Startup Aims Low in File Virtualization Market


AutoVirt hopes to make a splash in the file virtualization market by focusing on data migration.

The company, which will come out of stealth mode this week as the storage industry gathers for the Storage Networking World (SNW) show in Dallas, hopes to win over users with its simplified approach and lower cost.

"Some of the problems that are currently being solved by a million dollar solution can be solved by a much cheaper AutoVirt solution," said Klavs Landberg, AutoVirt's CTO and founder.

AutoVirt's solution starts at $10,000 for small users, $25,000 for midrange customers, and $100,000 for enterprise users — much cheaper, said Landberg, than full-featured solutions from the likes of EMC (NYSE: EMC), F5 (NASDAQ: FFIV) and Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD).

The file virtualization market was all the rage not long ago, leading to quick uptake by customers and a spate of high-profile acquisitions.

But after the initial excitement, Landberg said, "the buzz died because no one developed a solution that appealed to everyone."

Enter AutoVirt, which calls its offering the "first fully automated and transparent data migration solution geared specifically for networked Windows file systems." The company is also announcing first-round funding of $4.5 million from Sigma Partners and Kepha Partners.

AutoVirt's solution operates out of band and is non-disruptive, said Landberg, and works without client agents or configuration changes. It creates a global namespace and pools storage to create a virtualized file environment to allow easier data movement and management.

"Data migration is still a huge problem that everyone has to contend with, an issue exacerbated by exponential data growth," said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "It is astounding to me that so few focus on solving this real-world problem. ... Out of the gate, the AutoVirt solution will help IT managers to overcome one of their greatest pain points — Windows data migration."

AutoVirt has launched an early adopter program for its technology and also plans trial downloads, said Landberg.

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