Portworx upbeat on container storage revenues

Portworx, the California container storage startup, today issued a so-called momentum release, boasting of customer and revenue growth.

As usual with US startups, the company does not mention actual figures but by any reckoning it is a small fish in the data storage world – annual revenues according to this possibly out-of-date estimate are $14m. However, Portworx’s bullishness is an indicator that the container storage market could shaping up into serious money.

Portworx today said it had “more than 145 customers, including 54 Global 2000 or government accounts”. It reports 136 per cent growth in revenue year over year in Q1 2020, and 92 per cent revenue growth from Q4 2019. Thirteen sales were over $100,000, up from five sales over $100,000 in Q1 2019.

A 2019 Portworx survey showed 87 per cent of respondents said that they used container technologies, compared with 80 per cent in 2018 and 55 per cent in 2017.

Almost Ninety per cent of enterprises are already running container technology and more than half the containers they run are stateful, according to the 451 Research survey: Voice of the Enterprise – DevOps, Security, AI/ML, and Cloud Native – 2020. And those customers need storage.

Background

Portworx emerged from stealth in 2015 and has bagged $55.5m funding over three rounds. Its software runs on commodity servers and aggregates their storage into a virtual SAN providing scale-out block storage. It provides storage from this pool for containers, at container granularity, and with a global namespace. File and object storage are on its roadmap.

Portworx’s pitch is that the storage supplied to containers through an orchestration layer like Kubernetes should be containerised itself and also enterprise class, with features like  security, data protection, backup and recovery, disaster recovery, SLA management, and compliance.

It says traditional enterprise storage, with the features, is suited to virtual server environments but not cloud-native ones, even if they Kubernetes CSI plug-ins. Storage provision for containers has to be supplied at the speed and scale of container instantiation, deployment and removal. Portworx claims that only cloud-native storage, its cloud-native storage, can meet this need – not legacy SANs.

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