Enterprise cloud storage provider Nirvanix has raised $25 million in Series C funding round led by Khosla Ventures with previous investors Valhalla Partners, Intel Capital, Mission Ventures and Windward Ventures participating in the round. The new investment brings Nirvanix’s total capital raised to $70M.
Nirvanix is a fully-managed, enterprise cloud storage service capable of storing, delivering and processing storage requests. It’s an alternative to Amazon Web Services, or Box.net. The company specializes in storing amounts of large unstructured content files, and offers usage-based pricing across public, hybrid and private cloud storage deployments.
Scott Genereux, President and CEO of Nirvanix, tells us that the platform is specifically designed for millions of users, billions of files and exabytes of data, which helps differentiate its offering from other cloud storage providers. “We’ve architected cloud storage specifically for large, unconstructed data files. The size of deals we are going after relates to the infrastructure we have. This is not consumer-grade storage that we are scaling up. This is very high-end,” he explains in an interview. “Box and Amazon are not architected for enterprise large data sets.”
Genereux was formerly SVP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at QLogic and held executive roles at DataDirect Networks (DDN) and Hitachi before that. He took on the CEO role at Nirvanix in 2010.
For example, a movie studio could upload a film to the cloud (terabytes of data), which can then be accessed in another country for translation. Another differentiator, says Genereux, is Nirvanix’s ability to upload data once and have it be available in all data centers across the world. The Nirvanix geo-diverse namespace creates a logical pool across all deployed nodes in a public, hybrid or private cloud implementation. “Everything is interconnected, so there is real data collaboration on large files,” he explains.
Data recovery is another key feature for Nirvanix. If data stored in a primary location is unavailable for any reason, the cloud software autonomously serves up data to customers from a secondary or tertiary location while the software continuously checks the integrity of files and automatically repairs any potentially corrupted files in the background.
Customers include Cerner Corporation, IBM, USC Digital Repository, National Geographic and Relativity Media, VMWare and Cisco. NBCUniversal uses Nirvanix to store 3 Petabytes of data, including videos, photos, and movies. And Nirvanix actually built a replica of its Cloud Storage Network for IBM to sell as its own public cloud, called the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.
Nirvanix is for customers used to buying on-premise hardware from EMC or NetApp and want to shift to cloud, Genereux adds.
“We look to bet on fundamental technology shifts that create big markets, and with Nirvanix we see two of these fundamental shifts occurring together: cloud and data,” said Khosla partner David Weiden. “The advantages of cloud computing are becoming more clear all the time, and it is inevitable that storage will also move to this architecture. Data, particularly unstructured data, is exploding in volume and ways to leverage it.”
Genereux says the company booked more revenue in Q1 of 2012 than nearly all of 2011. And he adds that over the past year Nirvanix has secured more petabytes under management than the prior three years combined; and deployed the largest private clouds in the world.
The company plans to use the funding to expand its engineering staff. The company will be opening a cloud competency center in Colorado, which will work on the next generation of solutions and innovations in the cloud storage space. Nirvanix also plans to increase the number of data centers it operates worldwide; adding 6 additional data centers to its current count of nine. And the infusion will be used towards sales and marketing efforts.