Posts Tagged ‘Storage’

CloudPhysics’ cloud analytics tools win $15M as the startup sets sights on storage

June 24th, 2014

CloudPhysics, a startup that has developed software for keeping tabs on the health of clusters of servers in companies’ data centers, has taken on $15 million in fresh venture capital to grow bigger.

Established in 2011, CloudPhysics has focused on providing analytics for data center operators that chop up their servers into virtual machines and maintain them with VMware’s popular vSphere software. Thousands of people have used CloudPhysics’ software since it became available to all last summer, and the startups has signed up hundreds of customers since then, co-founder and chief executive John Blumenthal told VentureBeat in an interview.

With the new funding, CloudPhysics can expand its user base — and also become more helpful, with today’s launch of CloudPhysics software for tracking companies’ data center storage resources.

The company’s new funding follows reports about investments in startups that analyze the health of the infrastructure applications depend on. Log analytics player Loggly has seen strong growth recently, and Sumo Logic raised $30 million last month.

Blumenthal believes his startup’s software goes beyond searching and indexing; it can point to the cause of a problem, he said. And now CloudPhysics is slated to answer a wider variety of questions.

Having spent more than five years running storage product management on VMware’s ESX hypervisor software for creating virtual machines, Blumenthal became painfully aware of the critical role storage plays in data center infrastructure.

“Among the most elite customers, I was finding, really, fundamentally, primitive questions remained unanswered — things like how many virtual disks can actually fit on a piece of storage that’s connected to a hypervisor,” Blumenthal said. “There’s no accurate answer to that. Even if there was an accurate answer, that answer changes the minute the environment changes.”

The idea is to provide those definitive answers — and to do so before things go haywire, by predicting problems like running out of storage or poor performance. Using the software, administrators could even answer speculative questions, like gauging the impact of caching data in fast solid-state drives without even installing that hardware.

The service appears as a highly customizable cloud-based dashboard filled with cards that display key metrics.

Looking out a bit, Blumenthal said, CloudPhysics intends to support Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor software, which would give it a wider market. New metrics on networking performance could be on the way, too.

Customers include North Shore Financial Group, Sanofi, and Zettagrid.

Jafco Ventures led the round. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Mayfield Fund also participated. Previously, VMware co-founders Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum invested in CloudPhysics.

To date, Mountain View, Calif.-based CloudPhysics has raised $27.5 million, including a $10 million round last year and a $2.5 million round in 2012.

The startup employs more than 30 people, and by the end of the year that number could pass 50, Blumenthal said.


There’s no such thing as a “hardware” storage vendor

June 19th, 2014

We’ve often talked about how many storage vendors there are in the VDI space. (Or, perhaps more specifically, how many non-traditional storage vendors are out there whose products work well for VDI.) Whenever I talk about a new storage vendor, people tend to ask me whether the vendor is a hardware vendor or software vendor. The real answer is that they are a software vendor. Even if you buy a physical storage appliance from them, they’re a software vendor.

Think about it: The processors in storage hardware are made by Intel or AMD. The magnetic spinning hard drives are made by Seagate, Toshiba, or Western Digital. The Flash memory that goes into SSDs is made by Sandisk, Samsung, Toshiba, Micron, SK Hynix, or Intel.

So unless your storage vendor is one of those eleven, then you’re paying for software, and your storage vendor is a software company.

Sure, some of these vendors pre-package their software with certain hardware configurations, but really that’s just a packaging option. It’s nothing more than a form factor.


Data storage software maker Nexenta looks at 2015 IPO

May 14th, 2014

Nexenta Systems Inc, a data storage software maker, said it plans to go public by the end of 2015 as it looks to cash in on investors’ appetite for companies that help businesses cut costs.

Nexenta makes open source-based “software-defined storage”, which a client uses to save data on hardware from other vendors, thereby avoiding costly ‘package deals’ that require buying hardware and software from the same vendor such as NetApp Inc or EMC Corp.

The demand for its expertise has helped double Nexenta’s annual revenue in the last three years and the nine-year old company is expected to post a profit as early as end of this year, Chief Executive Tarkan Maner told Reuters.

“We want to make sure the company grows ten-fold in the next three years; we want to grow ten-fold in terms of customer size,” said Maner, who took over the top job in August last year.

The spending on storage management software is expected to rise to about $22 billion in 2017 from $16 billion in 2013 – a growth rate of about 37 percent, which outstrips the expected 28 percent growth in overall enterprise software spending for the same period, according to research firm Gartner.

The strong demand for overall enterprise software led to successful initial public offerings over the past year for companies such as Tableau Software Inc, Veeva Systems Inc, and Nimble Storage Inc.

Santa Clara, California-based Nexenta has about 5,000 customers, including GoDaddy, AOL Inc and Softbank Corp, and manages storage of one exabyte – roughly equivalent to the data in 250 million DVDs.

However, Maner said Nexenta’s annual revenue was yet to touch $100 million. He declined to divulge exact figures.

The company’s previous CEO Mark Lockareff had said in February last year that Nexenta’s revenue was in the “eight figure range”, according to a report. (

“We have been growing (revenue) at 100 percent year-on-year and want to continue that kind of growth rate at the minimum,” Maner told Reuters.

But his company will face stiff competition from other open source-based “software-defined storage” makers ranging from established names such as Red Hat Inc to start-ups such as GreenBytes Inc and DataCore Software.

Since it was founded in 2005, Nexenta has raised $90 million from investors such as Western Digital Corp, Dell Inc and SanDisk Corp as well as venture capitalists including Sierra Ventures and Menlo Ventures.

Maner said Nexenta receives buyout overtures all the time, but the company’s goal was to grow by raising funds through an IPO.

“We want a very successful public offering … (to) fuel our growth in multiple technologies in various geographies.”

Maner said Asia, from where 20 percent of the company’s revenue comes, was the company’s fastest growing market. The rest of the revenue was split between North America and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Nexenta has about 200 employees worldwide who own a stake of about 50 percent in the company.


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