9 Storage Startups to Watch

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    9 Storage Startups to Watch
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    9 Storage Startups to Watch

    The data storage sector is hot – and these storage startups are set to grab a piece of the expanding market.
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    Primary Data
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    Primary Data

    Question: What do you get when you mix flash, virtualization, a co-founder of Apple, and the TV show, “Dancing with the Stars”? Answer: Primary Data. Its approach to virtualization is about aligning applications, servers and storage systems into a global dataspace using policy-based automation. The platform is said to be storage agnostic. “Primary Data is the former management team that funded and lead FusionIO to an IPO; now the band is back together, including their “Dancing with the Stars” celebrity chief scientist Steve Wozniak, aka the Woz,” said Greg Schulz, an analyst with StorageIO Group. “Can they bottle lighting twice?”
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    DataGravity
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    DataGravity

    The DataGravity Discovery Series is said to be a storage platform that stores, protects, searches, analyzes and governs data. John Joseph, president and co-founder of DataGravity, added that it is the market’s first data-aware storage platform. “By combining data protection, data governance, search and discovery powered by an enterprise-grade hardware platform and patented software architecture, the Discovery Series is enabling midmarket companies to improve security, employee productivity and business processes,” said Jones. “It offers insights whether data is block or file, and it supports NFS, CIFS/SMB and iSCSI LUNs with the additional capability to natively manage virtual machines.” Investors include Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, CRV and General Catalyst Partners. They just bagged another $50 million in a Series C round. Based in Nashua, N.H., its storage management expertise is augmented by personnel from business intelligence, data management and analytics. “Datagravity includes the former EqualLogic founders and management team to bring us another iSCSI storage system positioned at the mid-market this time with lots of graphics and insight awareness tools,” said Schulz.
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    ClearSky Data
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    ClearSky Data

    ClearSky is a stealth mode startup that not too much is known about. Ellen Rubin is the CEO; she was previously involved with CloudSwitch, Verizon and Netezza, the last of which she took to a successful IPO and $130 million in revenues in 2007. The company also has Lazarus Vekiarides as CTO, an original EqualLogic management member. “Enterprise customers are looking for a new approach to storage management that eliminates the need for ongoing capital investments and the complexity of data management across the storage lifecycle,” said Rubin. “ClearSky will replace the endless treadmill of traditional storage solutions with a breakthrough approach that enables agility and innovation.” So far, the startup has raised over $12M in Series A funding from General Catalyst and Highland Capital Partners. Its board includes industry leaders Jit Saxena (CEO & founder of Netezza) and Paula Long (CEO & co-founder of DataGravity).
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    Ravello Systems
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    Ravello Systems

    Ravello Systems boasts about running VMware workloads on Amazon Web Services (AWS) with nested virtualization, as well as enabling fast cloud development and test environments without migrations. “These folks had a big impact at VMworld 2014 with their ability to support relocation of VMs and their storage from VMware to cloud providers such as AWS,” said Schulz. “Keep an eye on Ravello.”
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    Cloud Technology Partners
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    Cloud Technology Partners

    Cloud Technology Partners is all about architecting, building and managing cloud infrastructures, as well as migrating applications and data to the cloud, and developing applications for the cloud. It works in conjunction with AWS, the Google Cloud Platform and other cloud providers. The company just closed a $9.1 million Series B financing round led by Oak Investment Partners and the Pritzker Group. "In the past year our headcount has doubled,” said Chris Greendale, Founder and CEO of Cloud Technology Partners. “We completed 75 cloud projects for enterprise clients in 2014.”
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    Nutanix
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    Nutanix

    Nutanix is a converged infrastructure company that recently closed a $140 million Series E funding round to bring its total funding to $312 million. The company has annual sales of $200 million and in excess of 800 customers such as Airbus, Honda, ConocoPhillips, Total and Toyota "The convergence of servers, storage and networking in the datacenter has created one of the largest business opportunities in enterprise technology," said Dheeraj Pandey, co-founder and CEO, Nutanix.
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    Quaddra Software
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    Quaddra Software

    Quaddra Software is another company that surfaced at VMworld. Although it’s still in stealth mode, it let slip a little about high-performance, scalable object management software to deal with petabytes of storage and billions of objects. “Quaddra Software will enable searching and analyzing data without you having to buy your storage from them, meaning you can use their software with any storage from physical, virtual to cloud,” said Schulz.
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    CTERA
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    CTERA

    CTERA’s technology enables enterprises to provide cloud-based storage, sharing, and backup services. Its cloud storage services platform is said to transform private or public cloud infrastructure into scalable, secure, business-critical data services. Its target market is service providers and large enterprises. The technology enables organizations to sync, serve and protect data from one centrally managed point. CTERA just announced a $25M Series C funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and joined by existing investors Benchmark Capital, Cisco and Venrock. “CTERA was founded on the belief that organizations will need to control their cloud agenda by delivering secure storage services from the clouds of their choice,” said Liran Eshel, co-founder and CEO of CTERA Networks.
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    A3CUBE
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    A3CUBE

    A3CUBE is promising supercharged storage via its high-performance computing (HPC) exascale architecture. It has created a data plane using a Network Interface Card (NIC) to eliminate the I/O performance gap between CPU power and data access performance. Known as the RONNIEE Express data plane, it is said to resolve the inherent performance bottlenecks of PCIe. This allows low latency, massive scalability and performance that is said to be orders of magnitude beyond the capabilities of Ethernet, InfiniBand and Fibre Channel. “Organizations struggle to keep up with the amount of traffic on traditional networks generated from a variety of sources,” said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, ESG. “A3CUBE’s in-memory network fabric leverages an innovative approach to transforming HPC, big data and data center environments in order to drive greater performance and efficiencies in the network and storage systems.”

There are many interesting storage startups out there. Certainly, there aren’t as many as we witnessed in the late nineties and early 2000s. But compared to previous years, we are seeing a definite upsurge in storage startups. Here are a few of the leading ones to watch.


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