Stick that in your container: MayaData gets $26m, DataCore tech and resell boost for its K8s storage

Shipping container

 Developer of container-attached storage for Kubernetes MayaData has been given access to DataCore technology while DataCore gets a piece of MayaData’s action, in a funding-related dance valued at $26m.

Evan Powell, co-founder of MayaData and CEO, said: “We are very excited to be working with DataCore and Insight Partners to deliver data agility to users worldwide. In addition to further investments in OpenEBS and the broader CNCF ecosystem, this transaction allows us to take a huge leap forward in serving enterprises, service providers and governments world-wide.”

The $26m comes from AME Cloud Ventures, DataCore Software, and venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners.

MayaData funding background

The startup gets a $26m boost almost 7 years after its former incarnation, Cloudbyte, took in a $4m B-round. There was a CEO change in 2017 as ex-Nexenta CEO Evan Powell came in and relaunched the company as open source software-focused MayaData in 2018. He also announced a deal with IBM for MayaData’s OpenEBS product.

This made OpenEBS storage available to IBM Cloud Private users. OpenEBS (Open Elastic Block Storage) is open-source, container-attached native storage software delivering block storage to containers. It uses Kubernetes as its underlying framework for scheduling and storing configuration data. 

MayaData says its software and services turn Kubernetes itself into a data layer. It claims this boosts the productivity of small teams building data centric applications and frees them from the risks and costs of data and cloud lock-in.

Another piece of the background it’s necessary to appreciate is that VC and private equity business Insight Partners has an existing investment in DataCore – $30m dating from 2008.

Deal details

The $26m is part of a package which contains:

  • Insight Partners and AME Cloud Venture investing in MayaData,
  • DataCore:
    • Investing in MayaData and owning a piece of it,
    • Joining forces with MayaData to go after the container-native storage market.
    • Transferring some IP and  couple of engineers who were working on container storage to MayaData,
  • Cross-licensing technology agreement:
    • MayaData will have access to DataCore’s CDP (continuous data protection) to implement it in the container space, plus advanced mirroring and performance optimizations,
    • DataCore has access to technology MayaData produces for future product development.

DataCore will continue to pursue the IT Ops container market, as both its SANSymphony and vFilO offerings have CSI plug-ins. Gerardo Dada, DataCore’s CMO, said: “We want to focus on the ITOps market and let MayaData focus on the Kubernetes/DevOps market, which is very different.”

For MayaData this means it gets funding, technology, and expertise. The OpenEBS product will strengthen its position as, MayaData claims, the most widely used and most powerful container storage platform with the addition of these additional resources. It says weekly OpenEBS downloads as measured by container pulls increased by more than 500 per cent during 2019. Customers include companies such as Bloomberg.

A side piece of news is that Don Duet, former CIO of Goldman Sachs and Jay Kidd, former CTO of NetApp and Brocade Communications, have joined the company’s advisory board that also includes Frank Slootman, CEO of Snowflake and former CEO of ServiceNow and DataDomain.


Evan Powell told us that MayaData: “will be emphasizing that DataCore has a built out 100 per cent channel approach that would have taken us years to build; conversely, we have a self adoption model, where OpenEBS is downloaded by Kubernetes teams and then some of them become customers.  We at MayaData focus on the open source and self-adoption model and DataCore focuses on their reach via the channel.”

Ah, now we get it. MayaData gets DataCore as a reseller through its channel plus a technology contributor. DataCore gets to resell OpenEBS-based container storage alongside its other products, which have CSI plug-ins. And Insight Partners should see these two of its portfolio companies increase in value as the Kubernetes and containerisation waves flood across the enterprise IT development environment.