Cleversafe Gets Nod from CIA’s Investment Arm

Cleversafe’s claim to fame is data security in the cloud and, as it continues to add storage features and secure connections to its Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet) platform, the company has received a big nod from In-Q-Tel (IQT), the independent investment firm that picks technologies to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

The company today announced that IQT has made an investment in Cleversafe and entered into a development agreement with the company. As a result, the Cleversafe cloud technology could be used as a distributed storage system for government agencies with highly sensitive data storage requirements.

In-Q-Tel is a not-for-profit, firm launched by the CIA in 1999. According to the IQT website, its mission is to “identify and partner with companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve the national security interests of the United States.”

Cleversafe’s president and CEO, Chris Gladwin, sees the IQT partnership as a validation of his company’s storage dispersal technology. “We now have a complete infrastructure for dispersed storage, but we are still in a zone where we are enhancing the platform in significant ways. IQT is an organization with the expertise to look under the covers [and validate] the security we have built in to our platform,” he said. “Storage dispersal as a technique has a lot of legs.”

Cleversafe’s dispersed storage technology divides data into slices and spreads them across multiple storage nodes (typically across three or four data centers). Each of the slices is secure, and a defined threshold of slices can be used to “bit-perfectly” recreate the original data. The technology provides an alternative to making multiple copies via replication.

In conjunction with IQT announcement, Cleversafe is now shipping version 2.3 of its cloud storage platform with new thin provisioning within its object store, disk balancing and secure network connections between the Accesser and Slicestor nodes. All of which is aimed at dynamic provisioning, improved utilization and security.

Cleversafe altered its pricing model earlier this year in an effort to give service providers more options for deploying and managing cloud storage services.

Cleversafe’s software includes API integration between the company’s Dispersed Storage systems and existing service provider applications, including billing systems, CRM systems, and management consoles. Cleversafe also now supports Active Directory authentication.

The company had been selling its Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet) technology primarily as a series of bundled hardware and software nodes for more than two years. Now that potential customers are looking at storage purchases with a more discerning eye, Cleversafe has decoupled its hardware and offering software-only versions of its products.

In addition to getting the nod from In-Q-Tel, Cleversafe has secured more than $20 million in a recent funding round, which is expected to close later this week. Existing investors to date in Cleversafe include Chris Galvin of Harrison Street Capital, NEA, OCA Ventures, and Alsop Louie.

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Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor.
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