Storage Soup

Sep 15 2009   6:53PM GMT

Spinnaker founders bring Avere out of stealth …

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

…but few other details are known yet of the new storage product to be released in three weeks by the original founders of Spinnaker Networks, which now forms the basis of NetApp’s scale-out OnTap GX and OnTap 8 offerings.

Avere CEO Ron Bianchini, who held the same title at Spinnaker, says the new company began in a coffee shop after he and other Spinnaker execs left NetApp in late 2007. “Initially, Spinnaker was a separate group [within NetApp],” he said. “There was a huge process of merging the two technologies, but after that there was less and less for the Spinnaker business unit to do, and the three of us left NetApp.”

The other two former Spinnaker founders now with Avere are CTO Michael Kazar and VP of engineering Daniel Nydick.

The startup today disclosed a $15 million Series A funding round. It’s preparing to roll out what it calls Demand-Driven Storage, which Bianchini described as “looking at an application workload and looking at the types of storage available, then matching the workload to the storage media.” He said the idea sprang from increasing diversity in the types of storage media available, whether SAS and SATA drives or solid-state disks (SSDs.).

So is this going to be something along the lines of EMC Corp.’s Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) and Compellent’s Data Progression? “That’s very good directionally–we go in that direction, but much further,” Bianchini said. “When we finally can talk about the technology in detail, we’ll differentiate against those products with something broader and with more efficiencies.”

Will the product also draw on Spinnaker’s scale-out heritage? What market will it address? Is the product primarily software-focused? “All will become clear in three weeks,” Bianchini said.

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