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Hitachi Data Systems buys ParaScale

Scoops up assets of crashed startup

Security for virtualized datacentres

Remember ParaScale and direct access to cloud storage? The start-up crash-landed in June and Hitachi Data Systems has just bought the intellectual property assets and engineering team.

HDS' chief strategist for file and content services, Miki Sandorfi, announced this on his blog last night, writing: "We have recently acquired the IP and brought on board the core engineering team [of ParaScale]."

ParaScale, which gained $11.37 million first-round funding in 2008, failed to get second-round funding in June this year. At the time, founder and chief technology officer Cameron Bahar said: "We have a rock star team, and a tough situation to deal with. Wish us luck." Luck has shined on him and them.

The ParaScale Cloud Storage (PCS) technology aggregates multiple standard Linux servers to present a single, highly scalable, virtual file-storage appliance, accessible via file access protocols like CIFS, NFS, HTTP, FTP and WebDAV. PCS nodes form a loosely-coupled cluster and ParaScale says its software is a better and cheaper way of providing storage access over a network than either a storage area network (SAN) or a clustered NAS (network-attached storage) set up. Applications run directly on a storage node and the technology is said to be great for dealing with floods of machine-generated data such as that coming from telemetry systems.

HDS is building out a cloud services portfolio using "a pay-per-use model, the ability to scale up and scale down rapidly, and … the ability to do this in a self-service capacity." ParaScale IP could provide "cloudy" access to HDS' file and object storage products which store data on its USP-V high-end and AMS mid-range storage arrays. Sandorfi blogs: "By complementing our existing product set and leveraging the distinct capabilities of this acquisition, we will continue to bring to market additional Hitachi Cloud Services that leverage best-of-breed technology and are deployed in “cloudy” ways."

We might see ParaScale software integrated with the Archivas-based archive content services and also with the BlueArc-based high-end NAS products.

HDS is likely to have stumped up a price in the low single digit millions for ParaScale's IP and "rockstars" and this acquisition, like Dell's 3PAR buy, looks like an astute purchase, another brick to put in the wall of integrated IT offerings HDS is building. ®

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