Verari Bags $13M

Startup gets another $13M to put its own spin on blade servers and clustering

September 16, 2004

2 Min Read
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Blade server startup Verari Systems Inc. completed a Series B funding round worth $13.275 million today, and officials said some of the money could be used to make acquisitions.

Led by Carlyle Venture Partners, the round included previous investors Sierra Ventures, Voyager Capital, and Celerity Partners. Originally known as RackSaver, Verari made its name selling rack servers but switched its focus to blade technology in 2001. In June 2003, the San Diego-based firm bagged $14 million in Series A funding to support its new strategy.

In April this year, the company changed its name to Verari and acquired clustering specialist MPI Software Technology Inc. More recently, Verari signed an OEM deal with Engenio Information Technology Inc. Under the terms of the deal, Verari sells Engenios Fibre Channel and SATA storage subsystems under its brand, with a “Powered by Engenio” tag (see Verari Goes Off the Rack).

Verari CEO David Driggers will not rule out the possibility of new alliances and buyouts following the latest funding. “Whatever we can’t develop in-house will be available through strong partnerships and acquisitions,” he says.

Driggers is staying tight-lipped on whether Verari has any specific acquisition targets in mind, although he did confirm his interest in technologies that manage workstation clusters.Following on from the MPI deal, clustering technology is of particular interest, according to Driggers. Specifically, this uses clusters of workstations as a miniature grid to share compute and storage resources. An emerging trend, this form of clustering lets firms harness the latent processing power of end-users’ workstations (see Daimler Maps Grid Savings).

The exec also promised product enhancements to the company’s blade-server offering in the first quarter of next year. Although unwilling to reveal specific details, he hinted that this will include improved data center management features.

But this is a market where Verari faces some stiff competition from blade leader IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and, to a lesser extent, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ). In an effort to win market share, Verari is now planning to attack specific sectors.

Initially, Verari will target financial services firms, before making a push into “more traditional enterprises” next year. Driggers told NDCF that the company is adding 10 sales staff to its 270-strong roster of employees to support this strategy.

The company has so far amassed more than 4,000 customers since its launch in 1996. These include such big hitters as Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp., Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Shell.— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum

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