Senior management: Steven Lamb (Nevex Virtual Technologies) co-founder and CEO. Rayan Zachariassen (Uunet Canada) co-founder and CTO.

ioFabric is essentially a software defined storage company, unifying different vendors’ storage hardware under a single pane of glass. Its flagship product, Vicinty, is designed to reduce storage OPEX and CAPEX with intelligent automation and growth through commodity hardware and the cloud. Vicinity solutions are available to extend existing storage systems, or to deploy as distributed storage or as hyperconverged systems.

The company received funding of an undisclosed amount in July 2015 from Real Ventures and private investors.

10. Savage IO

Senior management: Phillip Roberto U.S. Navy, co-founder and CEO. John Fithian (APEX Data).

Savage IO designs, manufactures, and sells high-performance, densely populated storage, networking, and server systems for cloud storage, big data analytics, HPC, enterprises and remote sites. Its SavageStor platform combines SATA hard drives, a front-end SSD cache, or all SSD, depending on user workload. They include four grid-redundant power supplies, a sliding front “drive drawer” that allows drives to be swapped without powering down, and cabling that delivers speeds of up to 25GB per second. The company’s hardware is sold software-free and can be used with freely available open-source software.

The company is believed to have raised over $500,000 in two funding rounds.

11. Qumulo

Senior management: Peter Godman (Isilon) co-founder and CEO, Neal Fachan (Amazon Web Services) co-founder and chief scientist.

Qumulo makes scale-out NAS software. Qumulo Core is a software-only, flash-first product designed to help storage administrators store, manage and curate digital assets, and is 100% programmable through an interactive REST API. The product is powered by Qumulo Scalable File System (QSFS), which provides real-time visibility into data and storage to help solve data management problems created by first generation scale-out NAS products. QSFS has been designed to use low cost commodity server hardware and modern technologies such as flash, virtualization and the cloud. Qumulo Core enables the use of high capacity drives (such as 10TB Ultrastar Helium drives) and the company says it enables a 33% increase in usable storage capacity including the ability to efficiently handle tens of billions of small and large files.

The company completed a $32.5 million Series C funding round in June 2016, with investors including Allen & Company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

12. Datos IO

Senior management: Tarun Thakur (EMC) co-founder and CEO. Prasenjit Sarkar (IBM) co-founder and CTO.

Datos IO’s RecoverX product provides cloud-scale data protection software for applications deployed on non-relational, cloud databases. Architected as scale-out software that may be deployed in a single node or in a three-node cluster configuration, RecoverX allows organizations to protect their data at any granularity and at any point in time and promises to reduce downtime with recovery in minutes. It claims RecoverX allows customers to save up to 70% on secondary storage costs.

The company completed a $12.5 million Series A funding round in September 2015, with lead investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and True Ventures.

13. DriveScale

Senior management: Satya Nishtala (Nuova Systems) co-founder and CTO. Tom Lyon (Nuova Systems), co-founder and chief scientist, Gene Banman (NetContinuum) CEO.

Commodity servers are “fixed” in their pre-integrated configurations of compute and storage but DriveScale’s central proposition is that the ratio of compute to storage in servers and clusters should be a software-defined operation. DriveScale’s software automatically discovers available physical data center resources, enables disaggregation of servers into separate pools of compute and storage resources, and reassembles servers under software control and manages and optimizes the scale-out infrastructure. Administrators can then flexibly deploy and manage independent pools of resources in scale-out, just as has been done in the past with scale-up.

The company completed a $15 million Series A funding round let by Pelion Venture Partners in May 2016.

14. ClearSky Data

Senior management: Ellen Rubin (CloudSwitch) co-founder and CEO and. Lazarus Vekiarides (Dell EqualLogic) co-founder and CTO.

ClearSky Data promises the security, performance and availability of on premise storage, combined with the economics of the cloud, by offering a global storage network. Using ClearSky, hot data is stored locally, warm data is stored in a nearby data center that can deliver speeds equivalent to local primary data, and the cloud is used to store cold data. A simple dashboard allows users to set policies on data backup, retention and performance, add storage capacity, migrate existing data from traditional arrays, and view the location of data, capacity utilization, classification of data within a workload, availability, latency and other metrics. The platform is fully managed, and includes backup and disaster recovery. The company claims its storage solution costs 80% less than a traditional storage solution.

The company completed a $27 million Series B funding round in November 2015, led by Polaris Partners.

15. Kaminario

Senior management: Dani Golan (Performix Technologies) founder and CEO. Moshe Amir, VP Operations.

Kaminario is the most established of these 15 startups, having been founded in 2010. The company’s K2 all-flash array utilizes a unique software-defined architecture that delivers predictable performance, scalability and cost-efficiency. Each of its arrays is backed by a business guarantee program that combines six simple guarantees to give customers certainty and predictability as their business scales.