Stealth Storage Firm Qumulo Bags $40M Funding, Hints At Technology

Storage startup Qumulo on Wednesday broke its silence to unveil the closing of a Series B round of funding that brought the company $40 million to help develop both its technology and its channel-focused go-to-market strategy.

Qumulo, which remains in stealth mode for now, is still not offering a lot of detail about its technology despite already having production units in the hands of customers, said Peter Godman, co-founder and CEO of the Seattle-based storage technology developer.

The new round of funding brings total investment in Qumulo to $67 million.

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Qumulo's three co-founders all worked together as software engineers at Isilon Systems, a pioneer in scale-out NAS technology that EMC acquired in 2010, Godman told CRN.

Qumulo is looking to solve issues related not to the growth of storage, but the growth of data, Godman said.

"The problem today is not scaling storage, but scaling data," he said. "If someone had 1 million files in 1999, they might have 1 billion files now. But their storage can't look at things like who is storing what, where is specific data stored, how is this data correlated with that file set. What are the answers? Backup data? Archive it? Heaven forbid, delete things?"

Qumulo is responding by building an extremely scalable file system with two parts, Godman said.

On the storage side, the company works with commodity hardware. "We're a 100 percent software company," he said. "We are building a scalable file system that works in the cloud, in virtual machines, or in hardware.

The second is the ability to provide insight into data via the metadata, Godman said. However, he said, Qumulo is not about big data or applications like Hadoop. "As the data footprint grows, the metadata becomes a big problem," he said. "That's how we look at the data."

Qumulo is looking at established scale-out NAS storage vendors like NetApp or EMC's Isilon business as primary competitors, Godman said. "If you want to solve problems with people dealing with large data sets, you inevitably compete with EMC and NetApp," he said.

Qumulo will go to market with a 100 percent channel focus, Godman said. "We are looking to recruit partners who want to solve problems with the storage of large amounts of unstructured data," he said. "And they want to do it with next-generation startups and next-generation NAS solutions."