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Gridstore does classic founder-to-CTO jive

New boss has $12.5m to splurge on growth

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Scale-out filer storage start-up Gridstore's founder is shuffling sideways to the CTO spot as his firm recruits a new CEO.

Gridstore was founded by its previous CEO, Kelly Murphy, and its chairman is Geoff Barrall of Drobo and BlueArc fame. Now, Murphy has stepped back to the chief technology officer role and brought aboard George Symons.

Symons' CV includes being chief strategy officer at Nexsan, which was bought by Imation in January this year, and the COO at X-IO. He was CEO at both EvoStor and tape vendor Yosemite Technologies and has worked at EMC, Legato and Sun Microsystems.

Symons' canned statement says: "Gridstore is a company that has a truly disruptive technology that is changing the landscape of how storage is deployed, managed and scaled and I am excited to lead the company as we execute on our next phase of product innovation and growth."

Small and medium business file storage is an area with many suppliers and a high level of innovation as the suppliers try to provide high and scalable capacity without the expense and limitations of traditional dual-controller filers.

Gridstore's NASg product is an Atom-powered box which talks to other NASg boxes in a grid, providing a single pool of file storage with data striped across the nodes.

The company states (pdf): "vControllers use direct parallel I/O to talk to a virtualised pool of storage, called a vPool. vPools are created by adding simple, 1U building blocks of storage, called Storage Nodes, to a standard Ethernet network."

Gridstore's storage nodes come in 2TB and 4TB variants. The company gained $12.5 million of funding in October 2012 to expand its sales channels, so Symons has a healthy pot of cash to work with.

Competitors include Tandberg with its BizNAS Atom-powered system. So far Atom-powered storage boxes have been a minority interest: the hope is that, combined with clever software and low-cost hardware, they will have the performance to penetrate the SME file storage market. ®

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