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Gridstore adds $12.5M to funding grid

Startup Gridstore today closed a $12.5 funding round to build out its sales channel and accelerate development of its scale-out NAS system.

Gridstore uses virtual controllers that install on client devices and spreads capacity among 1TB or 2 TB nodes. Customers scale by adding virtual controllers and nodes to the grid. Gridstore stripes data across the nodes for fault tolerance, so customers can replace failed nodes by attaching new nodes and the storage pool can survive the loss of multiple nodes.

Gridstore CEO Kelly Murphy said the vendor’s goal is to “turn storage into a simple set of building blocks that you can add on to, and pay as you go.”

Murphy said Gridstore has about 40 customers, about half of those in education and another quarter of them service providers. He said the startup is ready to build out its channel and improve its visibility. Geoff Barrall, who founded high-end NAS vendor BlueArc and consumer/SBM file storage startup Drobo, joined Gridstore as chairman earlier this year.

He said the funding will also be used to drive further product development, with the addition of solid-state drives (SSDs) among its roadmap items. “That will be an excellent fit in time,” he said. “You can look for some things early next year.”

Gridstore originally started in the SMB market, and has also moved up to small enterprises. Its main competitors are lower-end NAS systems from EMC and NetApp, although Murphy said his company rarely competes with EMC’s Isilon enterprise clustered NAS.

GGV Capital led the Series A funding round with Onset Ventures participating.

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