Emerging Vendors 2012: Storage

Taking The Storage Industry By Storm

Each year in our Emerging Vendors list, CRN looks at the tech startups making their presence known in the industry. Each company on the list also has an all-important quality: It has demonstrated that it understands the value of the channel. Here we look at the emerging players in the storage industry, those that are blazing a trail through innovative online backup services, NAS and SAN appliances, unique cloud storage platforms and much more.

3X Systems

Columbus, Ohio

CEO: Alan Arman

With its marquee product, the 3X Backup system, 3X delivers online backup service in an inexpensive and portable all-in-one device that end customers can buy through the channel, giving the user an added local resource to tackle data continuity and backup.


Mountain View, Calif.

CEO: Justin Moore

Axcient offers a hybrid cloud storage model that includes a combination of a storage appliance and Internet-based storage service that lets customers back data up both locally for fast restores and online for safe archiving. SMBs can purchase Axcient's storage appliances with capacity between 500 GB and 10 TB through channel partners, who then connect them through the Internet to cloud-based storage infrastructures that are owned and managed by Axcient.


Poway, Calif.

CEO: John Matze

Storage startup BridgeStor develops appliances for deduping primary data and providing high-performance services for VMware virtual machine data. One model comes preconfigured with Symantec's Data Deduplication Suite of software integrated with hardware-accelerated data compression technology to dedupe primary and secondary data as it is being stored. The other focuses on backing up and recovering virtual machines and their data in VMware appliances. BridgeStor is a 100 percent channel-focused company, said John Matze, founder and CEO, who is well-known as a channel-friendly storage entrepreneur.



With a tagline of "your ally in the clouds," CloudAlly broke onto the scene with cloud backup offerings for Google Apps, Salesforce and more. CloudAlly promises centralized daily backups of all domains and accounts, unlimited Amazon S3 storage, and one-click restores and exports.


Ashaway, R.I.

CEO: Robert Petrocelli

SSD array developer GreenBytes in May closed a $12 million B round of funding aimed at helping continue development of its all-SSD and hybrid SSD-hard drive storage solutions. GreenBytes in 2010 came to market with its first array, a hybrid appliance called the HA-3000, which features both SSDs and spinning hard drives with a single controller. It targets the backup market by providing high-speed data deduplication. The company more recently introduced its Solidarity, an all-SSD array with dual controllers targeting the primary storage array market for SMB customers.

GridIron Systems

Sunnyvale, Calif.

CEO: Javed Patel

GridIron Systems' suite of products are designed specifically for accelerating big data analytics. Its TurboCharger SAN accelerator appliance increases the speed of application performance without the need to make changes to existing servers, storage or applications.


San Clemente, Calif.

President, CTO: Lynn Shourds

Heroware's Hero-DefendeRX provides fast data protection and data recovery, is HIPAA- and HITECH-compliant and enables complete business continuity for organizations.


Sterling, Va.

CEO: Rob Howe

IceWeb boasts affordable unified data storage appliances with enterprise storage management capabilities. In March, the company introduced the IceWeb 7000, the latest unified storage appliance for enterprise apps based on its IceStorm operating system. IceWeb is looking to expand its channel presence by partnering with solution providers that offer cloud storage, replication and disaster recovery services.

IO Data Centers


CEO: George Slessman

I/O Data Centers creates back-office solutions for data capture, online data entry, document imaging, direct mail, call center, document preparation and database management.


Newton, Mass.

CEO: Dani Golan

Kaminario is a developer of an all solid-state Flash and DRAM SAN storage solution, the Kaminario K2, which was first released in 2010. It features a scale-out architecture that allows dynamic load balancing, automatic distribution of data across the system and high availability as capacity is increased.

KernSafe Technologies

Beijing, China

CEO: Aldrich Vort

KernSafe Technologies makes storage virtualization and data security solutions that expand from desktops to data centers to mobile devices.


Provo, Utah

CEO: Scott Shumway

Millenniata came onto the scene in 2008 with its M-DISC permanent file backup disc that the company claims lasts forever. "Unlike computer hard-drives and optical discs that suffer from decay, destroying the files you were trying to preserve and protect, the M-DISC cannot be overwritten, erased or corrupted by natural processes. Best of all, you can access your data anywhere and anytime. It is the new standard in digital storage," the Provo, Utah-based company says on its Web site. Millenniata boasts that its "Write Once, Read Forever" technology is indestructible and locks data onto a disc.

NexGen Storage

Louisville, Colo.

CEO: John Spiers

NexGen Storage delivers SAN solutions with configurable, deterministic performance and quality of service for virtual server environments.The storage vendor recenlty expanded its line of hybrid storage arrays with two new models that combine PCIe solid state storage with spinning disks for customers with applications requiring high-performance hardware.

Nimble Storage

San Jose, Calif.

CEO: Suresh Vasudevan

Nimble Storage's S-Series iSCSI arrays combine flash memory with low-cost, high-capacity drives, for primary storage and separate disk-based backup solutions.

Nine Technology

Middleboro, Mass.

CEO: Tom Gelson

Nine Technology offers data center managers, VARs and MSPs online backup and restore solutions to let them build and offer scalable and reliable services to customers. With Nine Technology's Powered by Nine solutions, VARs can handle their clients' critical data stored on desktops, laptops and servers and build a revenue-driving business around the backup and restore play.

Pure Storage

Mountain View, Calif.

CEO: Scott Dietzen

The Pure Storage FlashArray 2.0 is a full-fledged primary storage array. It features both in-line and global data deduplication in combination with a non-volatile RAM (NV-RAM) cache that runs continuously, the company said. In August 2011, Pure Storage came out of stealth mode with funding of $55 million, including a stake held by Samsung.



Robobak provides automated agentless data backup technology for remote and branch offices, giving managed service providers and traditional solution providers tools to help build cloud-based Storage-as-a-Service. Robobak's v9 Data Protection Suite uses technologies such as block-level incremental backups, compression and deduplication. It also includes a full set of encryption features as well as a complete set of tools for setting backup policies.

(In March 2011, Robobak was acquired by KineticD)

Scale Computing


CEO: Jeff Ready

Scale Computing’s Intelligent Clustered Operating System (ICOS) is a multiprotocol, unified, scalable technology that brings enterprise-class file and block-level services to the SME.

Starboard Storage

Broomfield, Colo.

CEO: Victor Walker

Starboard Storage in February came out of stealth mode with a channel-only model for its new AC72 storage architecture, designed to handle mixed workloads including structured, unstructured and virtualized data with a single platform. The AC72 pools hard drives and SSDs into one dynamic storage pool that can be carved up as needed for mixed workloads. Included is an SSD accelerator tier that adds performance to the storage operations, as well as I/O monitoring technology that automatically tiers storage as needed. The AC72 storage node is fully redundant with no single point of failure and comes in two main versions, including one optimized for storage performance and the other optimized for storage capacity.

Tegile Systems

Newark, Calif.

CEO: Rohit Kshetrapal

Tegile Systems in February exited stealth mode with its Zebi hybrid storage arrays, which feature deduplication of primary data for both high-performance primary applications and secondary backup storage. The Zebi arrays support both SAN and NAS storage with snapshot and replication technology for about $1 per GB of capacity. Tegile's arrays are based on its patent-pending Metadata Accelerated Storage System (MASS), which manages the system's metadata on high-speed media to accelerate random and sequential I/O, dedupe, compression, snapshots and RAID rebuilds. The arrays also feature a mix of solid-state memory and high-capacity hard drives.


Mountain View, Calif.

CEO: Kieran Harty

Kieran Harty, Tintri's co-founder and CEO, wants to cut the cost of attaching storage to virtualized server environments. That's a challenge few understand better than Harty, who prior to founding Tintri was responsible for all desktop and server R&D at VMware. Tintri builds appliances that handle hundreds of VMware VMs and their storage in a single device, which to a server looks like a direct-attached storage array. They include 1 TB of Flash memory and 16, 1-TB SATA hard drives with built-in compression and deduplication and an administration console that hides the complexity of attaching VMs to storage.


Natick, Mass.

CEO: Nicos Vekiaride

TwinStrata is an innovator in enterprise data storage, data protection and disaster recovery/business continuity and does all of this using cloud-based storage. The company is building upon its base of 10 domestic and 15 international partners.

WhipTail Technologies

Whippany, N.J.

CEO: Daniel Crain

WhipTail promises to "deliver information at the speed of business" with its solid-state storage appliance targeting companies looking to stretch their IT dollars in a challenging economic environment. The use of SSDs promises up to 90 percent less spent on power and cooling costs as compared to a typical magnetic spinning disk array, according to WhipTail's Brian Feller, vice president of sales and marketing.

More 2012 Emerging Vendor Coverage

CRN's 2012 Emerging Vendors:
The 25 Coolest Emerging Vendors For 2012
2012 Emerging Vendors: The List