Gridstore Renames Itself HyperGrid, Intros Hyper-Converged Infrastructure As A Service

Hyper-converged infrastructure technology developer Gridstore Monday said it acquired DCHQ, a small developer of technology that can turn hyper-converged infrastructure into a service.

With the acquisition, Gridstore, Mountain View, Calif., has changed its name to HyperGrid and has started shipping HyperConverged Infrastructure as a Service, or HCIaaS. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Gridstore had focused on selling hyper-converged infrastructure appliances, but things changed with the hiring in May of Nariman Teymourian as the company's new chairman and CEO.

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"When I joined Gridstore, my vision was that hyper-converged infrastructure should be delivered as a service," Teymourian told CRN. "The market is moving away from on-premises consumption of IT. We were looking at how we can add value on top of hyper-converged infrastructure, and we found DCHQ."

San Francisco-based DCHQ developed a governance, deployment automation and life-cycle management platform for container-based applications. By combining the Gridstore and DCHQ technologies, HyperGrid gives customers the option of purchasing hyper-converged infrastructure as a capital expense or as an operating expense, Teymourian said.

One of the most common use cases initially will likely be for test and development. Teymourian said the new HCIaaS technology allows the hyper-converged infrastructure to run on a cloud via containers to test the infrastructure delivery capabilities and view the results on the cloud.

Once finished, customers can pay for the containers on the cloud or run the application on-premise where they only pay for the infrastructure as it's used, he said. "The appliance can be preconfigured with the application," he said.

With the application comes the templates and other tools needed to create a multitenant environment, including the ability to carve part of the on-premise appliances for developers to continue using, Teymourian said.

"They can run tests versus the code in containers, with performance data available to both ops guys and developers," he said. "The operations people can test the application right away, with developers able to make quick changes or do load balancing. The ops guys can then leave the appliance on-premises or port the application to one of 16 different public clouds."

HCIaaS gives customers the option of running an application in the cloud for the lowest cost and greatest flexibility, or in an on-premise appliance for maximum performance, Teymourian said. When used with an on-premise appliance, they can pay for the container or virtual desktop or virtual server as they use it, he said.

"We're disrupting an entire infrastructure," Teymourian said. "Customers who work with our technology can develop a gridlike utility grid which can be turned on or off, or resell the excess capacity as needed."

HCIaaS is an interesting approach to hyper-converged infrastructure that no one else has, said Mike Burke, co-founder and CTO of VDX, a Cranford, N.J.-based solution provider and HyperGrid channel partner.

"To offer hyper-converged infrastructure with an Opex model on-premises is a plus for customers," Burke told CRN. "Customers get the benefit of an Opex model without giving up control of their data."

Hyper-converged infrastructure can be an easy conversation to have with customers looking for a specific application like virtual desktops or SQL databases, Burke said. However, it is more difficult to talk with customers who already have a rack-full of equipment and no specific new application planned, he said.

"Talking about hyper-converged infrastructure as a service will make the conversation easier," he said. "With Gridstore today, we can bring virtual desktop infrastructure to customers at $550 per desktop for the hardware and software. "With HyperGrid as a service, we can bring the cost even lower."

Teymourian declined to discuss HyperGrid's finances, other than to say the company's business in the last quarter grew 343 percent year over year and 62 percent over the previous quarter, and that its last funding round in January brought it $19 million.