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Amplidata receives funding, seeks partners

Amplidata, an early object storage vendor, picked up $11 million in funding this week. That’s a small haul compared to recent funding rounds for storage companies, but CEO Mike Wall said it will fuel a two-pronged strategy for Amplidata.

On the technology front, Amplidata is moving towards a software-only model. Today it sells its AmpliStor software with erasure coding packaged on commodity hardware, either its own bundles or through partners.

That brings us to the second part of Amplidata’s strategy – expanding its partnerships. Wall said he is working on more deals such as the OEM relationship it has with Quantum, which uses AmpliStor on its Lattus archiving platform. Quantum was among the investors in AmpliStor’s new funding round.

“I want to be software-only,” Wall said. “Early on we shipped hardware, and we still do. But Intel has put out a reference design for hardware vendors, and we’re in a position where we have a world-class erasure code stack that can run on pick-your-flavor hardware. Our business model will be, you can buy your hardware at the best price with the best performance and best quality you’re comfortable with, and we’ll provide you with the software.”

Wall said Amplidata will maintain its channel but he expects the bulk of its revenue to come through partners. He said he is in various stages of discussions with large potential partners, including a telco/ISP company that is in beta now with a cloud storage offering using AmpliStor.

Regardless of how AmpliStor is sold, Wall said he expects object storage momentum to accelerate over the coming months. “Five years ago, this was a nice-to-have technology but not a must-have,” he said. “Over next 12 to 24 months, it will be a must-have. When you look at the amount of data generated and the size of disk drives and data sets, traditional RAID methods are not sufficient. You need erasure coding. When you do all that in software and on commercial off-the-shelf hardware, it’s too compelling to ignore.”

Intel Capital led Amplidata’s latest round, which brings Amplidata’s total funding to $33 million. Hummingbird Ventures, Endeavor Vision, Swisscom Ventures and Quantum all participated. All were previous investors.

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