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Incipient Still Incipient

Incipient, a startup that makes software that will help storage vendors compete with EMCs Invista virtualization appliance, picked up $24 million in funding today -- its second significant round in a year. (See Incipient Closes $24M .)

Incipient scooped up $20 million last January and now has $79 million in funding over four rounds, although it doesn’t yet have a shipping version of its Network Storage Platform (NSP).

Like the software EMC developed for Invista, NSP is designed to work with intelligent switches from Brocade, Cisco, McData, and QLogic to handle volume management, non-disruptive data migration, copy services, and automated provisioning. Incipient will have no direct sales, but has been working with EMC rivals to sell its software. (See Incipient Looks to Deal.)

Robert Infantino, Incipient VP of marketing and alliances, says the startup has “multiple” deals in the works but won’t name its partners. It’s no secret that IBM has been working with Incipient and is waiting for its software to be fully baked. IBM, which sells its SAN Volume Controller (SVC) virtualization software on an in-band appliance, hasn’t publicly committed to an intelligent switch product but doesn’t rule it out either. (See IBM's Got Virtual Vision.)

Sources say Heweltt-Packard has a tentative deal with Incipient, but won’t commit until the software is generally available. StorageTek explored an OEM deal with Incipient last year, but there has been no talk of that relationship since Sun acquired StorageTek. (See StorageTek Plans Virtualization Device.)

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