ClearSky Data’s Multi-Tiered Storage Idea Wins $27m Funding

Data Storage
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Boston startup’s innovative approach to storage could allow customers to reduce costs whilst upping agility

A US-based storage startup that emerged from a long period of secrecy in August has landed $27 million (£17m) in a Series B funding round thanks to its innovative way of taking on the storage market.

This approach has won the favour of investors, it seems. The Series B was led by Polaris Partners, with investment also coming from Akamai Technologies. The 40-employee company has now raised almost $40 million from two rounds.

Tiered

ClearSky Data, housed in Boston, has a three-prong approach to storing its customers’ data. Appliances are first installed in the customer’s data centre, and this takes hold of the most mission-critical data; the data that is used day-to-day and needs the lowest latency. A second tier exists in a colo centre run by a Digital Realty ‘point of presence’ that keeps data of medium usage up to 120 miles away. Finally, Amazon’s S3 storage is used for data that is not needed that often, housed in ClearSky’s ‘Backing Cloud’.

This hybrid, tiered approach is managed by algorithms that help data flow two ways, fluidly changing the location of data if and when it is needed by looking at usage patterns, keeping costs down, claims ClearSky.

ClearSky claims that this solution is the first of its kind, and managed to combine the performance and availability of local enterprise storage with the scalability and economics of the cloud.

storageAnd whilst the offering is only currently operating in across three points of presence in the US, ClearSky has global ambitions.

Digital Realty provides data centre facilities across the world with coverage in worldwide metro areas, which will allow ClearSky to offer customers low-latency metro connect routes to cloud platforms, including access to Amazon Web Services, SoftLayer and Microsoft Azure.

For CEO Ellen Rubin, ClearSky’s solution is indicative of an enterprise market ready to move away from a slower, more cumbersome storage past.

“Enterprise IT is ready to break free from managing storage infrastructure and embrace new levels of agility,” she said. “Our global storage network will forever change the way IT thinks about storage, so businesses can reduce data centre footprints, save money and access their data on-demand for applications running on-premise and in the cloud.”

Investor Polaris has clearly also seen this shift.

The Boston Herald cited Dave Barret, managing partner of Polaris Partners, as saying: “We’ve entered the next generation of the enterprise and ClearSky has a great opportunity to build the next major infrastructure company.”

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