Like Our Data, Storage Startups Are Multiplying

Two storage startups have launched in as many days this week, both offering variations on the theme that more data requires more storage, and faster networks (and impatient end users) require faster access to stored data. The trend has been building for years and I’ve covered it before, but between these two startups, the money going to other storage companies this year and the rumors of IBM (s ibm) buying Storwize, storage is quietly adapting to the data tsunami and changes in customer (and end user) demand.

Anobit's solid-state drives

Anobit, a startup backed by Battery Ventures and Pitango Ventures, launched this morning touting its use of MultiLevel Cell (MLC) Flash-based solid-state drives. MLC Flash is cheaper but generally less reliable than the more common Single Level Cell (SLC) Flash drives, so Anobit’s technology — which improves reliability — enable cheaper solid-state storage options for the enterprise, where reliability matters.

Yesterday saw Kaminario, a Sequoia and Pitango Venture Capital-backed startup, emerge from stealth mode offering its K2 appliance. It delivers faster access to more information via a blade-based DRAM array, which has cost advantages over Flash solid-state drives. Startup Violin Memory, maker of Flash and DRAM storage appliances, plans to make a big announcement tomorrow.

Fundamentally the trend in storage is about bringing memory closer to the processor and packing in as much information while optimizing for either cost or speed. Increasing the reliability of faster Flash-based solid-state hard drives and reducing the cost of such drives, as Anobit does, is also occurring. There’s also a fundamental shift in the way some companies think about storage — that is, not requiring that all data be persistent or written to a drive somewhere — that could help some startups out.

So in case you’ve been filtering out all the storage tidbits, it’s worth pointing out that storage is sexy once again. We’ll be discussing storage and other data center hardware trends at our Structure 2010 conference next week in San Francisco.

Related GigaOM Pro Content (sub req’d): Data Domain and the Storage Market