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Today, almost every mid to large-size company is grappling with storing massive amounts of data cheaply.

This has led to a resurgence in interest in the once-stodgy enterprise data storage market. Exablox, a stealthy startup that just raised $22 million in a highly-oversubscribed funding round, is one of the hot startups in this space.

“Nearly every company has a multi-terabyte storage problem,” said Doug Brockett, the company’s CEO in an interview.

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The Mountain View, Calif. based company has been heads down for two years developing its cloud-based solution to securely store unstructured data — texts, emails, documents and so on. The founding team is currently working with a small number of customers and partners to better understand their pain-points. The founders claim the suite of current suite of products are often tricky for IT departments to install and manage, and do not adequately protect sensitive data.

According to the founding team, the emphasis will be on user experience. “Existing storage products require intimate knowledge,” said Tad Hunt, the company’s CTO. “We’ve started from scratch and we’ve written a new school storage stack that will enable customers to manage and protect their information without having a PhD.”

The founders will not reveal further details of the technology until the public launch early next year.

Investors see major opportunities in software defined storage — in a recent interview, Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Bipul Sinha said the space had undergone a “tectonic shift” away the old guard, primarily due to virtualization. “The incumbents [companies like EMC and NetApp] are slow to respond and the startup activity is at an all-time high,” he said. Likewise, Norwest Venture Partners’ Matthew Howard said the firm has evaluated “several opportunities in this sector.” He added, “The NAS [network attached storage] market is expected to grow to more than $12 billion by 2016.”

This funding round was led by Norwest Venture Partners, DCM and US Venture Partners.

Building blocks image // Maxx-Studio, Shutterstock

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