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Nexenta raises $20 million, shoots for cloud

Bolstered by lead investor SoftBank Corp., Nexenta secured $20 million in financing this week to fund its new cloud portfolio.

The Santa Clara, California-based storage software vendor next month plans to unveil its NexentaCloud for Amazon Web Services (AWS), according to CEO Tarkan Maner. NexentaStor CloudNAS and NexentaFusion CloudManagement will be the first two Nexenta options available through the AWS Marketplace.

Customers using NexentaStor on premises would have the option to back up data to a NexentaStor instance running on Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), with connections to Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3), Maner said. They would be able to use NexentaFusion for management and analytics across both environments, he noted.

“This is more like a DR and backup service for Nexenta customers to move their backups to a cloud environment for certain data types,” Maner said. “This is not necessarily a full-blown cloud product running by itself on the cloud. It’s a hybrid cloud technology.”

The company also plans a NexentaCloud option through AWS Marketplace that will not require an on-premise Nexenta deployment.

Nexenta, SoftBank reach strategic agreement

Maner said SoftBank Cloud is due to roll out NexentaCloud for Japanese customers in 2018, and support for additional clouds will follow.

Tokyo-based SoftBank also struck a strategic distribution and go-to-market agreement with Nexenta. SoftBank plans to distribute Nexenta software in Japan, and its affiliated companies gain preferential purchasing rights to Nexenta software running on hardware from Dell, Lenovo, Supermicro and other vendors. SoftBank Cloud also plans to use Nexenta software in partnership with new OEMs such as Huawei and Foxconn, according to Nexenta.

“That’s a big story for us because Japan is the second-largest storage market,” Maner said. “SoftBank has a very big customer base as a telco and mobile service provider, and they have 1,300 affiliated companies from Sprint to Yahoo Japan to Arm Holdings.”

“That’s a big story for us because Japan is the second-largest storage market,” Maner said of the . “SoftBank has a very big customer base as a telco and mobile service provider, and they have 1,300 affiliated companies from Sprint to Yahoo Japan to Arm Holdings.”

SoftBank will have access to Nexenta’s full product portfolio, which includes NexentaStor scale-up block and file storage, NexentaEdge scale-out object storage, and NexentaFusion reporting, monitoring, storage analytics and orchestration through a single pane of glass.

Nexenta has raised about $100 million since 2005. Other investors in the new round included Javelin Venture Partners, SV Booth Investments, SAB Capital, Lake Trail Capital, TRB Equity, and Nexenta CEO Maner.

Maner said he expects Nexenta to reach profitability next year. He said 2017 was a good year for the company, with 80% year-over-year growth in revenue. He said the revenue is split roughly 50-50 between new customers and renewals from older customers.

Nexenta has about 3,000 customers with a collective storage capacity of about two exabytes in production, and this year went over $100 million in cumulative bookings since its 2005 founding, Maner said.

“We believe hardware-centric storage companies are going to struggle because everything’s going server-based and software-only,” he said. “We see a huge opportunity in that space, and this investment round obviously will help us achieve that goal.”

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