COPAN, Investors: Everybody Oughta Have a MAID

Copan Systems, a vendor that specialize in persistent data storage based on MAID (Massive Array of Idle Disks) technology, yesterday announced $32.4 million in series D venture funding. After the latest influx of cash, Copan Systems has now raised $88.4 million.

“Copan’s main claim to fame up until now has been making MAID more of a household term similar to what early RAID vendors did 15 to 16 years ago by developing and shipping a first-generation, beyond-proof-of-concept technology that planted the seeds for future generations of products,” said Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO.

In a MAID storage environment, drives spin up on demand when data on that drive needs to access. MAID is designed to offer increased storage density, while decreasing cost, power and cooling requirements. On the downisde, MAID often means lower throughput, more latency and limited redundancy.

The funding round was led by Battery Ventures, but also includes participation from existing Copan Systems investors, including Austin Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Pequot Ventures, Credit Suisse, Gold Hill Capital, Presidio STX and NTT Leasing Capital, according to Copan Systems.

Copan Systems said it will use the capital to invest in “next generation technologies.” It will also use the cash to expand sales efforts in Europe, Asia Pacific and Japan. The Longmont, Colo-based firm said it will increase marketing and promotional activities.

“With an infusion of new capital and new management personal Copan has some extra room now to stay in and play another round or two in the still evolving storage power efficiency and power effectiveness game,” Schlutz said.

Its invetors are expectiing to last much longer than a round or two. “We are betting on an experienced team, with patented technology in a large and growing market,” Mike Scanlin, partner at Battery Ventures, said in a statement released yesterday. “There is a massive migration from tape-based backup to disk-based backup in large enterprises.”

Scanlin added that Copan’s product offers high-density and power-savings advantages for enterprise data centers that are already storing massive amounts of data.”When those terabytes draw less power, it makes a huge impact.”

As a sign of the growth in the data storage market, Copan points to IDC numbers that estimate a 2006-2011 compound annual growth rate of almost 60 percent for worldwide disk storage systems.

“Rest assumed, intelligent power management and effective storage services (performance, availability, capacity and energy) efficiency whether in a large MAID device or appearing as a standard function similar to RAID in storage systems will be coming to your data center house in the not so distant future,” said Schulz. “It’s just a matter of when and from whom.”

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