Hey virtual SANs – say hello to a virtual filer

Infinit does for file boxes what virtual SANs do for SANs (Say that after a couple of martinis)

Startup Infinit has software running in servers that can aggregate local storage and public cloud storage into a virtual filer.

The upstart was founded in February 2012 and has had, by modern standards, derisory investment with $100k angel funding that year, another $340k of angel funding in 2013, and a $1.8m seed round in 2014. That's $2.4m in total.

The founders are French: the CEO is Julien Quintard, the COO is Baptiste Fradin, and their company has two products.

  • A resilient and scalable POSIX-compliant file storage platform with an open-source file system for creating public, private and hybrid cloud storage infrastructures.
  • A file transfer application to copy documents of any size quickly with guaranteed delivery.

The filer can use Amazon's S3 and Google Cloud Storage for public-cloud-hosted capacity. Local server or workstation storage is directly attached or accessed over the network using UDP.

Files are divided into chunks, encrypted and spread across the component server systems. Replication is used for protection with protection parameters changeable by admin staff. Infinit says that, “unlike many well-known services like Dropbox, BitTorrent’s Sync, Google Drive etc., Infinit provides a low-level native file system integration that abstracts the file system hierarchy through a virtual drive.”

It says its peer-to-peer system is fault-tolerant and detects failures, automatically adapting the number of replicas to guarantee data reliability. It does not have single points of failure or, it claims, bottlenecks. Files are versioned and can be rolled back to a desired state.

Storage capacity can scale up by adding capacity to component systems, and scale out by adding component systems. Ditto for scaling down or back in. These are non-disruptive processes.

Infinit has fine-grained access control for granting users read/write privileges. They can access their files on any device, from anywhere at any time through a native file system interface; Infinit’s software runs on OS X, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. They can also access or stream files on-demand without having to store them locally or download them beforehand, as Dropbox does for example.

You can find out more about Infinit’s technology here and cast an eye over an FAQ here. ®

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