Intel Likes Njini

Monday Jul 17th 2006 by Paul Shread
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VCs continue to find much to like in the storage space, with Njini and Gear6 the latest to find favor with investors.

With data growing fast and managing it a challenge, VCs continue to find much to like in the storage space.

Information asset management firm Njini and storage acceleration startup Gear6 are the two most recent recipients of VCs' largesse.

Njini recently closed on a $13 million third round of financing led by Intel Capital, with contributions from existing investors Accel Partners and Add Partners.

The UK-based firm says the information asset management market is expected to grow to $1 billion within the next five years, as companies invest in solutions to help them manage their growing mountains of unstructured data.

Njini CEO David Jones said the company began shipping product in the first quarter. Njini classifies data at its point of creation and then applies policies to make sure the files are stored, secured and managed appropriately.

Njini says its software can help organizations reduce storage costs by 20 to 40 percent by applying policies to prevent unintended file duplication, intelligently moving files to the appropriate tier of storage based on content, and automatically archiving files according to corporate policy.

Jones says Njini stands out from competitors such as Kazeon and Arkivio as the only inline solution. The product delivers "business value," he says. "You can find what you want and do something with it," he says.

"Njini provides an entirely new level of content-driven intelligence to enterprise data management," said Brad O'Neil, senior analyst and consultant at the Taneja Group. "This intelligence then translates into some significant ROI impact. This is important technology."

Ian Cooper, senior investment manager at Intel Capital, said Intel "sees opportunity for Njini as organizations struggle to cope with the rapid growth of unstructured data. Njini has a new approach to solving this problem that delivers tangible and immediate cost savings."

Gear6 Revs Up

Gear6, meanwhile, announced a $10 million round of funding led by InterWest Partners and previous investor U.S. Venture Partners.

The funding will be used to support the market entry of Gear6's solutions, which the startup says are "designed to address the widening gap between increasingly powerful servers and constrained, disk-based storage systems."

Deployed in the data center, Gear6 said its products, slated for release in October, will eliminate bottlenecks and deliver guaranteed performance to existing storage infrastructures. "These real time capabilities speed up applications, provide protection from peak load disruptions and improve quality of service," the company says.

Founded in 2002 as Engineered Intelligence, the company developed high-performance computing solutions using distributed, clustered architectures. Last year, the company invented additional technology that it said delivers scalable and transparent storage acceleration to mainstream enterprises.

"Gear6 has designed a powerful technology base for solutions that remove barriers to speed and performance in the data center," stated Khaled Nasr, partner at InterWest.

"Gear6 has solid technology and leadership and is ready to seize the market opportunity for storage acceleration," said Gear6 president and CEO Tom Shea. "Aimed at the mainstream enterprise, our solutions dramatically reduce the time and complexity of achieving real-time performance for critical business applications. We deliver unmatched capabilities, and do not require any changes to existing infrastructure."

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