November 23, 2020

The 37th IT Press Tour is around the corner

Covid impacts a lot of business and IT vendors have difficulties to maintain their visibility levels. Conferences and expos disappear and companies suffer from this.

The IT Press Tour, already recognized and picked by 240 companies for several years, benefits from the situation and accelerates.

The coming December edition will invite top US and European journalists to meet 10 hot technology companies:

  • Atempo, European leader in data protection,
  • Data Dynamics, reference in data management,
  • DDN Storage, largest private storage provider,
  • iXsystems, innovator in open source storage,
  • Kaseya, a comprehensive and ambitious IT software vendor,
  • Minio, fastest growing object storage company,
  • Robin.IO, emerging solid player in Kubernetes-based storage,
  • SoftIron, a Ceph-based disruptor,
  • StorCentric, a new kind of storage solutions player,
  • and StorPool, European software-defined storage actor.
I invite you to follow us on Twitter with #ITPT and @ITPressTour, my twitter handle @CDP_FST and journalists' respective handle. It will rock again.


October 30, 2020

StorCentric expands its empire

StorCentric, an alternative player in primary and secondary storage, continues its acquisition journey with Violin Systems, its 5th one in less than 2 years. Mihir Shah is ambitious and is always looking for bargains, this time Violin was under the radar. And I have a few other names... it's just a question of price.

StorCentric was started in 2005, 15 years ago, with this idea of holdings of companies' assets with historically Nexsan, Drobo, Vexata and Retrospect Software serving SMB and enterprise with various offerings from capacity to high performance products and from hardware to data protection software.

On the Violin Systems side, it represents the end of a pioneer even if it was already the case a few times but finally virtually survived. What a failure, hope it will serve as an example. And even if the company was led by some famous leaders, one success doesn't imply successive ones. A lesson to keep in mind...

Different iterations for Violin as it was seen as a revolution player introducing super fast flash array for tier 1 storage needs for high demanding applications and then move incrementally to a more standard model limiting its market footprint and attraction. But the company still has some interesting IP especially with X-IO acquisition several questers ago.

For StorCentric, it's a very good deal accumulating expertise to unify with Vexata and Nexsan confirming that StorCentric gains a serious alternative vendor status to replace some other classic ones. Well done Mihir and team.


October 28, 2020

Coldago Research unveils its 2020 Map for File Storage

Coldago Research, an independent research and analysis firm, releases today the 2020 edition of its Map for File Storage.

This report studied the market and players since the previous edition, twelve months ago, with thirty one players, with a few changes since the 2019 edition.

The Map couples enterprise and/or the HPC file storage vendors with the idea to compare companies and not products and organize in 4 categories: Leaders, Challengers, Specialists and Niches. The 31 players are Atos, CTera Networks, DDN, Dell Technologies, Fujitsu, Hammerspace, Hitachi Vantara, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Inspur, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nasuni, NEC, NetApp, Oracle, Panasas, Panzura, Pure Storage, Oracle, Quantum, Qumulo, Quobyte, SoftIron, StorageCraft, SUSE, ThinkParQ, VAST Data, Veritas Technologies and WekaIO.

We elect 7 leaders: Dell, DDN, IBM, NetApp, Pure Storage, Qumulo and VAST Data and detect 4 BlitzScalers: Pure Storage, Qumulo, VAST Data and WekaIO with very interesting trajectories.

In addition, the report also establishes a list of vendors to watch with Cohesity, Hammerspace, Nasuni, Pure Storage, Quantum, Qumulo, Quobyte, VAST Data and WekaIO.

More details are available on the specific report page here. The 36 pages report is available to purchase at $4,490.


October 13, 2020

Alation strengthens its enterprise search portal

Alation, leader in Data Catalog for Enterprise, continues its data management journey with the announcement of the 2020.3 release of its data intelligence platform.

The company mission is to offer an easy access to enterprise data with 3 main use case: data search and discovery, data literacy and data governance.

The main idea is to build a scalable dynamic autonomous index of all data discovered able to be queried very simply. The firm offers various connectors to integrate a large set of data sources to build such meta data repository. This release introduces natural language query, logical domains and end-users tools integrations. We measure lots of progress from the company since last meeting and we even anticipate some acceleration as the solution is becoming more and more comprehensive, generic and universal with tons of usages.


October 12, 2020

Edgy controls the business of Panzura

Panzura, one of the leader in cloud file storage, got acquired in May 2020 by Profile Capital Management LLC. In the press release announcing this acquisition, Rich Weber was quoted.

But the chief product officer for more than 10 years at Panzura disappeared from the current firm’s leadership page.

There are several other chief [executive | revenue | innovation | technology | strategy | financial] officers on that page but not longer Weber, even if his LinkedIn page continues to mention his position at the firm.

We also noticed 4 new arrivals:
  • Dan Waldschmidt as chief revenue officer,
  • Petra Davidson as VP of marketing, both coming from Edgy,
  • Edward Peters, chief innovation officer, arrived in June
  • and Will Pike, chief strategy officer, landed in September.
With the CEO, Jill Stelfox, also coming from Edgy, none of them has worked in the storage industry in the past.

The interesting piece is that all Edgy people listed above, Stelfox, Waldschmidt and Davidson plus other Edgy people Jessica Sharpe or Julia Cu, continue to mention Edgy as a current job on their LinkedIn profile and on Edgy web site inviting us to think that Profile Capital Management signed a contract with Edgy.

We understand that Profile Capital Management owns the company and Edgy is doing all business related operations. In other words, “boost my [new] business during these X coming months and we’ll prepare an exit…”.

It just confirms that this acquisition has shaken the strategy and the team illustrating some new shift, potential strategy and go-to-market directions.

October 5, 2020

Treasure, a new cloud storage aggregator

Anqlave Pte. Ltd., developer of security software and services, has discreetly launched a few weeks ago a new product named

Founded in August 2018 and based in Singapore with an office in London, the company is led by Assaf Cohen, CEO, Ina Miranda, CTO, and Ben Williams, CCO and has 13 employees globally. is a personal cloud storage solution but could be used by anyone finally, even enterprises. It delivers a sort of dream for any user who expects a way to consolidate and synchronize its dispersed and fragmented public cloud storage via a single pane of glass exposing a virtual file space. Many users have created free online space on classic providers and immediately suffer from this space multiplication without any horizontal capability like navigation and search.

This global file view is accessible via a web interface, a tablet and a smartphone application. A desktop application is almost ready and should be ready by Q1/2020.

The product demarks itself from others with three features: a secured cloud storage space with end-to-end encryption provided by the Anqlave Data Vault (ADV), a FIPS 140-2 certified proprietary key management and data encryption solution, coupled with AWS and Azure, a cloud storage aggregation service to unify users’ subscribed online storage services such Dropbox, Box, Google Drive. OneDrive will be next and iCloud is under development. and a search capability across all storage back-ends.

ADV is an enterprise-class dedicated to secure keys at rest, in motion or in use. 

The team builds back-end connectors for each public cloud storage service. An API is also available for specific integration.

Like other similar tool, files can be shared securely from the space but the key is associated with the person you share files with. A link expiration date will be added soon as well.

In terms of pricing, four models have been created to address the wide area of needs from single user to enterprises:

This segment is pretty active and we find offerings from CloudFuze, Rethink Files, Koofr, Mega, pCloud, Kazoup or Kloudless.

September 8, 2020

Seven10 absorbed by Congruity360

Congruity360, a data governance and classification software player founded in 2016, just announced the acquisition of Seven10 Software, a company well established and recognized by professionals in the data migration for high-end storage systems for almost 2 decades.

This is bargain for Congruity360 who plans to expand its product line with Storfirst7, renamed Storfirst360, to maximize the installed base effect. The current solution set includes 3 products Classify360, Hold360 and Discover360.

Bobby Moulton, founder of Seven10, is not listed as joining the company and currently is acting as consultant. This is a surprise as we thought Seven10 is strong enough after almost 2 decade of business to survive this pandemic, it seems that the reality precipitated difficulties. At the same time, Covid offers also opportunities and such exit could have been in the plan for a few years now.

Now this unstructured data management market segment - Congruity360 plays also in the structured data space - is super hot with at least 20 players and we'll see how Congruity360 will compete against Komprise, Commvault, Cohesity, Data Dynamics, Point Software and Systems, StrongBox Data Solutions, Hammerspace or Nodeum.

September 7, 2020

A new CEO for Panasas

Panasas, one of the reference in HPC file storage, just announced that Faye Pairman, CEO for the last 10 years, has left the company. She's replaced by Panasas' COO Tom Shea who joined the company in 2014.

This sudden departure is a surprise and introduces some doubt about the company following financial support given by the Small Business Administration. What do these 2 events really mean for the company?

Panasas made great progress during Pairman's 10 years tenure, PanFS was redesigned and introduced various product iterations to the market gaining new accounts. Competition was also very active with players such WekaIO, DDN or ThinkParQ but also with some NAS vendors like Qumulo or VAST Data who appeared in the IO500 in November 2019.

September 3, 2020

Storage companies got financial support from SBA

I wrote the original post for StorageNewsletter

Early July, the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department unveiled the list of 660,000 small businesses and nonprofit organizations that received at least $150,000 in funding. You can read the Washington Post article that helped us build this post here.

It illustrates and gives us a new dimension of some companies’ financial situations.

It seems that some of them consider this as an opportunity to delay some charges. We compile the following table with some storage company names of our choice and it represents at least 3,000 persons:

We don’t find Clumio, DataCore, Delphix, Druva, Komprise, MinIO, Nasuni, Panzura, Portworx, Qumulo, StorageCraft and Vast Data. Some other companies are also not listed because they’re not from USA.

August 26, 2020

OVHcloud continues to invest in storage

OVHcloud understands its holes in its portfolio and tries to address them rapidly proving some maturity and realism. In my recent post, we pointed some lack of storage flavors. In others words, to compete against the cloud service providers giants, the firm has to react fast by acquiring technology developers due to time to market reason, no doubt about it.

The firm had the opportunity to swallow OpenIO as a real bargain and we mentioned that motivation in the referenced post mentioned above.

Octave Klaba, Chairman and founder of OVHcloud, issued a LinkedIn post a few days ago about a NVMe-oF storage company acquisition saying more news will come in September. Rumors went into many directions but what is sure is the bargain nature of the deal as OVHcloud doesn't spend hundreds of millions in acquisitions. So who can be that vendor? 3 elements are key here: block storage, NVMe-oF and "small" innovative player. Block storage already eliminates some candidates and NVMe-oF reduces the list a lot. Again it's not a question to support NVMe but here the network extension of the protocol is key. We saw many comments issued with completely crazy ideas with names like Lightbits Labs, Excelero and even StorPool. The first two are very expensive due to significant valuation OVHcloud can't afford. StorPool supports NVMe but doesn't say yet anything about NVMe-oF. Kazan Networks disappeared acquired by WDC last year. So I wrote a comment following Klaba post that I see potentially 1 target Exten Technologies, the morph of Mangstor who had difficulties for several years now. We don't know if we accelerate the news - let's stay positive about it - but it is now public as the PR was published this morning.

It makes a lot of sense completing the current block storage service as one of the key trend is data center composable storage architecture based on NVMe-oF capabilities. It will fuel OVHcloud initiative and product in that area to dynamically and seamlessly adapt to container-based workloads. As the time we write this post, nothing is mentioned on Exten web site.

Now a bit of perspective as OVHcloud must offer some file storage service in the NAS world or the technical/scientific/HPC segment with parallel model. Among them it exists a few bargains again like Rozo Systems or Quobyte. Let's wait a few months or less but clearly the company has to do something in that space.