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On the Record With OnStor's CEO

Life isn't easy for Bob Miller, CEO of clustered NAS supplier ONStor. Less than two months after the company scored $27 million in top-off VC funding, bringing its total to over $100 million, ONStor is under pressure to prove it can bring investors to the goal line of IPO sometime next year.

It will be a challenge. While ONStor boasts a sizeable customer base, competition from BlueArc, EMC, Network Appliance, and others is fierce. Further, it's been less than a year since ONStor entered the NAS fray full force by adding LSI storage to its gateways. And it's only a few weeks since the vendor announced its first sizeable upgrade to those new storage-enabled systems.

At least two analysts see ONStor as something of a puzzle. "I can't figure out why they don't do better," says George Crump of the Storage Switzerland consultancy. "Too many manufacturers have weak NAS solutions." Presumably, that makes room for one that delivers the goods.

The question remains one of demand. "They are a good company with good potential," says analyst Greg Schulz of the StorageIO Group. "[But is] there a viable market for a standalone NAS vendor without major partnerships and a proprietary hardware/software platform?"

Miller thinks there is. In conversations this spring at SNW and last week at Storage Decisions, he laid out his company's status, goals, and strategies for winning its share of the midsized enterprise market. Here are the highlights of our talks with Bob:

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