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Panasas: Lab Rat No More

After more than a year as a lab rat, Panasas Inc.
is campaigning to get its clustered NAS system out into the media and energy markets.

Panasass first product, launched 13 months ago, established it as a niche player, chiefly for laboratories. That segment was attracted to Panasas thanks to the startup's high-clustered Linux NAS architecture, which prompted Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories to sign on as early customers (see Panasas).

Now Panasas wants to branch into the broadcasting, oil and gas exploration, and high-performance computing markets. But to do that, the startup must change the way it sells its products. New would-be customers require specific services and features, all wrapped up in a neat package.

“We sold hardware, blades, the shelf, and software separately,” Panasas CEO Victor Perez says. “That’s good for labs, but not for commercial companies.”

Or, as marketing VP Larry Jones says, “The labs are happy to pull it together with bailing wire and spit.”

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