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Next-Gen Storage Services on the Rise

A fresh crop of storage service providers (SSPs) has emerged to tackle the storage challenges that go with increased data volumes, compliance pressures, and reliance on Web services. But enterprise customers may be slow to get on board.

This week, Nirvanix, a startup founded this year in San Diego, emerged from stealth with a business-to-business Nirvanix Storage Delivery Service. Aimed specifically at integrators, resellers, and consultancies that specialize in delivering Web 2.0 applications to their customers, the service is based on a proprietary clustered file system that offers global namespace, load balancing, and an API for ease of integration.

"We're like Isilon or Panasas without investing in hardware... We are media focused and optimized," says CEO Patrick Harr (ex-McData, Preventsys, and Enterprise Partners Venture Capital). "We see a large shift from transactional data to user-generated content [in Web 2.0 applications]... Companies need persistent and responsive storage tuned for media."

At least one consulting company that offers a backup service based on Nirvanix says the startup competes favorably against Amazon's S3 service on two counts: The support is better, and Nirvanix offers its own file system.

"Each has its pros and cons," said an exec with the consulting company, who requested anonymity. "Nirvanix is more expensive, but S3 requires more work up front." The company in question currently uses both vendors' offerings.

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