GreenBytes raised $12 million in a round of Series B financing led by Al Gore’s venture capital firm, Generation Investment Management and backed by Battery Ventures and members of the GreenBytes management team.

The Ashaway, R.I.-based data deduplication specialist said it will use the funds to expand its global marketing and sales channels. It’s also earmarking some funds to boost its R&D budget, as the startup makes its case for SSD-based arrays and inline deduplication as a fast, energy- and cost-effective way to optimize primary storage for enterprises.

The growth in Big Data, rising popularity in virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) and increasing scrutiny in data center energy use are roiling the storage industry. SSD-based technologies are best poised to meet these challenges, said GreenBytes.

Bob Petrocelli, CEO and CTO of GreenBytes, said in a company release, “Primary storage optimization is accelerating the viability of flash storage in the enterprise, and we expect magnetic storage will be replaced with SSD technology faster than most analysts now predict.”

He’s not alone in his thinking if recent history is anything to go by.

The enterprise flash storage market has been a hive of activity in recent months. In February, HP signaled that it was getting in the all-SSD array game with new LeftHand P4900 hardware. In March, Dell and MorphLabs teamed for all-SSD private cloud bundles.

Earlier this month, EMC paid a reported $430 million to snap up Israel-based XtremIO, a maker of all-SSD storage systems. While EMC claims to support an agnostic approach to flash storage — all-SSD, PCI-e based flash server cards and hybrid flash-disk solutions — the company clearly envisions a bright future for SSDs, as enterprises look to squeeze more performance from their storage architectures.

GreenBytes backer Generation Investment Management sees a similar opportunity for the company’s tech as businesses continue to place bigger burdens on their production storage systems. GreenBytes’ “mission to help reduce the carbon footprint of information” also aligns with the venture firm’s support for sustainable IT solutions.

“The explosion in the volume of digital data, combined with the performance demands of I/O-intensive applications such as virtualization and analytics, has escalated data storage to a mission-critical level,” said Generation Investment Management partner Greg Wasserman in a statement. Worse, traditional storage architectures are quickly filling out their power and space envelopes.

“Legacy storage technology and data centers with tightening power and rack space budgets simply cannot keep pace with today’s demands,” added Wasserman.

For Wasserman, the blend of SSDs, GreenByte’s GO OS and energy-saving features adds up to fast, green storage solutions that are suitable for both SMBs and large enterprises. “With its cutting-edge utilization of innovative software optimizations and solid state technology, GreenBytes has engineered a storage platform that delivers a truly impressive mix of performance and price, while simultaneously reducing the energy intensity of data.”

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