Tegile Systems, a Silicon Valley company that makes hybrid storage for virtualized server and desktop environments, said it has raised $35 million in a third round of funding.
Tegile’s web site has a picture of toasted waffles, and a message poking fun at what it calls legacy storage technology. It’s a veiled jab at NetApp, its principle competitor. NetApp’s file system is called WAFL, for “Write Anywhere File Layer.”
Tegile’s storage arrays know how to handle data that companies need served real-time (“high-performance, low latency” is the industry jargon) as well as data that is not accessed frequently (“cold data”), Tegile Vice President Rob Commins told me an interview. He said it’s beating out other appliance makers, including mainly NetApp, that aren’t built for such dexterity. Tegile is also taking on EMC and HP.
Large companies are implementing both public and cloud infrastructures, in addition to retaining their existing on-premise infrastructures. Tegile can serve all of these environments, Commins said, because most include using virtualization technology, which means running between five and 20 applications on the same Windows server. Traditional storage appliances, including those NetApp sells, aren’t accustomed to handling such virtualization, Commins said. Tegile has been winning customers, typically in the “mid-market,” which Commins said includes companies with between 300 and 2,000 employees.
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The series C funding was led by Meritech Capital Partners, and included existing investors August Capital, Western Digital, and SanDisk.
Tegile boasts that unlike other startup companies in the solid-stage drive/hybrid product area, it is generating more revenue than it is taking in outside financing. Tegile said its sales are “doubling every quarter” now, up “from doubling every two quarters.”
And it said it has more than 300 production customers of its Zebi hybrid storage arrays, which leverage SSD and low-cost high-capacity disk drives.
Typically, Tegile’s storage arrays will hook up with Cisco networking equipment to Dell or HP servers that are running VMware or Citrix virtualization.
Tegile uses caching, so that frequently accessed data, or data that is needed quickly, is kept in the fastest portion of its array. VP Commins uses the example of a bank customer: The bank keeps today’s transactions stored in cache at the front end of the system, whereas it keeps the image of your mortgage check from last year sitting elsewhere, because it is unlikely to be needed very often. “That part is our technology secret sauce,” he said.
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