RainStor, a firm I discussed as Clearpace in a June 2009 post, had some very good news this week. $7.5 million in Series B funding came in from Informatica, Storm Ventures and its previous investors Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures and The Dow Chemical Company. RainStor plans to “use the funding to expand into new markets, grow its partner base, and invest in product development and R&D” says the press release.
With its steady growth (RainStor now has now more than 50 customers) the firm is poised to raise the profile of the usable archive issue and it couldn’t come at a better time. CEO John Bantleman relocated to the US from Europe at the end of 2009 and clearly has aggressive ambitions. Think of this as the “other side of the Big Data” problem – it’s about the TCO of owning information. Historically the big DBMS don’t have built-in retention rules; RainStor has built those rules in so the rules don’t need to be done at the applications level. The firm’s messaging revolves around “information preservation”; I prefer “usable archiving” because the data may be used actively, and this is one of the most powerful value propositions.
From my perspective, usable archives are as much an example of fit-to-purpose data engines as are columnar data stores, data warehouse appliances, and streaming engines. De-duping values is being tackled by many vendors at many levels of the information supply chain, but many of those solutions are mechanical and hard to use in a policy-aware fashion. RainStor’s patent is for using a pattern-based, deduplicated structure that doesn’t have to re-inflate to be ussed. There are an additional 5 or 6 patents that surround schema management – because the patent is schema-agnostic, Rainstor had to come up with ways to solve some of the problems changes cause.
I’m keeping this brief, because my message is simple. If you have not considered usable archives, and you have to budget your spending on storage, have concerns about performance of databases and apps clogged with older, unused data, are thinking about retiring applications…well, if you’re not interested yet, you won’t be. Check Rainstor out. The immediate economic impact here is very compelling. Ramon Chen, in his excited blog post, offers an excellent value proposition story. No need for me to reproduce his work here. Thank me later, and tell me about your experiences.
Disclosures: RainStor is not a client of IT Market Strategy