SimpliVity closed a $25 million funding round today, giving the startup ammunition to market its OmniCube converged storage stack due to ship later this year.
SimpliVity came out of stealth in August when it started its beta program for OmniCube, which has storage, compute and virtualization in one box. CEO and founder Doron Kempel said he expects the company to grow from 60 people to around 80 by the end of the year, and the new funding “gives us cash to fuel everything we want to do in 2013 in sales, marketing and engineering.”
One of the things Kempel wants to do is convince people that SimpliVity is unique among converged storage systems. He positions it as primary storage that can do just about everything, replacing the need for discrete devices for deduplication, backup, WAN optimization and cloud connectivity.
“We have defined the new IT building block,” he said. “It’s an accelerated software stack that runs on commodity hardware and one person manages it.”
SimpliVity is among a small group of vendors – Nutanix and Scale Computing are others – using the term “hyper-converged” to describe their systems. Kempel said he is trying to differentiate OmniCube from converged stacks sold by established vendors that combine a group of products that were originally created by different companies or different groups inside of a company.
“Convergence is a nebulous term,” he said. “Everybody and their husband says, ‘We’re converged too.’ We want to establish metrics for framing the convergence market. Not all cars are created equal — there are sports cars, trucks, hybrids. It’s the same with converged systems.”
SimpliVity’s B funding round brings its total to $43 million. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) led the round, and original investors Accel Partners and Charles River Ventures also participated.
Kempel sold his last company, backup dedupe vendor Diligent Technologies, to IBM in 2008. He founded Diligent with Moshe Yanai, who led development of EMC’s Symmetrix platform and founded XIV before selling that systems startup to IBM.
When asked if Yanai was involved with SimpliVity, Kempel laughed and said, “I’m not allowed to talk about people I can’t mention.”
Yanai left IBM in 2010 but may be restricted from working with other storage companies.