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Onaro Lifts Its Cover

Two years after receiving seed money, Onaro Inc. has emerged from stealth with $7.75 million in funding and a description of its first product.

How did the Boston-based startup manage to stay under wraps for two years after its original discovery? (See Onaro Joins SAN Software Brigade.) One possibility: Its core technology team consists of veterans of Israeli military defense agencies. Laying low is their specialty. CEO Shai Scharf says the startup also was busy doing homework: The team spent a year interviewing storage administrators before writing a line of code. The rest of the time was spent developing and testing software that monitors SANs for change and predicts its impact, he says.

Scharf claims Fortune 500 companies are using Onaros software, but -- in line with his cloak-and-dagger background -- he won’t name them. The product isn’t set for general availability until June.

Here’s what we know: Original investor Cedar Fund and newcomer Newbury Ventures have put up funding for the 18-person company, and Scharf is promising product that will reduce problems that cause SANs to stumble.

One industry insider, who has seen Onaro’s product but asked not to be named, says it automates processes other storage resource management software does manually. These processes include changing SAN policies as well as zone and LUN mapping and other settings that can be a major headache for administrators. In this observer's view, it could take competing wares 18 months to catch up.

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