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Hic! Storage upstart DEY bought out by Australian wine merchant

Have another glass - this is a fruity one and no mistake

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Software-defined storage startup DEY Storage has been bought by CloudCentral, an Australian cloud service provider, which has had a DEY storage co-founder as a board advisor for a few months. And it's being bought by a winery.

Are we making this up? No, but perhaps we might have drunk too deeply from the Hippocrene. Let's go to the starting point.

DEY Storage Systems was founded in early 2012 and raised $3m in seed funding in August of that year, coming out of stealth. However it gradually sank back into obscurity.

The business was set up to devise software-defined storage, offering Amazon and Google-class physical storage infrastructures managed by its software layer. The three founders were:

  • Garrett D’Amore, engineering VP, ex-senior director of engineering at Nexenta
  • Richard Elling, CTO, ex-senior director solutions engineering at Nexenta
  • Jason Yoho, CEO, ex-VP business development at Nexenta

So three Nexenta guys started up DEY, got seed funding and then it all seemed to fall apart.

D’Amore left DEY in September 2013, a month after the seed funding news, and was a founder and technical lead at illumos, a project to construct an open source descendent of Solaris. Nexenta had adopted illumos, along with Joyent and Delphix. D'Amore is still there but is also a principal software engineer at Pluribus Networks, joining them in October 2013. The illumos software is apparently used in switch products.

Dromana Estate

Elling later became a board advisor to CloudCentral, “an Australian provider of wholesale cloud platform services to companies that delivers IT services and solutions to enterprise and government customers.”

LinkedIn says he is still at CloudCentral, but became principal architect at Coraid, the Ethernet (AoE) storage startup, in December 2013.

Paul Winder, a principal engineer at DEY, left to join Tegile in October 2013, as did Andy Giles who joined DEY as its director of engineering and became Tegile’s director of engineering in October 2013. Giles led a DEY engineering team based in Cambridge, UK. Ben Jameson, a DEY staff engineer in Cambridge also joined Tegile in October 2013.

It looks like DEY kind of blew up around September and October 2013. Yoho is still listed on LinkedIn as CEO for DEY but there appear to few, if any, other employees.

Now CloudCentral is buying DEY’s intellectual property. At the same time CloudCentral, with its 200 customers and virtual data storage business, is being bought by Dromana Estate which is “an Australian-based company seeking primarily to pursue new opportunities.” It’s listed by BRR Media as a winemaking and vineyard management business.

Cloud Central will, if the DEY buy completes, “introduce Software Defined Storage services to CloudCentral partners and develop new commercial opportunities.”

Let’s try and get this straight; an Oz wine producer is buying a cloud service provider which is buying the IP of a seemingly moribund software-defined storage startup. One plus one plus one equals …. what exactly? Software-defined Shiraz? Sparkling Vino DEY? Let’s hope Vulture South can cast some light on this mash up. ®

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