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Ardence Surfs Streaming Tide

A 25-year-old company that started as a consulting firm has morphed into a storage software company.

Ardence, which has been shipping its server provisioning software for three years and claims profitability, was known as Venturcom until it changed its name in January -- ostensibly to eliminate any association with venture funding or the "com" moniker that haunted many bubble-era businesses. It also changed the name of its product platform from BXP to Ardence.

The old company name served the company well in the old days,” says marketing VP Jeff Hibbard, "but we're not a VC firm and the dotcom boom went bust."

While it has a new name, Ardence appears to have gained ground with its new charter. The 93-person company, based in Waltham, Mass., has more than 200 customers, in part thanks to partners such as Dell, which sells Ardence software as ThinPC.

Ardence is in a good place for opportunity, given the emergence of blade servers and IP SANs. Further, Ardence's software has a couple of interesting features: First, it copies an image of a Windows operating system and sends it simultaneously to multiple servers without hard drives -- a process called streaming. It also allows an iSCSI server to boot from a storage array, instead of requiring it to have an expensive iSCSI HBA. This connects blades to storage "on demand," a feature that's been missing from many IP SANs. (See IP SANs Get the 'Boot'.)

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