Cloud storage and SSDs gain momentum

New funding, new products from Gluster, SolidFire and NexGen

Cloud storage is getting hotter every day as vendors introduce new services and funding.

Clustered NAS software vendor Gluster rolled out two new scale-out NAS virtual appliances for VMware and Amazon Web Services. The VMware Virtual Storage Appliance integrates the GlusterFS clustered file system into a virtual machine for deployment. The Amazon Web Services appliance packages GlusterFS with an Amazon Machine Image for cloud deployment. Both appliances are functional Gluster servers that virtualize storage under a global name space. The Virtual Storage Appliances are expected to be available in mid-February.

Solid State drive technology paired with cloud storage is also gaining momentum. SolidFire, a stealth mode cloud computing storage vendor, announced that it has gotten $11 million in Series A funding from New Enterprise Associates, Valhalla Partners and Novak Biddle Venture Partners, bringing total funding to $12 million. The block-level storage system from SolidFire is 100x faster than traditional disk-based architecture, according to SolidFire's claims. The rack-mounted storage system will use several types and capacities of solid state drives and provide storage for virtual machine images. The company, which is expected to launch its system later this year, is targeting hosting and service providers. SolidFire was founded by Dave Wright, founder of Jungledisk, which was acquired by Rackspace.

And finally, in the SSD space, NexGen Storage, a SAN storage start-up for virtual server environments, announced Series A financing on Monday. Financing was led by Grotech Ventures and Access Venture partners and will be used to accelerate product availability. According to SEC Watch, NexGen's funding amounts to $1.3 million.

NexGen's SAN system will be used to provide deterministic performance and QoS for virtual server environments. The company was co-founded in 2010 by CEO John Spiers, formerly of LeftHand Networks and CTO Kelly Long, also formerly of LeftHand, Sun and CrossWalk. NexGen claims that its system will deliver 10 to 20 times the performance of traditional SAN systems. NexGen's storage array is based on solid state drive technology. It is expected to be available later this year.

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