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Tintri’s funding reaches $260m, but is it ready to take on EMC?

The market is big enough for both of them – for now

Tintri, the hybrid array start-up, has been give a whopping $125m funding boost to carry on growing the company and (hopefully) take even bigger bites out of EMC, IBM and NetApp customer bases.

Its funding progress has been like standing under a waterfall of cash: $17m in 2010; $18m in 2011; $25m in 2012; $75m in 2014; and now $125m in 2015. Total funding is now $260m.

The lead investor in the latest round was Silver Lake Kraftwerk, and existing investors – Insight Venture Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, Menlo Ventures and NEA – also joined in.

"This funding fuels our mission — we’ll be growing our global footprint and raising visibility of the business benefits of storage built specifically for virtualised enterprises," said Tintri chairman and CEO Ken Klein.

Tintri's original focus was on VMware VM-level and style management of storage resources. It's developed that and added Hyper-V support.

The company's growth prospects must be strong enough to convince the VCs to put in triple digit million funding, even though fellow start-up Tegile and post-IPO Nimble Storage are chasing the same re-invented dual controller array market. All three have hybrid and all-flash configurations plus software that's claimed to be more efficient than that from incumbents like EMC, IBM and NetApp.

The three are growing very fast while traditional array sales at EMC and NetApp are gently declining. But are three newbies a threat.

The traditional array market is so vast that three comparative minnows can take vast (by their standards) gulps out if it without the big suppliers noticing, apparently. They are also growing while the hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) startups like Nutanix and Simplivity are also rampaging through mainstream storage array vendors' customer bases.

It's like seeing a giant whale attacked by sharks on both sides, swimming serenely on without noticing the blood streaming from its flanks.

While this carries on, the HCIA and hybrid newbies can each grow individually without affecting the others. Their VCS are getting more and more excited about the prospects of great golden exits funded by product sales revenue stolen from deaf, dumb and blind stricken storage beasts like EMC, IBM and NetApp.

They seemingly don't realise what's happening to them. Carry on feasting, guys. The food's not going to run out any time soon. ®

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