17 Promising Storage Companies Flying Under the Radar

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17 Promising Storage Companies Flying Under the Radar

by Chris Preimesberger

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AutoVirt, Nashua, N.H.

AutoVirt, short for automated virtualization, provides file virtualization software for migrating and consolidating unstructured Windows data storage networks. AutoVirt virtualizes access to networked files and has a data management platform for migrating, consolidating, replicating, archiving or tiering storage across physical devices. IT administrators use AutoVirt to move data while it is in use, route users to disaster recovery sites and tier data to new platforms. AutoVirt's software-based platform sits in native storage environments.

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Avere Systems, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Avere Systems provides its own branded Demand-Driven Storage offerings that dynamically organize data in response to business demand. The company's long-term goal is a storage network in which the delivery of data is no longer compromised by residing within the same storage tier as data retention functionality, both within the data center and out in the cloud.

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Caringo, Austin, Texas

Caringo's CAStor storage software provides massively scalable and high-performance storage for Web content serving, and removes access bottlenecks caused by inflexible access protocols. It also provides standard Web access to all content and uses HTTP, the same protocol that drives Web content, to handle content storage. Caringo says its services require no specialized hardware, software or protocols for high-performance Web content publishing.

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Digitiliti, St. Paul, Minn.

Digitiliti is just what it sounds like: a digital utility box for information management, aimed at midmarket enterprises and SMBs. This is a 5-year-old company that is trying to do an awful lot in one box, including backup, snapshots, disaster recovery, deduplication and a number of other high-end enterprise features.

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Egnyte, Mountain View, Calif.

Egnyte's storage package enables businesses to deploy a corporate file storage, sharing and backup system that combines the speed and security of a local file repository with the access, flexibility and unlimited storage capabilities of the Internet cloud.

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6 Hifn Technology, Fremont, Calif.

Exar's Hifn Technology makes BitWackr for Windows, which enables OEMs, system builders and VARs to easily and inexpensively incorporate data deduplication, data compression, thin provisioning and enhanced security into Windows Server 2003- and 2008-based servers and appliances. Hifn Technology also makes BitWackr for Linux. BitWackr provides OEMs with in-line, block-level deduplication for Windows and Linux Tier 1 servers, storage and appliances.

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The Linux Box, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Instead of producing a one-size-fits-all e-mail archive, as offered by the usual-suspect international vendors, The Linux Box's Enkive e-mail archive allows IT managers to tailor their long-term e-mail storage to fit a company's specific requirements.

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Nasuni, Natick, Mass.

Nasuni Filer is a virtual NAS file server/front end that runs on VMware and uses publicly available cloud resources-namely, Amazon S3, Iron Mountain Digital, Nirvanix and Rackspace-to handle primary data cloud storage. It features a familiar-looking Web-based storage file application that anybody familiar with Windows can use to store and retrieve primary files from a cloud provider.

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NexentaStor, Mountain View, Calif.

NexentaStor provides enterprise-class unified storage capabilities via a storage management application that it claims ends vendor lock-in while delivering superior management functionality with a particular focus on virtualized environments. NexentaStor has an intuitive browser-based interface, integrated search, risk-free upgrades, thin provisioning and other features that simplify storage management.

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Nimble Storage, San Jose, Calif.

Nimble Storage, founded by the team that helped develop the original storage and deduplication appliances at NetApp and Data Domain, aims to give midsize enterprises an innovative storage solution that solves their two most pressing storage issues: complexity and cost. The company will launch itself and its first product on July 15.

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Nimbus Data Systems, San Francisco

Nimbus Data Systems is a developer of next-generation enterprise storage systems and software. Customers in 28 countries already are deploying Nimbus technology. Nimbus' branded Sustainable Storage solutions combine storage software and hardware to improve application performance and power efficiency while automating and simplifying storage administration.

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Nine Technology, Middleboro, Mass.

Nine Technology's mission is to offer the highest-quality online data backup and recovery technology to MSPs (managed service providers). The company's Powered by Nine software package delivers innovative storage management applications and strategies.

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Ocarina, San Jose, Calif.

Ocarina Networks' open-standards software snaps into existing storage systems to enable users to store the same amount of data on significantly fewer disks. The company said its Ocarina Optimizers have shrunk over 1 billion files in tests with early support customers. Ocarina's three-step software line-called Extract, Correlate and Optimize-can deduplicate file types that include e-mail, photos, video, Microsoft Office files and industry-specific file types for energy, media, medicine and genomics applications.

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Pivot3, Spring, Texas

Pivot3 was founded on the idea that a scale-out architecture with integrated server and storage virtualization could deliver higher availability in a more cost-effective, simpler way than traditional proprietary architectures that treat servers and storage as separate technologies. The Pivot3 UVS (Unified Virtual System) is the first scale-out storage solution offering integrated server virtualization by consolidating physical servers into its storage appliances for high availability while realizing significant savings in power, cooling and rack space.

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Promise Technology, Milpitas, Calif.

Promise Technology has long been the storage provider for Apple's Xserve. Promise's VTrak E-Class RAID subsystem is a high-availability RAID system developed to meet the needs of enterprises using mission-critical and creative applications. VTrak storage subsystems offer either end-to-end SAS-based RAID and JBOD solutions for DAS connectivity or a Fibre Channel-based solution for SAN-based storage.

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StorSimple, Santa Clara, Calif.

StorSimple provides a hybrid storage solution that blends on-premises storage with WAN optimization, security and an on-demand storage model. StorSimple Armada Storage makes cloud storage appear like local data center storage, performing real-time data deduplication and providing WAN optimization and security functions for the cloud while integrating with existing on-premises applications. Armada provides iSCSI storage capacity and an on-ramp to cloud storage services such as Amazon S3, Windows Azure, AT&T Synaptic and Iron Mountain Digital.

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Zetta, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Zetta offers a fully mountable file system in the cloud, suitable for many unstructured data applications. Backup accounts for 18 percent of its use cases, archiving 41 percent, disaster recovery 8 percent and primary file storage at 33 percent. More recently the customer use cases are shifting from traditional backup to continuous remote mirroring with synchronization to a copy of the client's data suitable for disaster recovery along with snapshots for versioning.

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