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Primary Data gets fresh funding. Reg storage man expects a wave of acquisitions

Data management. It's so hot right now. Data management

+Comment Primary Data has rolled up $40mn in new funding as the data management space becomes white hot.

The company has picked up $20m in a C-round of venture capital funding and $20m in a line of credit arrangement. It was founded in 2013 when it received $50m of VC funding, picking up another $13m in 2014, with nothing since then until today's news.

The $20 mill in VC funding comes from Pelion Venture Partners, Accel, Battery Ventures, and strategic investors from the previous rounds. The cash will support sales acceleration, with expansion of its sales teams forming part of the business build out.

CEO Lance Smith's canned quote declared: "The days of manual data management are coming to an end, and this investment round indicates the growth our investors also see on the horizon. ... As data volumes scale out and up into the cloud, enterprises are looking for a way to intelligently manage and automate how data is managed across different storage systems."

The company has also announced DataSphere v2.0 which we previewed here.

Before we venture into offering our own comment on the wider implications of this funding, let's look at a canned quote from Blake Modersitzki, MD at Pelion Venture Partners to set the scene.

“Automating data management through an intelligent data fabric that spans different types of storage is critical to enabling enterprises to fully leverage their data while finally solving storage complexity. With DataSphere, Primary Data is leading the industry in bringing intelligence to data management across the enterprise and into the cloud."

Well, of course, he would be enthusiastic about his own investment target but, setting that aside, what he says has, we'd suggest, wider applicability. Especially this part: "the industry [is] bringing intelligence to data management across the enterprise and into the cloud."


Many storage industry software suppliers are collectively making a massive bet that customers will see a need for a new data managing layer of software that provides easier and necessary management of multiple silos of data both on-premises and in the public cloud. This software layer will provide a single and global namespace and absorb data protection but be far more than backup and archive.

Representative new suppliers are Actifio, Avere, Catalogic, Cohesity, Delphix, Druva, Komprise, Primary Data, Reduxio, Rubrik, Scality and Strongbox; this is not an exhaustive list. NetApp amongst the trad incumbents seems to be the one nearest to this stage with its data fabric ideas.

The existing data protection suppliers are facing a collision with these data managers who offer data protection as part of of an overarching data management scheme with data indexing, search, analytics, copy data management, governance and security all playing their part and offering enterprises a better way of managing complex and escalating data storage silo estates covering their on-premises and public cloud data spheres, to use a Primary Data expression.

If they can unify data protection across multiple silos and then use the protection data for analytics, test and dev, etc then that will become increasingly attractive.

Data protection vendors like Commvault, Dell EMC, Veeam, Veritas, Acronis, Arcserve and the many, many others will have to decide whether to expand upwards into this new data management space that’s getting established in front of their eyes, or stick to their knitting, with the risk that, down the road, customers want more than they can offer.

The Reg storage desk predicts that there will be a wave of acquisitions in the next five years as the trad players buy their way in, with acquisitive eyes cast over the new suppliers listed above. We expect Arcserve and Veritas to be two of the acquirers, as well as Dell, HDS, HPE and NetApp.

Actifio, Cohesity, Delphix, Komprise, Primary Data and Rubrik will be identified as potential, if costly, acquirees, with Druva and Reduxio on the list as well.

Data Management is turning into a hot, hot area. To re-quote Smith: "The days of manual data management are coming to an end, and this investment round indicates the growth our investors also see on the horizon." Expect much disruption. ®

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