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NAS vendor RackTop Systems gets first funding haul

RackTop Systems has racked up its first round of outside capital, six years after launching its “cyber-converged” BrickStor NAS appliances. The Fulton, Md.-based vendor received $15 million in a Series A round to fund a storage product that focuses on security for large capacities of data.

“We started shipping product in 2012 and have grown our customer base organically. This is our first institutional round, but we’re on the third generation of our product. We look at this as more of a growth round” for product enhancements, Bednash said.

Bednash said the vendor plans to use the funding to address enterprise multi-cloud environments, particularly in response to increasingly virulent viruses and ransomware.

BrickStor is unified hybrid storage that stratifies data on DRAM, disk and flash. The DRAM layer services most I/O requests.  Data can be moved transparently to S3-compatible clouds using the RackTop MyRack Manager operating software. Built-in security features include behavioral audits, multiple encryption keys and “always on” alerts for exfiltration and ransomware.

Although it lacks the exposure and marketing muscle of larger NAS players, RackTop Systems claims BrickStor has experienced some success as a drop-in replacement for older NetApp and EMC Isilon NAS arrays.

The new funding will help expand engineering and sales teams, Bednash said. He said storage hardware will remain the flagship, but RackTop Systems plans to add software, including a virtual NAS  for cloud-only customers and hyper-converged environments needing scalable file storage. Those software-based options are in development and not expected to be available for at least two years, he said.

Razor’s Edge Ventures and Grotech Ventures led the funding round, with participation from Blu Venture Investors, Gula Tech Adventures and Maryland Venture Fund.

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