Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Avere CEO wants to cache in on cloud storage latency

The rise and rise of cloud computing has been one of the leitmotifs of modern IT but optimising for new ways of working remains a work in progress.

Avere Systems is solving the same sort of problem in enterprise as Akamai did for the web, caching data to improve storage performance for companies using private cloud of public cloud services and applications. But whereas Akamai was known for its read caching, Avere is bidirectional, accelerating both read and write cache routines.

Based in Pittsburgh, Avere’s NAS filer technology reduces latency for faster overall performance wherever storage systems lie. As more firms use cloud in more sophisticated and efficient ways, you can imagine more widespread need for such technology, for example when organisations want to use cloud platforms for burst-mode activities.

Avere’s CEO Ron Bianchini is a veteran academic and entrepreneur in the networked storage sector, having worked at NetApp, Spinnaker Networks and Fore Systems. He has helped raise $72m for the seven-year-old startup which featured in this IDG Connect special report on datacentre disruptors.

Bianchini says Avere is a remedy for storage “inertia” where companies use data storage in the cloud or on premises as a dumping ground rather than seeking greater efficiency by sending files where they rightly belong. His goal is to make the difference between storing data in the cloud and storing locally invisible. En route, that will mean more efficient datacentres and fewer wasted resources.

“Before, latency between cloud and on-premise was incredibly high so you had to copy your data onto the cloud but cloud users and on-premise couldn’t use the same data,” he says.

Avere takes advantage of the speed of Flash memory but Bianchini is agnostic on storage media, preferring to recommend a ‘horses for courses’ approach.

“There were a whole bunch of people who said ‘Flash always wins’ and would argue its getting cheaper every year. The thing that was missing in their arguments was that the price of disk was falling at the same rate or even more. You need to leverage [the storage technology] where it does best on the performance side, for example using disk for a bulk repository.”

Bianchini veers away from making big financial forecasts but is bullish on outlook.

“All our engineers have file systems and data storage running through our veins … We can take this to IPO.”


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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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