Your Bumper Fun book of storage, featuring DDN, Exagrid, Kaseya, Mimecast, Softiron and more

Your occasional storage digest today features DDN, Exagrid, Faction, Kaseya, Mimecast and Softiron and more.

DDN buys Nexenta

HPC storage supplier DDN has bought software-defined storage business Nexenta, a 14-year-old startup funded to the tune of $141.5m. No mean and clean fast exit here.

DDN dipped its toe into the general enterprise storage market in September 2018 with the purchase of Tintri assets from bankruptcy. This acquisition cements the company’s move into the enterprise.

Post-acquisition, DDN supplies storage software to enterprises in the AI, 5G and IOT markets, taking advantage of Nexenta’s deals with hardware suppliers such as Lenovo.

Nexenta develops ZFS-based file storage and block storage in NexentaStor and also object storage with a separate object storage system.

Post-acquisition, DDN can offer general file, block and object storage with Nexenta and virtualized server storage with Tintri.

As with Tintri, Nexenta will run as a separate operation within DDN. Nevertheless there is scope for cross-selling and technology cross-pollination between the three operations.

Exagrid has a Veeam in its eye

Exagrid has launched ExaGrid Backup with Veeam [Exagrid italics]. This end-to-end system integrates the companies’ products in the following ways:

  • ExaGrid runs Veeam Data Mover in its appliance and supports the Veeam end-to-end protocol for fast backups. The company claims a 30 per cent increase in backup performance versus other products on the market.
  • ExaGrid’s architecture uses Veeam’s Scale-out Backup Repository which allows automated job management and linear scalability.
  • Veeam Backup & Replication’s built-in source-side data deduplication is integrated with ExaGrid’s zone-level deduplication. This reduces storage and bandwidth consumption.

ExaGrid Backup with Veeam comes in three scalable models: a 13TB, 21TB and 32TB backup systems, scalable up to 90TB full backup.

ExaGrid Backup with Veeam is available today in the USA and Canada. The company will consider expansion to other countries in due course.

Faction is the Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services MSP

Dell EMC announced Cloud Storage Services last week Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas.

The service Hybrid Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (HDRaaS) and Cloud Control Volumes for Unity, Isilon, and PowerMax arrays. These require an MSP to house the arrays in a data centre with a Direct Connection to the supported public clouds.

That MSP is Faction, a startup which counts Dell Technologies Capital as an investor. At time of writing it is the sole MSP supporting Dell EMC Cloud Storage Service.

Faction supports AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform. It is a member of the Dell EMC Select Partner Program and its products and services are now part of the Dell EMC Select catalogue.

Kaseya gets $500m kash

Kaseya, the acquisitive IT infrastructure management vendor, has nabbed $500m in fresh funding, giving it a $1.75bn valuation. TPG and existing investor Insight Partners are the backers in this round.

The company has promptly bought another supplier, ID Agent, the owner of Dark Web ID, a dark web monitoring platform, and BullPhish ID, a phishing simulator and security awareness training platform. Kasey will integrate the software into its own suite of infrastructure management security products. ID Agent will also run as a separate entity.

Kaseya made four acquisitions in 2018: Unitrends, Spanning Cloud Apps, RapidFire Tools, and IT Glue.

The company claims 40,000 customers worldwide and sells its products to MSPs and small/medium business on-premises IT departments.

Mimecast provides supervision

Mail message provider and archiver Mimecast has announced Mimecast Supervision as part of its Cloud Archive offering.

The software is designed for financial services organisations and addresses compliance requirements. Supervision can be coupled with Mimecast Compliance Protect, which helps firms meet SEC retention requirements.

Supervision includes intelligent selection, enabling customers to focus on specific messages that warrant review and avoid false positives. An optimised workflow helps the review process.

Mimecast Cloud Archive and Supervision are listed on the FINRA Compliance Vendor Directory, joining the list of approved solutions recognised by this financial services regulatory agency.

Softiron soups up Ceph-based Hyperdrive

Storage startup Softiron has launched a system that combines performance and internal flash tiering into a single, 1U Ceph appliance.

Called HyperDrive Density+, the system differs from older members of the Hyperdrive family, which need separate management servers and a storage router.

HyperDrive Density+ is available in two versions, a 78TB with 72TB of disk and 6TB of flash, and a 168TB version with 120TB of disk and 48TB of flash.

HyperDrive Density has 120TB of raw capacity using a dozen 10TB disk drives and 960GB of SSD cache.

A table shows the characteristics of the three system.

The 78TB and 168TB model have faster networking via two 100GbitE interfaces instead of the Density model’s 10GbitE pair.

Softiron Density and Density Plus HyperDrive variants

Softiron CEO Tim Massey said: “Currently if you have a situation where you need high-performance drives for one data set and cost-effective storage for another set of data, you’re pretty restricted and really only have two available options.

“You either deploy two different Ceph clusters, one for each data set or, you deploy one Ceph cluster with enough of each drive type to be able to handle redundancy, which is typically triple replicated. As you can imagine, these are very complicated and expensive solutions that are not serving the enterprise in the least. HyperDrive Density+ solves this problem by combining performance and internal flash tiering into a single, 1U Ceph appliance.”


Formulus Black won an award for Best Overall Solution for its ForsaOS at the Advanced Scale Forum 2019, April 15-17 in Ponte Vedra, Florida. .

FileShadow has announced FileShadow for Windows Virtual Desktop. This thin provisioned storage separates user data from the operating system, local applications and user settings in the data centre. The company said this reduces costs for any company using virtual desktops.

Liqid Composable Infrastructure is now part of the Dell Technologies OEM & IoT Solutions Portfolio. This is separate from Dell EMC’s own MX7000 composable system as the Liqid system composes virtual systems from pools of disaggregated GPUs, FPGAs, PowerEdge CPUs, NVMe storage and Intel Optane extension technologies, using a low-latency, intelligent fabric. 


InstaDeep, a London-based AI company, has deployed Excelero NVMesh (NVMe-over fabrics storage) for its AI as a Service offering. It said Excelero feeds unlimited streams of data to GPU-based systems with local performance for AI and ML customers. InstaDeep’s Excelero system includes a 2U Boston Flash-IO Talyn server with an Nvidia DGX-1 GPU system, Mellanox 100Gbit/s InfiniBand, Micron NVMe flash and Excelero NVMesh software that provides access to up to 100TB external high-performance storage.

Early tests indicated that external NVMe storage with Excelero gives equal or better performance than local cache in the Nvidia DGX.