Some storage startups anticipate a trend then ride the coattails of the trend. Other startups actually create trends.
One startup that may be in the latter category is Actifio, which announced $8 million in Series A financing today led by Greylock Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners, after an 18-month incubation period.
Actifio is pioneering a concept it refers to as Data Management Virtualization, or DMV (a search acronym that will surely lead you astray).
The company’s press release states that server virtualization technologies have transformed the IT infrastructure but that the storage infrastructure is still a major bottleneck “with data lifecycle management shackled by point tools that are deployed in silos – creating complexity, inflexibility and significant expense . . . Actifio’s DMV technology reduces the cost of managing the application data lifecycle and virtualizes vendor-independent physical or cloud-based storage devices into a private, public or hybrid storage cloud infrastructure.”
That didn’t help me much, so I had a chat with one of Actifio’s key founders – Ash Ashutosh, formerly a vice president and chief technologist in HP’s StorageWorks division and, perhaps more importantly in this context, founder of AppIQ, which was acquired by HP a few years ago.
“DMV is a solution for data protection, disaster recovery, business continuity and lifecycle management of data,” Ash explained. “It simplifies data management. The paradigm we’re applying to data management is analogous to what virtualization did to servers.”
I still don’t get it, but I’m calling attention to this startup because of its management pedigree. In addition to Ash, Actifio executives include:
David Chang, vice president of products (formerly founder and VP of product management at AppIQ)
Steven Blumenau, VP of products (formerly a VP at Iron Mountain and senior director of advanced development at EMC)
Rick Nagengast, VP of sales (formerly VP of channel and partner development at EMC and GM of the Storage Products Division at DEC and Compaq)
James Pownell, customer operations manager (formerly founder and president of Exagrid, founder and VP of engineering at Highground Software, and a development manager at EMC)
That’s a lot of HP/AppIQ/EMC blood.
Actifio is expected to ship its product “early in the fourth quarter” – I’m guessing around the time of Storage Networking World. The company plans to sell though the channel, and is currently in hiring mode.