6 enterprise data storage startups to watch in 2022
Storage startups continued to come up with new ways to solve old and emerging problems in 2021 and 2022.
Here are six we’re tracking in 2022. The select group represents storage and data protection vendors who focus on issues such as migrating and managing multiple cloud environments, optimizing the performance of legacy equipment, and combats the ever-growing threat of ransomware attacks.
Speciality: Calculation in memory
CEO: Charles Fan
Funding: $43.5 million
To watch because: Makes data-intensive applications portable across multiple clouds.
Market Barriers: Large vendors, such as VMware, are looking to move into the same space.
MemVerge, founded in 2017 and based in Milpitas, CA, has leveraged 3D XPoint, specifically Intel Optane DIMMs, to provide software that helps customers make full use of 3D XPoint with its Big Memory Machine, a computing product in memory. The vendor can expand memory pools up to terabytes for faster processing without the capacity limitations of RAM or the reduced performance of SSDs.
Last year, MemVerge focused on portability, pushing Big Memory Machine to public clouds. With ZeroIO snapshots, which use persistent memory, and AppCapsules, which containerize snapshots, users can move on-premises applications to the cloud and from one cloud to another.
MemVerge has also integrated support and its ZeroIO technology behind checkpoints, a type of snapshot for high-performance computing (HPC) environments that captures the application and all the resources needed to run it. MemVerge speeds up the process and movement of checkpoints, increasing its adoption. This could lead to various use cases outside of HPC.
While the vendor emphasized portability last year, MemVerge also described its products as helping data-intensive applications avoid data storage bottlenecks.
In-memory computing is still a new market, but as it gains traction, more and more players will compete.
MemVerge was co-founded by Charles Fan, formerly of VMware; Shuki Bruck; and Yue Li.
Pavilion Data Systems Inc.
Speciality: High-speed parallel flash storage
CEO: Dario Zamarian
Funding: $107 million
To watch because: Single storage that allows structure switching for data-centric performance.
Market Barriers: Lack of name recognition compared to well known high performance storage vendors.
Pavilion Data Systems Inc., founded in 2014 and based in San Jose, Calif., uses an integrated network switch fabric architecture rather than traditional storage controllers; instead of a dual controller, Pavilion uses 20. As the computing storage market grows, artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) are becoming more prevalent in the enterprise, creating workloads that will require faster performance.
Performance aside, the Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array can pack 2.2 petabytes of NVMe storage into a 4U footprint. The array’s switching architecture enables performance of up to 120 GB/s read, 90 GB/s write, and over 20 million read IOPS, while achieving latency as low as 25 µs. Other parallel file systems can be placed on top of Pavilion hardware to increase performance.
With the IT storage market continuing to grow, Pavilion is poised to reap the rewards of expansion.
Pavilion was co-founded by Kiran Malwankar, Sundar Kanthadai and VR Satish.
Speciality: Pioneer of NVMe/TCP
CEO: Eran Kirzner
Funding: $54.2 million
To watch because: Provides a more cost effective way to higher performance.
Market Barriers: Several major vendors now support NVMe/TCP, creating a noisy market.
Lightbits Labs, founded in 2016 and based in San Jose, Calif., is a disaggregated storage vendor and early adopter of NVMe/TCP, which uses existing network infrastructure like Ethernet to bring faster storage speeds to the host and at a lower cost.
Lightbits Labs is a software-defined block storage provider that allows users to scale compute and storage separately. This is done through its operating system, LightOS. The vendor helped develop NVMe/TCP and used it to provide customers with centralized storage that functioned like local storage, according to Lightbits Labs.
In April 2019, the vendor also ventured into hardware with its SuperSSD, a 2U all-NVMe array aimed at AI and cloud applications. The SuperSSD comes with LightOS pre-installed and pre-configured and can be added to a company’s private cloud for AI and ML use cases.
NVMe/TCP is growing in popularity these days, which puts Lightbits Labs in a competitive position, but it has to compete against well-established vendors such as NetApp, who can use the current NVMe/TCP version of their infrastructure.
Lightbits Labs was co-founded by Avigdor Willenz, Eran Kirzner, George Agasandian, Muli Ben-Yehuda, Ofir Efrati, and Sagi Grimberg.
rewind software inc.
Speciality: Data protection for SaaS applications
CEO: Mike Potter
Funding: $80.1 million
To watch because: Provides SaaS backup for many smaller vendors rather than just focusing on top-tier SaaS vendors.
Market Barriers: The data protection market is growing and Rewind will see increased competition from top vendors in its field.
Rewind Software Inc., founded in 2015 and headquartered in Ottawa, has carved out a niche for itself providing data protection services to smaller but increasingly critical and growing SaaS applications such as Shopify, QuickBooks Online and GitHub.
Rewind finds and saves changes to data, encrypts them, and moves them to its Rewind vault. If there are no changes, the data is retained.
After two funding rounds in 2021, Rewind has started heading into more competitive territory. In December, it began providing protection for Microsoft 365, targeting other major backup and data protection vendors such as Veeam, Commvault and Acronis.
Rewind has carved out a niche for itself in the data protection market, which could provide it with a competitive position as it seeks to grow its business.
Rewind was co-founded by Mike Potter and James Ciesielski.
Speciality: Self-healing data protection technology
CEO: Paul Lewis
Funding: $16.5 million
To watch because: With the spread of ransomware, businesses need data protection options.
Market Barriers: Increasingly competitive market as more vendors release anti-ransomware products.
Calamu Technologies, founded in 2020 and based in Clinton, NJ, takes a different approach to data protection in the fight against ransomware with its Data Port. This virtual port is configured across multiple environments both on-premises and in the cloud. Data that needs to be protected is fragmented and distributed across these environments.
Data is encrypted before being fragmented; each fragment is re-encrypted using a different key and then dispersed into the virtual port. Breaking down and encrypting data in this way creates what the vendor calls “digital sludge” that can slow down a cyberattack. If a system using Calamu is compromised, attackers will only be able to access encrypted information. But even if they decrypted each piece, attackers would have to put them together correctly and then decrypt the entire data.
Calamu also provides a self-healing feature, an automatic feature that triggers on an attack that results in no downtime. The functionality relies on a series of redundancies.
Calamu was founded by its CEO, Paul Lewis, who was the founder of two previous cybersecurity companies.
Speciality: Pioneer of Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAM)
CEO: Coby Hanoch
Funding: $45 million
To watch because: Creates a faster and cheaper type of non-volatile memory than traditional NAND.
Market Barriers: New memory technologies are needed, but take time to be certified and adopted.
Weebit Nano, a small company with around 40 employees founded in 2015, is developing silicon oxide-based ReRAM. Weebit’s ReRAM builds or deconstructs filaments to store bits, and Weebit uses high or low load to build or break the filament, depending on the storage need.
Designed this way, ReRAM is more economical and offers lower power consumption at approximately 100 times greater endurance compared to onboard flash memory. It is also highly scalable and resistant to high temperatures and radiation. ReRAM will first be used by IoT devices, where resiliency is a plus.
Over the past six months, Weebit has unveiled a slew of news, including that it has expanded its partnership with CEA-Leti, a research organization funded by the French government; won its first commercial agreement with the American foundry SkyWater Technology; and raised an additional $25 million in funding.
ReRAM may sound similar to Storage Class Memory, a storage medium that sits between RAM and NAND. But Weebit said it’s focusing on different use cases, including on-board storage uses and as a potential replacement for NOR flash memory.
Manufacturing variability and technical issues, such as transistors currently being much larger than the cell, prevent Weebit from mass producing. The company said it is working on these issues and will most likely see some production growth in 2022 and into 2023.
Although it calls itself a startup, Weebit Nano, which was founded by Coby Hanoch and is headquartered in Hod Hasharon, Israel, is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange as a funding source. The company got its start based on research licensed from Rice University in Houston.