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Terrascale Plans I/O Onslaught

Terrascale Technologies hopes its first round of funding, announced this week, will also be its last (see Terrascale Takes $2.75M to the Bank).

The Montreal-based startup, which also has a remote office in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just raised an "oversubscribed" first round of $2.75 million in financing from New York's Entrepia Ventures, Quebec's Innovatech Montreal, and some private investors. Its seed money, about CN$250,000, came from Innovatech and the founders themselves in May 2003, according to CEO Gautham Sastri.

Sastri says he's not interested in raising more money. Instead, Terrascale plans to grow sufficiently to reach profitability by the end of 2004 without selling its soul to its backers.

Is this genius, or madness? Sastri – who, like a couple of other key employees, including VP of engineering Iain B. Findleton, hails from Maximum Throughput Inc. (Max-T) – seems confident it's the former. "We allow partners to build something resembling a... cluster NAS box," he maintains.

Terrascale is offering software that enables companies to create a pool of stored applications on multiple servers without adding a separate distributed file system, such as those offered by IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), PolyServe Inc., Sistina Software Inc., and others, including "Luster" solutions adopted by government installations. The company claims to have put "intelligence in an iSCSI device driver" in order to make multiple servers act as a coherent unit.

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