Start-up founded by HP vets targets cloud computing deployments

Twinstrata foyunded by HP storage and Incipient vendors

A new cloud storage company is launching with software designed to ease deployments with platforms such as Amazon's Simple Storage Service and EMC's Atmos Online.

TwinStrata, founded in 2007 by veterans of HP's storage team and the IT vendor Incipient, isn't revealing all the details of its technology yet but is promising a more secure way of accessing cloud storage platforms. The company already has partnerships with EMC, Amazon, AT&T, VMware and Citrix.

"The genesis of this company was to take cloud storage and deliver it on-premise as an enterprise-level solution," taking into account the various security and data mobility needs of customers, says Nicos Vekiarides, CEO and co-founder.

Vekiarides was previously general manager of HP's storage virtualization business, and most recently vice president of product strategy and technology at Incipient, where he worked on a storage virtualization technology embedded in the Cisco switch fabric. Vekiarides founded TwinStrata with CTO John Bates, who was previously a distinguished technologist with HP's storage division and an executive at Incipient.

TwinStrata's "CloudArray" software uses hypervisors from VMware, Citrix and Microsoft on the back end, and supports multiple cloud providers while allowing data mobility across those services by supporting industry-standard interfaces, the company says. The software will be sold both directly to cloud customers and to service and application providers that leverage cloud services.

Initially, supported cloud services include Amazon, EMC Atmos, and AT&T's Synaptic. Goals include making storage clouds look and perform like local storage arrays, but the company's claims are hard to verify. Although TwinStrata is exiting stealth mode this week and provides some details of its technology, company officials say they are not ready to make an extensive product announcement.

The idea of building software and services around existing cloud platforms is not unique. For example, the vendor RightScale  orchestrates cloud deployments for both storage and virtual server capacity, with software-as-a-service that builds and clones virtual servers, performs load balancing and automates storage backups.

However, the cloud providers themselves are increasingly offering tools of their own to improve the management and security of hosted storage and server platforms. For example, Amazon has a "Virtual Private Cloud" service designed to create a secure bridge between a customer's IT infrastructure and the Amazon cloud. Services like these could lessen the importance of third-party vendors such as TwinStrata.

TwinStrata has financial backing from Avalon Ventures and private investors.

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