Hot Storage Startups

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Every few months, we bring you the latest crop of hot storage startups. The good news is that interesting newbies just keep on coming. Here are a few to watch.

Atlantis ILIO

Atlantis Computing is all about solving the challenges of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments such as storage costs, performance and deployment risks. Atlantis ILIO software is said to complement VDI solutions to deliver a desktop that is faster and cheaper than a PC. It recently won Best of VMworld U.S. 2012, Best of VMworld Europe 2012 and Best of Synergy Europe 2012 in the desktop virtualization category.

“Virtualization and storage are coming together to in a way that will change the data center dramatically over the coming years,” said Bernard Harguindeguy, CEO at Atlantis Computing. “We are deploying virtual desktops with software and servers only – and no external storage or SSDs – using only local server RAM as storage.”

He said Atlantis customers include the largest VDI deployment in the world at JP Morgan Chase, US Army, Walter Reed Navy Hospital and Washington Trust Bank. The company is privately held and funded by Cisco Systems, El Dorado Ventures, and Partech International. It has a total of $14.8 million invested to date.

Diablo Technologies

Diablo Technologies is a Canadian startup focusing on in-memory system interface products. It just completed a $28 million funding round to assist in the launching of its Memory Channel Storage (MCS) technology platform. Coming soon, MCS is said to enable substantial improvements in transaction processing and data analysis. Investors include Battery Ventures, Celtic House Venture Partners, BDC Venture Capital, and Hasso Plattner Ventures. MCS is leveraging NAND-flash and non-volatile memory technologies to enable increased levels of application performance.

“Diablo Technologies has developed an innovative memory channel-based solid-state storage platform,” said Riccardo Badalone, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Diablo. “We will soon deliver breakthroughs in system performance and flash storage density for analytic data processing, web-page serving, cloud computing and other server-based enterprise computing applications.”

Message Bus

Message Bus provides cloud-based infrastructure for email, mobile and social messaging. Led by Jeremy LaTrasse, the co-founder of Twitter, it has released two products. Its Global Delivery Network is a service that lets enterprises, email service providers and application developers send secure messages at scale. The release follows a beta program with 35 design partners including American Greetings, MyFitnessPal and Telly.

The other product – Discover – is a free reporting service for detecting email abuse. It collects data from Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) compliant ISP networks such as AOL, Comcast, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail and provides reporting and analytics identifying which IP addresses are using an organization’s domain name for phishing or other activity.

The company recently announced $11 million in growth funding from North Bridge Venture Partners, True Ventures, Ignition Partners, James Lindenbaum, Tim Young and Jesse Robbins.

“Message Bus is poised to become the leader in messaging with the industry’s first truly cloud-native application service for email, mobile and social messaging,” said LaTrasse.


Gridstore’s recent $12.5 million funding round was undertaken to help it realize its scale-out grid storage ambitions. Personnel come from the likes of Data Domain and BlueArc. GGV Capital and Onset Ventures invested in its Virtual Controller Technology (VCT) and flagship solution The Grid allows businesses to start small and pay as they grow.

“Gridstore’s software-defined approach to scale-out storage promises a positive disruption to the status quo with a unique and compelling solution for managing the unstoppable flux of data,” said Amita Potnis, an analyst at IDC.


Caringo earned $5 million in funding a short while ago, as well as undisclosed amounts from Vodafone and Austin Ventures. It is one of the pace setters in object-based storage. Its core technology CAStor is now able to operate as an object store for Apache CloudStack 4.0. It is said to provide secure, multi-tenant storage that scales to petabytes along with data durability without backups or RAID.

“Content storage results in the largest data center footprint in any cloud service, which is why administrators need to think about how they will refresh their hardware over time in addition to scalability,” said Mark Goros, CEO of Caringo. “What our software does is decouple content from hardware, solving scale and hardware obsolescence issues while providing the ability to optimize storage infrastructure for footprint or access based upon the required level of 9s data durability.”


TwinStrata has raised $13 million, much of it coming from Avalon Ventures. Its CloudArray product acts as a cloud storage gateway, supporting NAS and SAN protocols. It supports over 20 cloud storage providers including Dell, Google, HP Cloud Services, IBM SmartCloud and SoftLayer.

The latest 2U appliance is known as the TwinStrata CloudArray P300 series, and begins with a 6 terabyte capacity device with hybrid SSD options available. Subscriptions begin at $0.19 per gigabyte per month for both appliance and cloud storage, while perpetual pricing begins at $4,995.

“More than a ‘cloud storage gateway,’ our appliances combine choice, simplicity and affordability into a storage platform that offers near-unlimited capacity and handles a broad range of applications,” said Nicos Vekiarides, CEO of TwinStrata.


Founded by a team with backgrounds in the solid-state, storage and networking arenas, Skyhawk’s series of solid-state storage systems are based on low-cost 19/20 nanometer Multi Level Cell (MLC) NAND flash. A half-depth 1U form factor provides 44 terabytes of capacity at a price of under $3 per gigabyte (before compression and deduplication).

The problem it solves is that most flash controllers are not able to compensate for the limited write cycles of this form of flash. Skyera claims to have removed the barrier to life amplification without compromising the reliability, durability and performance via its own flash controller which tunes partitions during the lifetime of the flash to reduce damage that the flash oxide layer typically experiences on writes.

Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb is a contributing writer for Datamation, Enterprise Storage Forum, eSecurity Planet, Channel Insider, and eWeek. He has been reporting on all areas of IT for more than 25 years. He has a degree from the University of Strathclyde UK (USUK), and lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

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