Lightbits Labs: Enabling Hyperscale Storage Experience for Next-Generation Applications
Storage Company of the Year
Lightbits Labs was founded in 2016 by a group of well-connected and seasoned storage industry veterans and entrepreneurs with the purpose of remaking modern cloud infrastructure on a global scale. The company set a mission of reinventing the way storage and networking are conducted in hyperscale data centers and began building solutions to meet that goal.
While they were quietly reinventing storage solutions, the team was also flexing its NVM Express (nonvolatile memory express) prowess. Lightbits executives worked closely with NVM Express and its member companies and played a leadership role in the initial development of the specification standards. Later, they were instrumental in the ratification of traditional TCP/IP as an approved transport layer for NVMe – which is now known as NVMe/TCP. When the specification was announced late in 2018, Lightbits announced its hyperscale storage platform would be the industry’s first to take full advantage of the newly minted transport standard.
Before emerging from stealth mode, Lightbits began building a reputation as the storage industry’s pioneer in NVMe/TCP. Its team knew that by layering solutions over existing software-based TCP transport implementations as well as future hardware accelerated implementations, NVMe/TCP would allow large-scale data centers to use their existing, ubiquitous TCP/IP infrastructure to realize NVMe’s performance benefits.
In March 2019, Lightbits received $50 million in funding and introduced two groundbreaking products: LightOS and LightField. The LightOS software and LightField storage acceleration card provide a high-performance, end-to-end disaggregation solution that can scale storage independently from compute without requiring any changes to data center clients or network infrastructure. They were the industry’s first software-defined NVMe/TCP solution in production and the only to provide a Global Flash Translation Layer (GFTL) running over high-performance standard networks. In short, they allow private clouds and software-as-a-service providers to capitalize on the application performance of using local NVMe SSDs with the simplicity and efficiency of hyperscale solutions. These initial products were very well received, and the company launched into nearly a dozen proof of concept tests with some of the world’s leading cloud companies and financial institutions.
A month later, in April 2019, Lightbits launched its third product, the SuperSSD storage appliance, a plug-and-play, ultra-high capacity and high-performance SSD storage appliance. SuperSSD is scalable from 64TB to 1PB usable capacity that can be shared across multiple compute nodes. It supports up to 5 million 4K input/output operations per second (IOPs) with high fault tolerance with no service interruptions.
As trailblazers of a new storage paradigm, Lightbits’ solutions are successfully being used in industry-leading cloud data centers around the globe. With strategic investors including Dell Technologies Capital and Micron, and with investments from industry luminary Chairman and Founder Avigdor Willenz, Lightbits Labs is separating storage from compute to enable a hyperscale experience and improve performance and lowering total cost of ownership.