and Schlumberger are testing the technology, as are a bunch of “confidential” semiconductor and infrastructure companies. The company added $31.5 million to its coffers in a fifth round of funding announced in June.
Headquarters: Palo Alto
Focus: Converged data management
Why they’re worth watching: Rubrik is among the new vendors whose technology fits into what some are calling the hyperconverged infrastructure market, which SSG-Now's Connor describes as hardware or software-defined “appliances or systems that consist of compute and storage built on industry standard x86 servers and may be clustered for scalability.” While this one-and-a-half year-old company really slings around the jargon, its message about safeguarding and delivering data across hybrid clouds has gotten through to investors, who have ponied up twice already in 2015 in the form of a Series A round in March worth $10 million and a $41 million round in May as it made its hybrid cloud appliance generally available. With a team involved in building everything from the Google File System to YouTube to Facebook and Amazon’s data infrastructures, when this company says its technology supports Web-scale environments, people are paying attention.
Headquarters: Westborough, Mass.
Focus: Hyperconverged infrastructure
Why they’re worth watching: Along with Nutanix, SimpliVity is rated by industry watchers such as IDC and Gartner as being among the top players in the emerging hyperconverged infrastructure market (or Integrated Systems, in Gartner’s lingo) that more established vendors such as EMC/VMware, HP and Dell are also pursuing. SimpliVity claims it is “assimilating all IT elements below the hypervisor” – including storage – within virtualized and cloud environments. While some might still be debating exactly what hyperconvergence is or isn’t (SimpliVity hits you over the head with links to definitions right on its website homepage), investors are big believers in this company, which former EMC executive and current SimpliVity CEO Doron Kempel launched in 2009. The privately-held outfit scored $175 in Series D funding in March at a valuation of more than $1 billion, making it a so-called “unicorn.” This 500-employee company is rolling, and unlike some of the others in this article, is naming big names of customers for its OmniStack and OmniCube offerings, including the MLB Network and Waypoint. It’s also partnering with big vendors, such as Cisco, and recently announced support for Cisco’s UCS Director to automate infrastructure management.
Focus: Enterprise software for data management and storage
Why they’re worth watching: Springpath’s management team has a strong data center pedigree in that co-founders Mallik Mahalingam (who recently shifted from CEO to CTO) and Krishna Yadappanavar spent a combined 18 years at VMware, where they played key engineering roles on technologies such as vSphere networking and VXLAN. Springpath’s Data Platform software runs on standard application servers and provides data management and storage in virtualized, containerized and other modern data center environments. The company, formerly called Storvisor, emerged from stealth mode in February with a generally available product and the announcement of $34 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Redpoint Ventures. Springpath’s initial software worked in vSphere settings, but has been extended to work on Cisco and other server platforms. Like other hyperconvergence infrastructure vendors, one of Springpath’s aims is to help customers do away with silos of data center appliances.
Focus: Open source distributed storage system
Why they’re worth watching: This March 2015 spinout from UC Berkeley’s AMPlab is still stealthy, but what we do know is that Andreessen Horowitz has supplied Tachyon Nexus with $7.5 million in Series A funding for the project, which aims to commercialize the open source Tachyon technology co-developed by company founder Haoyuan Li. The UC Berkeley computer science Ph.D. candidate describes Tachyon as a “memory-centric storage system enabling reliable file sharing at memory-speed across cluster frameworks, such as Spark and MapReduce.” (The term "tachyon" refers to a hypothetical particle that moves faster than light.) In about two years, Tachyon -- under the Apache license -- has attracted more than 80 contributors from 30 organizations, including Intel and Red Hat.
Headquarters: Newark, Calif.
Focus: Flash and hybrid storage arrays
Why they’re worth watching: Like many other new storage companies, Tegile has embraced flash technology. But it differentiates itself by offering hybrid storage systems as well, to balance cost and capacity needed to support organizations’ databases and virtualized servers and desktops via storage-attached networks and network-attached storage setups. The company’s leadership hails from Perfigo, a network admission control company that Cisco bought 10 years ago, and in fact, Tegile exhibited at this week’s Cisco Live conference in San Diego, so who knows….? But for now, Tegile is thriving as an independent outfit, having just raised $70 million in Series D funding to bring its total to $117.5 million. CEO Rohit Kshetrapal exclaimed upon receiving the most recent funding: “With this infusion of venture and debt capital, we will be able to satisfy the rising demand for our Tegile Intelligent Flash Arrays and methodically build Tegile into a sustainable multi-billion-dollar business that will deliver maximum value to our investors.” The company is looking to double its workforce to 600 employees over the next 18 months, while expanding its reseller channel for greater reach in Europe and Asia.