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DataCore Acquires MayaData, Following Pure Storage, Veeam Into Containers

‘A lot of innovation comes from the smaller companies, and the channel generally is owned by the larger companies. We have a channel. We have over 10,000 customers. So we can now take the MayaData innovation ... [and] build it out through a MayaData channel,’ says DataCore CEO David Zabrowski.

Software-defined storage pioneer DataCore Thursday said it has acquired MayaData, one of the leading independent developers of container-attached storage and the original developer of the OpenEBS open-source Kubernetes storage technology.

With the acquisition, DataCore becomes the third major storage vendor to acquire leading storage container technologies in the past 14 months following Veeam’s October 2020 acquisition of Kasten and Pure Storage’s September 2020 acquisition of Portworx.

The acquisition also follows DataCore’s February 2020 investment of $26 million in MayaData as part of a joint venture with that company to develop storage container technology for Kubernetes.

[Related: 2021 Storage 100: The Data Conversation Starts Here]

DataCore did not disclose the acquisition cost of MayaData.

Storage containerization, particularly around the Kubernetes container technology, caught the eye of DataCore when Google first assigned a big engineering team to develop the Kubernetes open-source framework, said David Zabrowski, CEO of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company.

“Containers was going to be a once-in-a-generation type of transformation,” Zabrowski told CRN. “And we had some particular expertise because of our performance and our availability expertise from the block storage side, so we were pretty excited about containers. So I actually started a internal ‘skunkworks’ project that ran for about a year, and it became apparent at that time that we thought we had a better approach.”

DataCore originally invested in MayaData to build on that approach, Zabrowski said.

“We basically took the best of both worlds,” he said. ”MayaData, which sponsored OpenEBS at the time, which was at the time and still is today the only CNCF [Cloud Native Computing Foundation] track project for open storage container-attached storage. We combined our two efforts. And so now we basically acquired them because the product’s getting ready for prime time.”

OpenEBS, which recently come out in version 3.0, is a very mature product in the CNCF world, Zabrowski said.

“A product that we’re working on today is really an enterprise-hardened version of OpenEBS that will be coming out under the MayaData brand, and that will basically be a licensed product,” he said. “There will be an open-source version and a licensed version. And so it was a marriage that really started three years ago when we identified containers as the highest growth area for storage and made the subsequent investment.”

The enterprise version is slated to be released early next year, he said.

The fact that Veeam, Pure Storage and DataCore all acquired storage container companies stems from the foundational change that came with the development of containers, Zabrowski said.

“A lot of innovation comes from the smaller companies, and the channel generally is owned by the larger companies,” he said. “We have a channel. We have over 10,000 customers. So we can now take the MayaData innovation, which was assisted by DataCore because of the merger that I mentioned before, [and] build it out through a MayaData channel.”

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