Google and pals plough $27m into tiery-eyed storage startup Avere

Adding better public cloud facilities to users' hybrid world

Avere, the filer and public cloud storage accelerator supplier, has scored a $27m E-round of funding, with Google proper providing some of the funds.

Avere, founded in 2008, accelerates access to files in NAS arrays by using a multi-tiered media approach and treating different IO types, such as read and write, sequential and random, differently so as to optimise the system for faster accesses.

There was participation from existing investors - Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Tenaya Capital and Western Digital Technologies - as well as its new investor, Google Inc, which notably did not invest through its funding arm, GV (Google Ventures).

Initially the amount was reported as $14m but, after the initial funding announcement was made, there was an additional amount added to the round by the investors, bringing it up to $27m.

The company says it wants to use the new funds to drive product innovation and help expand its hybrid cloud product offerings.

CEO, president and co-founder Ron Bianchini said: “In 2016 alone, Avere has grown its cloud business by 97 per cent, nearly doubling growth from the previous year, and closed the year with cloud offerings driving close to half of our annual bookings.”

The nine-year-old firm developed its technology to run in remote and branch offices, also to front-end public cloud storage, and then extended its software to run in the public cloud.

The company sees its customers using a mix of on-premises (private) and public cloud storage and compute facilities; it’s a hybrid world as far as it is concerned.

It received a $15m A-round in 2009, a $17m B-round in 2010, a $20m C-round in 2012, and another $20m in a 2014 D-round. With the latest E-round, total funding is now $97m.

We asked Bianchini some questions around the new funding.

El Reg: How far away is profitability?

Ron Bianchini: Our current forecast show us reaching profitability in 2018.

El Reg: What are the features of the hybrid cloud (in more detail than the release) that you will be using the E-round funding for?

Ron Bianchini: We're not ready to discuss new cloud products at this time; however, big areas of continued focus for us are ease of deployment within the public cloud and further in-cloud performance and scalability enhancements.

El Reg: Will you aim to take advantage of 3D Xpoint and possibly other storage-class memory media in your products? Where would such media fit in your existing media tiers in your hardware?

Ron Bianchini: It is not on the roadmap at this time, but we like to think of our architecture as storage media agnostic. When one type of media has outlived its usefulness, there is no technical reason why it can't or shouldn't be replaced with something better.

El Reg: What public clouds do you support, which are on the roadmap? What protocols will be used to access them?

Ron Bianchini: We support Google, AWS and Azure (bursting only). No others are currently on the roadmap - these three representing more than 90 per cent market share of public cloud spend. We use S3 to access the storage portion of the cloud and NAS protocols for cloudbursting.

El Reg: Do you have a multi-cloud strategy, with your customers able to use two or more public clouds simultaneously?

Ron Bianchini: Yes, this is one of the strengths of an Avere solution, to provide customers the ability to mirror storage between clouds with our FlashMirror product. This is a popular feature for customers who want to avoid lock-in to a single cloud provider.

El Reg: Any Internet of Things edge device interest from Avere?

Ron Bianchini: We are interested in supporting any devices that speak the same protocol language as we do.

+Comment

Fishing for new product info in Avere’s pool is a pretty unrewarding pastime. Our thinking is that $27m is a healthy dose of cash and that some of it will fund software development to enhance the in-cloud product’s performance and scalability.

We also think that on-premises FXT kit will get easier interaction with the public cloud, but it doesn't take a genius to work that out. ®

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