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ExaGrid Exacts $13.5M

Investors have stumped up $13.5 million in Series B funding for NAS startup ExaGrid Systems Inc. The Westborough, Mass.-based company now has $22 million and plans to use the funds to expand its reseller channel.

Can the young disk-system vendor differentiate itself in a tightfisted market against fierce competition? The question is open. But ExaGrid claims an unspecified number of customers who have beta-tested its Advanstor backup appliance have agreed to buy it, including W. A. Wilde, a direct marketing services firm, and ColoSpace, which offers disaster recovery and colocation services in New England.

ExaGrid was founded in 2002 and made its first announcement in November 2003, saying its product was based on elements of grid computing (see ExaGrid Picks Its Nodes). Despite claims to be in beta test with at least three companies, including Massachusetts General Hospital, the biotech firm Curgen, and The First Years Website, little materialized from the rollout.

"Although they
liked the concept, their need for a solution did not match the ExaGrid timeframes for release of a commercial product," writes an ExaGrid spokesman of the early betas, in an email today.

A year after its initial announcement, ExaGrid unveiled Advanstor (see ExaGrid Launches NAS DPS). The startup's pitch is still backup and disaster recovery for unstructured data, but the specifics are clearer. Advanstor combines a file-oriented NAS (based on a Dell server equipped with Windows Storage Server 2003 and proprietary software) with remote servers equipped with SATA disk storage. The vendor's software features an interface for setting data protection parameters, along with automated space allocation and data migration. The aim of the product is to be a single-console, "two-tier," backup, archiving, and recovery system that works across multiple IP-linked sites.

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