DataGravity Exits Stealth To Add Intelligence, Data Protection To Storage

DataGravity Tuesday came out of stealth mode with the launch of a new storage platform, the DataGravity Discovery Series, which helps customers manage their data and analyze it for business purposes.

DataGravity, which until now has declined to talk about its technology, was founded by the same team that founded EqualLogic before that company's 2008 acquisition by Dell. The company already has raised about $42 million.

The DataGravity Discovery Series is the first data-aware storage solution, said Dave Siles, vice president of channels and alliances for Nashua, N.H.-based DataGravity.

[Related: Flashy Solutions: New Tech From The Flash Memory Summit]

Sponsored post

"DataGravity Discovery is an appliance built with our intellectual property that focuses on bringing value to the data that businesses have stored," Siles told CRN. "We let people open the file cabinet to look at what's been stored for years."

The DataGravity Discovery Series provides search and discover capabilities on data, as well as information on who accesses it and when, Siles said.

The appliance, which comes in 48-TB and 96-TB versions with flash storage acceleration optimization, provide two basic functions, he said. The first is information discovery by conducting searches natively at the point at which data is stored. The second is built-in block, file and virtual machine data protection with snapshots.

The focus is on unstructured data across CIFS, NFS and iSCSI data stores, according to Siles. "We make it possible to treat storage not as a cost center, but as an asset," he said.

From a nontechnical standpoint, the DataGravity Discovery Series will force customers and partners to change how they purchase storage, said Joe Paquet, vice president of vendor alliances at Axis Business Solutions, a Portsmouth, N.H.-based solution provider and DataGravity channel partner.

Paquet, whose company started working with DataGravity early this year because of its relationship with the founders from their EqualLogic days, told CRN the solution will change the IT sales cycle by pushing IT and business owners to work together.

For solution providers, DataGravity is ready for partnering, Paquet said.

"As a partner, I've had a lot of input into what goes into the customer's IT infrastructure, and DataGravity fits," he said. "And I've looked at the DataGravity sales and registration systems, and they all work. We've already had a number of registered opportunities, and we are already engaging in joint marketing activities."

NEXT: DataGravity Discovery Series And The Channel

Early next month, for instance, Axis Business Solutions will hold its annual customer event with a theme of how to manage and support data with best-of-breed hybrid cloud and on-premise solutions, and DataGravity CEO Paula Long is slated to be a keynote speaker, Paquet said.

Russell Ford, president and COO of Qumulus Solutions, a South Bend, Ind.-based solution provider,, told CRN his company has been hooked on DataGravity since it saw the first demonstration of the offering more than a year ago.

"Our company focus is on business analytics and big data, and when we ran into DataGravity we saw how it fits with our customers," Ford said.

DataGravity provides the tool to manage data and to get business value from it, Ford said.

"Usually, data sits on storage devices," he said. "It's just stored and never looked at unless it's for disaster recovery. It's like a filing cabinet. With DataGravity, we find a secondary use for the data. Executives and sales departments can use the data to increase sales and productivity by getting insights they were not able to get before."

The DataGravity Discovery Series includes a 2U server with dual server nodes on which the application is run, plus a 4U storage node. List price ranges from $50,000 to $100,000, Siles said.

He compared that to a more traditional approach to data discovery and data protection that might require data search software, data security tools, data protection and recovery tools, and storage which, after integration, might cost $295,000 and up.

"Back at EqualLogic, we embraced the total solution model," he said. "Everything we needed for the solution is included in the price. The only option is the different warranty levels."

Shipments are scheduled to start in October.

DataGravity plans to use a channel-only sales model, Siles said. The company has about 30 channel partners and is in recruitment mode. It will launch a formal channel program later this month, he said.

Ford said he is looking forward to the DataGravity Discovery Series release.

"We are more excited about this launch than if we were a part of the company," he said. "We believe this will be a game-changer."