Copan Cooks Up Disk-to-Disk

It's working on a new disk-to-disk backup technology, but the stealthy startup is keeping mum

September 20, 2003

2 Min Read
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It appears that the list of disk-to-disk backup vendors is about to get a little longer (see our report on Disk Backup 101). Stealthy storage startup Copan Systems Inc. may be keeping its metaphorical lips tightly sealed about what its up to, but Byte and Switch has discovered that the company is working on a new disk-based backup-and-restore technology.

Copan Systems' Website says it is “developing a new class of data storage products.” But Camberley Bates, the company’s VP of marketing and business development, says the startup just isn’t ready to say anything else [ed. note: “I vant to be left alone!”].

After a bit of digging, however, we've managed to come up with a few clues as to what the company is doing.

For starters, rumor has it that the Longmont, Colo., company, which has been around for at least two years, will be coming out of the closet in the fourth quarter this year. At that point, Copan Systems is expected to unveil a new, high-end, disk-to-disk backup-and-restore product.

According to its Website, the company has already received funding from two major venture capital companies: Austin Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners. While no sum is mentioned, other sources indicate Copan Systems received a $12 million Series A round of funding in 2002.“We’re very excited about it,” says Basil Horanjic, a partner at Austin Ventures, adding that his company actually incubated Copan Systems. “It’s one of my most exciting companies.” [Ed. note: Calm down, Basil!]

Taneja Group analyst Arun Taneja says Copan Systems has taken a very interesting technical approach. “They will be participating in the disk-to-disk paradigm,” he says. “It’s the way they’ve done it that’s quite unique... They’re doing something quite different.”

Since he’d spoken with Copan Systems under a nondisclosure agreement, however, Taneja refused to reveal any of the unique details of the startup's backup product.

No matter what this new, unique technology is, it appears to still be fairly early in the development stage. Copan Systems’ Website announces that the startup is looking to fill three engineering positions immediately. The company is looking for a systems test and integration specialist with Linux and ATA experience; a senior software engineer for storage subsystem development, with focus on Kernel and embedded systems; and a software engineer with rules-based engine development experience.

As for management, Byte and Switch has discovered that David Davenport, the former CEO of SANcastle Technologies Inc., sits in the CEO seat, and that Aloke Guha, formerly VP of corporate architecture at Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK), holds the position of CTO.And judging from the photo on Copan Systems' Website, at least five people work there...

Figure 1:

— Eugénie Larson, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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