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Outlook 09

10 start-ups to watch in '09

By , Network World
January 05, 2009 12:01 AM ET

Page 2 of 10

Axxana

Founded: September 2005

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

What it offers: Phoenix, a 400-lb. "black box" designed to protect an enterprise's most critical data from terrorist attacks and natural disasters, then transmit that data wirelessly in the wake of such an event. Axxana is expected to deliver Phoenix early this year.

Why we're watching it: Using flash memory in a box designed to survive anything short of nuclear attack, Axxana's Phoenix represents a new mode of data protection and disaster recovery. "It's very telling of the times that we would consider products of this type," says analyst Arun Taneja, founder of Taneja Group, who says Axxana's approach impresses him but notes that the company faces a big challenge in convincing enterprises that its product is as reliable as it claims. After all, if a disaster happens and "it doesn't work, it's too late," he says.

How the company got its start: Founders wanted to solve problems inherent in synchronous and asynchronous mirroring. While asynchronous mirroring allows replication of data to another site no matter how far away, some bits of data get lost. Synchronous mirroring transmits data without loss, but the technology is limited to a distance of about 45 miles, affects application performance and is expensive.

How the company got its name: Axxana means storage in Hebrew.

CEO: Eli Efrat is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Axxana and Veon, a digital video and Internet company acquired by Philips Electronics. He also served as CEO for mobile instant-messaging vendor MessageVine.

Funding: $5 million in one round, closed June 2007, from Gemini Israel Funds.

Who uses its product: Companies in the financial, government, healthcare, manufacturing and retail industries have expressed interest in Phoenix, which also could be attractive to data-center service providers, Axxana says.

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