Cloud-storage provider Zetta has closed a $9 million Series C round from existing investors Foundation Capital and Sigma Partners. The company has now raised $31.5 million overall, an indication of just how much promise there is in the cloud storage space even, even if it’s still just relegated to backup.
Cloud storage is so popular because it’s relatively inexpensive and nearly infinitely scalable. It also provides a level of disaster protection, because unlike just adding more hard disks on-site, the data is actually stored in a different location. To this point, however, most cloud-storage offerings (e.g., Dropbox or Backblaze) target consumers or small businesses that have fewer security, availability and compliance restrictions than do large enterprises.
Other cloud-storage offerings, such as Amazon S3 and Rackspace Cloud Files, are object storage systems ideal for developers writing cloud-based applications. However, while they’re certainly not designed for consumers, neither were they designed with demanding enterprise users in mind.
Zetta is one of a small number of companies targeting enterprise storage in the cloud, with the other big name being Nirvanix. Zetta offers a standard storage service in which its cloud appears just like another drive on a company’s network, as well as a replication-and-protection service called Zetta Data Protect. All of its services tout robust feature sets to ensure that data is always secure, available and recoverable.
Nirvanix, for its part, has raised $45 million. It has taken a somewhat different tactic, doing cloud backup via a REST API a la Amazon S3, but layering on enterprise features. Additionally, Nirvanix also sells hybrid and managed on-premise offerings.
However, while a lot of investment cash is pouring into cloud storage, and there’s a provider for nearly every audience, it’s still all about backup. Storing primary data in the cloud still sends shivers down the spines of risk-averse CIOs, for reasons of security, availability and performance. A few companies, such as Nasuni and StorSimple, tout primary storage in the cloud, but they rely on physical on-premise controllers to handle low-latency data access and certain security capabilities.
Feature image courtesy of Flickr user zzzack.