GridApp Grabs $5M

Startup GridApp rakes in $5 million in Series A funding to help spread the word about database grids

July 2, 2005

2 Min Read
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Database management startup GridApp Systems Inc. has raised $5 million in Series A financing to support the rollout of its database virtualization software.

The round was led by Ascend Venture Group and included Advantage Capital Partners. The funds will be used to boost GridApps sales and marketing efforts.

GridApp’s flagship product is Clarity, a software package that uses virtualization to manage database performance. It works with Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) 8, 9i, 10g, and Real Application Clusters (RAC); IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) DB2; and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) SQL Server.

Clarity runs on a central management server and automatically installs an agent on remote database servers, essentially creating a grid for sharing capacity, says Robert Gardos, GridApp’s chief executive officer. Using Clarity, an IT manager can place Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) data onto capacity reserved for a data warehouse, for instance, in order to support fluctuating e-commerce workloads.

Clarity, which was launched earlier this year, was originally sold as part of the startup’s D2500 database appliance, an IBM BladeCenter device pre-packaged with GridApp software.Although GridApp still sells the D25OO, Gardos says that not all users need new hardware to manage their databases, hence the decision to sell Clarity as a standalone product. Customers want to make the most of their existing investments in hardware and operating systems, he adds.

But GridApp is not the only vendor looking to make its name by improving data center performance through the use of virtualization. Opsware Inc. (Nasdaq: OPSW), for example, is already regarded as something of a trailblazer in the space (see Opsware Ups Management Ante and Opsware Intros IT Automation).

However, GridApp execs say that, whereas Opsware is focused on creating a virtual network of data center devices, from servers through to routers and even firewalls, GridApp is tightly focused on just databases. “We’re kind of like the Opsware for the database,” says Bill Gannon, GridApp’s director of sales.

Rather than competing with established vendors, Gardos adds that GridApp is already working with a number of firms in this space. “We’re partnering with a major data center automation player to provide the database automation component of their work at a major bank,” he says. (Names are on the QT, though.)

GridApp claims to have so far amassed 20 customers in areas such as e-commerce, education, healthcare, and finance. “The only vertical that we have yet to tap, and where we are talking to a lot of players, is the pharmaceutical industry,” says Gardos.Gardos is also planning to extend the reach of the Clarity product. “The objective is to support every major relational database platform." Early next year, he adds, the company will also enhance the software’s automation, encryption, and auditing functions.

GridApp was founded back in 2002 by Gardos, the former general manager of domain name registration firm

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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