Article

SAP backs Sistina's clustered file system

Kevin Komiega

Last week, storage software startup Sistina Software Inc. scored a big vote of confidence in the form of a small sum of cash from SAP Ventures, the venture capital arm of business software provider SAP AG.

Sistina secured a $1.5 million investment from SAP Ventures, the Minneapolis-based storage company announced.

Joaquin Ruiz, Sistina's vice president of marketing and product management, said the cash infusion was unexpected.

"We weren't looking to raise any money, but we [are accepting] strategic investments," he said.

Ruiz said the relatively meager sum was basically a vote of confidence for Sistina's technology in the enterprise Linux space. The big win, he said, was that SAP has helped Sistina develop relationships with top Linux vendors SuSE Linux AG and Red Hat Inc.

Ruiz said the funds will be used to develop Sistina's marketing, sales and OEM partnership efforts.

Sistina has raised approximately $22 million to date. The company has already established partnerships with several Linux and storage software vendors, including CommVault Systems Inc., Fujitsu Systems Europe, Hewlett-Packard Co., SuSE and Red Hat.

Sistina's Global File System (GFS) software is a clustered file system available for all versions of Linux. It consolidates existing server and storage resources into a single management domain, linking diverse data storage repositories.

The new version adds capacity-utilization quotas,

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server-specific information within shared directories, direct kernel support for top Linux distributions from Red Hat and SuSE, and application-specific tuning to enhance scalability and performance. The latest version of the software allows multiple servers to simultaneously write data to the same file. Global File System version 5.2 features locking capabilities and a new data journaling feature.

"I think it's a sign when any application vendor turns around and goes all the way down to the file level and makes an investment. You have to take notice," said John Webster, founder and senior analyst for Nashua, N.H.-based Data Mobility Group Inc.

Webster said that getting the nod from SAP is definitely a feather in Sistina's cap, especially if Sistina has aspirations of playing in enterprise data centers. "It's one of the certifications you have to have if you want to play within the SAP space," he said.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Kevin Komiega, News Editor.

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