, MinIO earned the Veeam Ready qualification for Object and Object with Immutability, making its high-performance object storage compatible with Veeam Backup and Replication software. MinIO claims it is the fastest object storage server on the market and can achieve read/write speeds of up to 183 GBps on standard hardware. This would allow Veeam's backup software to work at primary storage speeds, reducing recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives (RTOs/RPOs). Additionally, MinIO can provide object immutability for backup data, guaranteeing it can't be modified by ransomware attacks.
MinIO designed its software-defined distributed object storage system specifically for private clouds. It is S3 compatible, and CTO Ugur Tigli described MinIO as capable of doing everything Amazon S3 can do in the cloud, but on premises. This allows customers to get the same capabilities of Amazon S3 but avoid ingress and egress fees.
Aside from repatriating from Amazon S3 to lower costs, Tigli said MinIO customers mainly use it in three other ways: as high-limit on-premises cloud storage, as a data warehouse to combine with or replace Hadoop clusters and as persistent storage for Kubernetes. MinIO can handle typical object storage use cases such as secondary storage, disaster recovery (DR) and archiving, but Tigli said it is fast enough to handle workloads such as machine learning, analytics and cloud-native applications.
"People don't normally think of object storage as fast, but enterprises have started using S3 as primary storage," Tigli said.
MinIO will continue to be open source and customers can download the software for free without support. Subscription plans that include direct engineering support cost $10/month for a Standard tier and $20/month for an Enterprise tier. They can be purchased through MinIO's SUBNET subscription network or through Veeam's channel. There is no separate "MinIO for Veeam" product resulting from the Veeam Ready certification.
MinIO CMO Jonathan Symonds said the company is considering other partnerships with backup vendors, but it went with Veeam first because of its market reach. He said MinIO can help organizations deal with ransomware and the need to recover data fast by providing an immutable backup storage target and a high-performing one.
"Ransomware is an increasingly sophisticated attack surface. There's an opportunity there," Symonds said.
Symonds said he doesn't see other on-premises object storage vendors such as Cloudian and Quantum as direct competitors to MinIO. Instead, he sees Amazon S3 as MinIO's main competitor, because Minio created its object storage as a private cloud alternative to Amazon S3. He wants MinIO to be able to handle all the workloads customers currently use Amazon S3 for, but to do it faster, simpler and on premises.
Ray Lucchesi, president of Silverton Consulting, said this is unique to MinIO. Object storage vendors are all trying to carve out a niche for themselves, and vendors such as Caringo and Scality typically go after tape because it's easy to replace at certain scales. MinIO is the only object storage Lucchesi is aware of that can directly replace Amazon S3. He said being open source is another feature that distinguishes MinIO from other object storage vendors.
Lucchesi saw MinIO's Veeam Ready certification as beneficial to both companies. He said MinIO gets access to Veeam's large customer base, but Veeam gets to offer cheap backup storage for its customers in return. Veeam supports other S3 storage, but MinIO is priced competitively low and offers immutability.
"The challenge with backup storage is immutability. [MinIO is] cheap, immutable backup storage. On a cost perspective, it's impossible to attack them," Lucchesi said.
Lucchesi added that many applications in S3 that don't have any other type of storage, and MinIO -- and by extension, Veeam -- offers a low-cost storage alternative. He said he wouldn't be surprised if MinIO secured partnerships with other backup vendors by pitching itself this way, though he suspects Veeam might not like that.