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Aristos Arrives

With $15.5M in funding, this startup's joined the pack developing network storage processors

Aristos Logic is the latest network storage processor startup to catch the eye of the VCs. It has raised $15.5 million in a Series B round led by J.P. Morgan & Co. and TPG Ventures. Quantum Technology Ventures also joined the round.

Based in Foothill Ranch, Calif., Aristos is building a system-on-chip (SoC) that it says collapses the control and management of storage disk drives, networked storage, RAID controllers, and I/O interface technologies into one ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit).

Dubbed FibreSlice, the chip is meant for use in network storage virtualization applications and will be complementary to products from companies like DataCore Software Corp., company officials said. The "A" List of potential customers includes storage subsystem vendors IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP), Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) – as well as the incumbent and startup switch vendors.

Four out of five on the management team at Aristos hail from hard disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) – Anil Gupta, president & CEO; Vipul Mehta, VP of business development and marketing; William Ambrosius, VP of VLSI platform development; and Sanjay Mathur, VP of engineering.

The pedigree may be a bit mundane, but clearly the VCs are sold on the capabilities of the team. While Western Digital may not be the most exciting company on the planet, it has continued to make a profit this year, while other companies whose products are tied to the PC have almost uniformly reported terrible earnings.

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