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Oracle Acquires Storage Startup GreenBytes

Last week, Oracle quietly announced that it would acquire GreenBytes, a storage startup company that developed technology designed to help optimize the storage and I/O of desktop virtualization environments.  And as usual with the acquisition of a private startup company, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

What we do know is that GreenBytes was founded in 2007 and is based in Providence, Rhode Island.  And the company reportedly raised $42.5 million over the years from lead investors Battery Ventures and Generation Investment Management.  During that time, they've also established a number of key partnership with companies like Cisco, Dell, HP and IBM, and the company's software solutions have also become Citrix Ready and VMware certified.

As part of its desktop virtualization storage solution, GreenBytes sells two products: a physical appliance called IO-Offload Engine (which is currently built on Dell PowerEdge servers after the company decided to drop out of the hardware business last year) and a virtual storage appliance called vIO (pronounced "vee-oh"). 

In a corporate statement issued by Oracle, GreenBytes was described as a provider of ZFS technology, the open source file system developed by Sun Microsystems which was also acquired by Oracle back in 2010.  Oracle also labeled GreenBytes as having domain expertise in the areas of deduplication, replication, and virtualization, areas of expertise that are obviously on Oracle's hit list.  The statement further provided more tell tale signs as to why Oracle is buying GreenBytes, adding, "GreenBytes' technology complements Oracle's storage solutions and is expected to enhance Oracle's ZFS Storage Appliances." 

GreenBytes' VDI software is based on ZFS technology, but the company claims to have modernized the ZFS platform by making significant improvements to it that increase performance and reliability.  GreenBytes runs on flash hardware, but its deduplication engine and replication technology keeps costs down by ensuring data isn't getting backed up multiple times unnecessarily, reducing flash storage requirements.  It also diverts OS and swap disk activity away from primary storage (SAN) to high-speed flash, solving the performance and latency problems and poor user experience that occur during peak usage. 

The company's IO Offload Engine was designed from the ground up as a desktop virtualization appliance, and it integrates at the hypervisor level to manage specific data stores: the golden images (provisioning), replica datastore (boot), and linked clone area (swap).  

With desktop virtualization efforts heating up and going on the rise, GreenBytes has not been alone in trying to solve many of the storage challenges that go hand in hand with VDI initiatives.  Storage costs, performance and IOPS challenges are also being addressed by others in the industry such as Atlantis Computing, Infinio Systems, Nimble Storage, Tegile Systems and Tintri to name but a few.  

Oracle said the acquisition deal is expected to close in the first half of 2014, which is quickly coming to an end.  It will be interesting to watch and see what Oracle actually does with this technology.
Published Monday, May 19, 2014 6:34 AM by David Marshall
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