Hitachi Picks Archiving Partner

Archivas grabs OEM deal plus $12M in venture funding for good measure

February 28, 2006

3 Min Read
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Software-based archiving startup Archivas received a double-dose of backing today. Hitachi Data Systems confirmed their OEM deal and the company closed a $12 million funding round. (See Hitachi, Archivas Strike Deal and Archivas Picks Up $12M.)

The Hitachi deal was expected. Sources indicated six weeks ago that Hitachi would partner with Archivas as it enters the fixed content archiving game well behind EMC and others. (See Hitachi Heads for the Archives.) Hitachi did not reveal any archiving product specifics, but will offer Archivas software on its hardware beginning in the second quarter. It will call the archiving application the Hitachi Content Archiver Powered by Archivas.

Hitachi sees Archivas open architecture as the key to taking on EMC’s Centera content-addressable storage (CAS) system. The major knock against Centera is its proprietary nature. EMC requires applications to use an API to read and write to Centera natively. Centera supports other protocols such as NFS, CIFS, and HTTP through a gateway for applications that don’t use its API, but customers lose features when using the gateway.

Archivas’ software supports NFC, CIFS, and HTTP natively, and stores files in standard formats such as XML and HTML.

“This allows Hitachi to play the ‘open card,’” Archivas CEO Gary Voight says of the deal.But the CAS market will be tough for Hitachi to crack. EMC claims more than 2,300 customers and nearly 70 Pbytes of capacity shipped for Centera since it launched in 2002. Archivas has 11 customers since it began selling its software last June.

Analyst Arun Taneja of the Taneja Group says the OEM deal should do a lot more for Archivas than Hitachi.

“This puts Archivas on the map,” Taneja notes. “If they didn’t get an OEM, they would have had a hard time becoming anything other than a niche player.”

As for how much it will help Hitachi, Tanejas says: “Right now Centera has such strong momentum that it would be hard to say that because Hitachi is going to have more XML-based CAS that they’re going to take over the universe.”

Hitachi will have influence over Archivas’ product roadmap, and it will become a big piece of its content archiving platform.Voight expects Hitachi to drive most of his sales over time. “They should be able to ramp up more significantly than I can do with five sales guys,” he reckons.

The Hitachi endorsement and new funding comes at a time when Archivas finds its software-only approach gaining in popularity -- and bringing new competition. (See The Case Against CAS and CAS at a Crossroads.) Canadian-based Bycast has OEM deals with Hewlett-Packard and IBM for its medical CAS. (See IBM, Bycast Offer Grid Medical Archive.) Caringo, whose founder Paul Carpentier developed the technology at FilePool that EMC acquired and used to launch Centerra, is preparing to come out of stealth. (See CAS Conundrum.) Permabit, which went through a failed OEM deal with StorageTek for hits hardware system, is preparing to go software-only. (See Permabit Chews On $12M.)

Archivas also picked up the last major storage vendor to enter the market. HP’s Reference Information Storage System (RISS), IBM’s DR550, and Network Appliance’s NearStore all followed EMC into the space. Sun Microsystem sells the IntelliStore system that StorageTek developed, and is developing its Honeycomb archiving product. (See StorageTek Rolls Its Own CAS.)

Archivas’ funding brings its total to $28 million over three rounds. Previous investors North Bridge Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, and Solstice Capital took part in the round.

According to Voight, the funding will be used to beef up distribution capabilities to support the Hitachi deal. Voight has also hired Roger Cummings as a senior level executive, while marketing VP Asim Zaheer and VP of business development Neil Colstad have left Archivas. Cummings was most recently at SRM startup AppIQ, which HP acquired last year.— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • Archivas Inc.

  • Bycast Inc.

  • Caringo

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Nexsan Technologies Inc.

  • North Bridge Venture Partners

  • Permabit Inc.

  • Polaris Venture Partners

  • Solstice Capital

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)

  • Susquehanna Financial Group

  • Taneja Group

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