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Nirvanix bags new CEO and $10m in race to the cloud

Cloud storage vendor wafts to high ground

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Now we know - QLogic's worldwide sales and marketing SVP Scott Genereux jumped ship to run Nirvanix which, as well as announcing its new CEO, said it had gained $10m in a B-round funding exercise.

Cloud startups like Nirvanix have a mountain to climb, staring up as they are at clumps of mega-datacentres operated by the likes of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple and others. Genereux is now president and CEO of Nirvanix and it's his responsibility to take Nirvanix and its Storage Delivery Network up onto the high ground.

The company had previously announced a $5m funding round in April 2009 by its original investors, that took its total funding to more than $23m. Total funding is now north of $33m.

The company says it has "clusters of immensely powerful data centres from Los Angeles to Frankfurt, multiple petabytes of capacity under management, and unparalleled high availability technology with greater than 99.999 per cent uptime". It reckons it can handle millions of users and billions of files in a single name space and has bullet-proof technology.

The whole pitch depends upon CIOs from businesses of all sizes deciding that they can no longer stand the expenditures and complexity involved in running applications and housing storage in-house data centres. Nirvanix reckons cloud access gateway kit provides enough bandwidth, security and reliability for CIOs to safely move storage to the cloud. Amazon and Google are already capitalising on this.

Nirvanix thinks the move of data to the cloud is going to turn into a flood, and wants its share of the tens and hundreds of petabytes of data it sees flying cloudward in the next few years.

It recently announced a hybrid private/public cloud technology to provide an onramp to public cloud use.

Nirvanix reckons much of its competition is limited in scalability and has inferior technology. Genereux's prepared statement said: "I'm confident that superior economics and superior technology will enable Nirvanix to penetrate new markets and take market share in the coming year."

We might wonder if a purely storage-focussed cloud offering is enough. Might Nirvanix be thinking of offering processing in the cloud as well? After all, why should a customer using Amazon cloud compute services direct those apps to use Nirvanix-stored data?

Nirvanix's previous CEO Jim Zierick continues to serve on the company's advisory council. It's pretty clear that the Venture Capital backers behind Nirvanix see Genereux hopefully taking their investment to IPO and independence, with riches for them. ®

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