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Primary Data DataSphere upgrade follows funding grab

Primary Data has beefed up storage analytics and cloud migration in its DataSphere virtualization platform. Now the startup is ready to dip into a fresh stash of cash totaling $40 million to heighten its profile in enterprise data storage.

PrimaryData DataSphere 2.0, released this week in early access, builds on previous editions oriented mostly for application development. The latest version embeds an artificial intelligence-based storage analytics engine that automatically moves inactive data to Amazon S3-compatible cloud object stores.

If the data once again becomes active, DataSphere transparently retrieves it from the cloud for access on local storage.

“We are able to give storage awareness to an application. Normally, you would have to write (code) for that,” Primary Data CEO Lance Smith said.

A policy catalog in 2.0, known as Objective Expressions, allows customers to prescribe the characteristics that can be applied to all data or to an individual file. To move data between cloud platforms, users need to change only the objectives for the data. Primary Data DataSphere then moves the data to the appropriate storage target.

“We traditionally have gone after the development and testing space, which are usually small deployments. But people are finding that our technology is so powerful that many of them are putting it in production (as a way) to save lots of money” on storage, Smith said.

Data protection and cloud mobility highlight 2.0 release

Primary Data claims DataSphere can manage and move billions of files and objects. The software will consume a customer’s block storage and converts it to the file namespace.

The enhanced storage analytics examine historical usage patterns to determine which tier of storage best meets an application’s requirements. DataSphere determines the optimal data placement based on customer-defined attributes relating to cost, data primacy or performance.

Primary Data DataSphere 2.0 include assimilation of array-based snapshots, allowing customers to use the snapshots to both preserve changes in real time and to serve as a disaster recovery tool. DataSphere accesses snapshot APIs of underlying storage arrays to clone space-efficient copies on a WAN or public cloud. The vendor claims this feature allows it to mix and match different vendors’ storage in the same share. Additional data protection in 2.0 includes metadata backup and restore and portal protection.

Primary Data DataSphere 2.0 supports cross-domain mapping and fully integrates with Windows Active Directory and Windows Access Control Lists, allowing mixed shares between Linux and Windows.

New investment earmarked for expansion of sales teams in U.S.

Along with DataSphere’s revamped storage analytics, the data management specialist announced up to $40 million obtained in separate funding transactions. The proceeds boost the startup’s total investment haul to nearly $100 million since its 2016 launch.

Primary Data received $20 million in venture funding in a Series B round led by Pelion Venture Partners, with participation from existing vendors Accel Partners and Battery Ventures. Up to $20 million in additional funding is available through a line of credit.

Smith said Primary Data will expand sales teams in growing markets, particularly Europe and North America.

“We have been hiring in North America and Europe since the start of this year to vastly grow our presence in vertical markets. We had been investing heavily in engineering up to now,” Smith said.

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