StorMagic branches out into digital asset management

StorMagic has bought the assets of SoleraTec, a small California video storage company – its second acquisition in 12 months.

Update: Hans O’Sullivan comments added. April 1, 2021.

The virtual SAN storage startup has rebranded SoleraTec’s digital asset data lifecycle management software as ARQvault. There are two offerings: ARQvault Video Surveillance and ARQvault Digital Evidence Management.

Brian Grainger, StorMagic CRO said in a statement: “The SoleraTec asset purchase marks our second major expansion in just twelve months. Now armed with virtual SAN, encryption key management and video solutions, StorMagic can truly deliver a forever data platform to address the needs of our edge customers.”

ARQvault provides a multi-tier, multi-location object storage facility with searchable contents. The software handles edge-generated data such as video surveillance and police-generated bodycam, car and interview room footage and stores it over the long term. 

ARQvault scales to thousands of sites and integrates with analytics packages. It is half the cost of all-disk storage and all of its data is available and searchable, like disk storage, StorMagic says.

‘Forever’ refers to ARQvault’s policy-driven tiering for its object storage across direct-attached disk, SAN and NAS all-flash, hybrid and disk storage, LTO tape, Sony Optical disk and public cloud object storage. The archived data is distributed and there is no single point of failure.

ARQvault diagram

Video and other asset data is stored in one or more Vaults which can be in different sites. Each Vault site has a server and storage. The servers can be X86 or Arm-based. ARQvault stores metadata, which is used in searches. Vaults respond to search requests in parallel. 

Each server has its own database which correlates to the video it is storing. As a guideline, every 16TB video storage requires 10 GB of disk storage as a minimum for the database. High-res videos have low-res proxies generated to speed search.

Second acquisition

CEO Hans O’Sullivan left StorMagic in March 2020, 14 years after starting the Bristol UK headquarterd business. Shortly after his departure, StorMagic bought KeyNexus, an encryption key management startup. The company still has to announce a replacement for O’Sullivan.

Hans O’Sullivan

A StorMagic spokesperson told us: “Hans O’Sullivan is no longer CEO, and stepped aside last year to let new leadership take over as the company continues to significantly grow through … last year’s acquisition of KeyNexus. I can confirm StorMagic is in the process of onboarding a new CEO and will be able to announce the appointment soon.”

O’Sullivan told B&F that his resignation was quite ordinary: “There was nothing sinister or unusual about my leaving StorMagic, it was in full agreement with the Board and myself.”

He said: “The acquisition of KeyNexus and its strong team was actually instigated and completed by me, the closure of which was one of my last actions, I felt it would add significant product and technology that fitted with the StorMagic ethos of software defined, automated and targeting the edge. It also helped round out the management team by adding a new CTO and engineering management.”

And: “I know StorMagic will continue to grow and do well and have full confidence in the Board and management team and in full agreement with their strategic direction.”

We understand that the search for a new CEO was not helped by the pandemic.

Asked who made the SoleraTec acquisition decision, Grainger told us: “We have a board of directors and an executive leadership team of which I’m part of both. Of course with these types of larger decisions it’s the board, the ELT as well as our shareholders that approve these types of decisions. … I was the lead of the asset purchase … but of course with the support of the board and shareholders.”