Vcinity Exits Stealth Mode, Says Its Technology Is ‘Flipping The Cloud On Its Head’


Vcinity, a startup developer of technology it says provides access to data stored anywhere from any device without impacting users' performance, this week came out of stealth mode.

Vcinity gives customers the ability to access data wherever it is and run applications using that data from anywhere, said Harry Carr, founder and CEO of the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

"The application and the data may be far apart from each other, but the users don't know," Carr told CRN. "Distance today is the primary barrier to using data."

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Russel Davis, chief technology officer of Vcinity, said that with the company's technology, it doesn't matter if the compute is on-premises or in a hybrid or public cloud.

"We're flipping the cloud on it head," Davis told CRN. "We say, don't move your data. Keep it in your co-lo or wherever. Think of how a PC works. You have your compute and hard drive in a box, and you have network storage in the same building. But with our technology, your hard drive could be in Hong Kong."

Vcinity received seed funding from three family offices, which are private wealth management advisory firms serving investors. Total funding was between $5 million and $10 million, Carr said.

The company is raising a Series A funding round of up to $25 million, which Carr said will hopefully include funding from strategic investors.

The original technology was developed by Bay Microsystems, which was quietly acquired by Vcinity and its three family office investors in early July, Carr said.

"This is technology that was already proven in the market," he said. "Now we're tweaking it, and making sure that a software-only version works really well as we go to scale."

Davis said there are other vendors that have developed global file systems for managing stored data. "But they don't allow access to the data," he said. "Or, if they allow access, users need to move it first. We can move more data over greater distances faster than anyone. But we don't emphasize the movement of data. We emphasize fast access to the data in place."

Vcinity's technology is based on a propriety expansion of the RDMA, or remote direct memory access, protocol, Davis said.

"Most people don't believe RDMA can be extended beyond 20 to 80 kilometers," he said. "But we have active links via RDMA over 20,000 kilometers. We have our secret sauce. It's not proprietary in the sense that you need to change your networks. We look just like a hub in your network."

Vcinity provides its remote on-demand data access technology as either a complete hardware appliance based on Dell Technologies hardware, or as software that can be used with any x86-based or IBM Power-based server, Davis said.

The company resells its software via reseller relationships with Penguin Computing and Mercury Systems, and has a meet-in-the-channel relationship with IBM to make its software available for Power-based servers, he said.

"As long as it's an x86 or Power server, we don't care," he said. "The software will run fine with any server."

Bay Microsystems generated a lot of excitement among customers with the remote data access technology before it was acquired by Vcinity, said Anthony Rangel, founder and CEO of Caliism Data Solutions, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based solution provider and new Vcinity channel partner.

"It was hard for customers to believe how quickly they could transfer large files," Rangel told CRN. "The technology works with large files remotely on the fly as if they were right in front of the users, including video files. I've not seen anyone else who could do that."

Prior to this week, Caliism had a proof-of-concept project going with a large cable provider that Rangel declined to identify, and expects another proof-of-concept project to start with a Department of Energy company early next year, Rangel said.

About 99 percent of Vcinity's sales are indirect, with a small amount of direct business focused on helping open new clients who will be passed to other channel partners, Carr said.

Prior to the launch of Vcinity, Bay Microsystems had a major focus on federal government clients, including the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System where integration of the technology was done via another solution provider, Herndon, Va.-based Peraton.

Going forward, Vcinity looks to expand its indirect sales channel to increase its reach into the commercial market, Carr said.