A startup called Parascale is preparing to launch software that chief executive Sajai Krishanan says will help media companies deal with ever-increasing storage needs. The company has just raised $11.37 in its first round of venture backing.
Computing and storage in the Internet “cloud” are hot right now, with big players like Amazon and Google offering their own cloud services. There are even startups like RightScale (which raised $4.5 million from Benchmark Capital in April) providing software to make managing your Amazon servers easier.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Parascale offers storage management software as well, but it rather than sitting on top of Amazon or another sevice in the cloud, Parascale connects a network of Linux servers that its customers own. As a company grows, and its bandwidth needs increase, owning servers rather than buying space from Amazon or Google allows a company to “control its destiny,” Krishnan says. That’s particularly relevant in light of Amazon’s occasional outages.
Companies like PolyServe (now owned by Hewlett Packard) and Ibrix provide similar services, but Krishnan says those are older companies designed for an earlier wave of computing needs, rather than the intense data demands of online media. For example, he says most competing software is designed to connect a server network with dozens of nodes, while Parascale is designed to connect a network with hundreds of nodes.
The startup is still in testing mode, and according to Krishnan, Parascale’s already-announced customer Blue Coat Systems doesn’t require the massive storage that the company says it will offer. So it’s not certain whether Parascale will really be able to easily manage the hundreds of nodes that Krishnan claims. Still, lead investors Charles River Ventures and Menlo Ventures have found success in the storage market before — with the sales of EqualLogic for $1.4 billion and Spinnaker Networks for $300 million, respectively.
Parascale was seed funded by Amidzad Partners, also an investor in VentureBeat.
The new funding will be spent on the final stages of Parascale’s development, and on marketing once the product has launched, Krishnan says. He predicts that there will be particular demand for the company’s service in four markets that need to store and easily access vast quantities of data — streaming video and audio, movie archiving, oil and gas research and genetic research.