Ocarina Steps Out, Sort Of

It's all in the algorithm, apparently

April 4, 2008

1 Min Read
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Secretive startup Ocarina will finally emerge from stealth at SNW next week, with the launch of its optimizer appliance, which it is touting as an alternative to traditional de-dupe and compression offerings from the likes of Data Domain and Storwize.

"Were going to sell the appliance to shrink your storage," says Carter George, Ocarina’s vice president of products, claiming a 10:1 data reduction ratio for the likes of PowerPoint and PDF files.

Ocarina is one of the more secretive firms that has made it onto our Top 10 startup list, and the company is still playing its cards close to its chest.

"It’s not de-dupe, and it’s not compression, it’s a set of algorithms that we wrote ourselves," says George, somewhat guardedly. "There’s a lot of new math in there, things that people haven’t done before."

The exec told Byte and Switch that Ocarina has some 112 patents out for the algorithm, which it calls Extract, Correlate, and Optimize (ECO), and he confirmed that this uses elements of both compression and de-duplication.Despite all this secrecy, Ocarina nonetheless appears to be gaining some traction, at least according to George. The startup's early adopters include seven of the top 10 online photo sites and three of the top five social networking sites, he says.

Only one of these customers, U.K. photo sharing site Photobox has been made public, so there must be at least someone out there who knows exactly what Ocarina is doing.

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