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本文摘要:Thirty years ago, before software began “eating the world,” much of the information in industry was stored on spinning disks—those relatively slow but inexpensive devices reminiscent of record players. A handful of manufacturers competed i


Thirty years ago, before software began “eating the world,” much of the information in industry was stored on spinning disks—those relatively slow but inexpensive devices reminiscent of record players. A handful of manufacturers competed in that business. The business of relational databases—the software typically used to structure the data as they were stored—was largely dominated by Oracle.30年前,也就是软件还没“蚕食这个世界”的时候,大量的行业信息都被储存在所谓的“旋转式磁盘”之中。这种存储速度比较较快,但较为低廉的存储设备,很更容易让人回忆起唱片机。

在这个领域里竞争的制造商也为数不多。关系数据库(也就是用来建构存储数据的软件)产业,当时基本上是甲骨文公司的天下。Industry hummed along that way for many years. Then it all changed, quickly.整个行业沿着这个方向发展了很多年,但迅速一切都逆了。

First, Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs refused to continue using spinning drives in the company’s iPod portable music player, choosing instead lighter, more energy-efficient solid-state drives. Given the tremendous volumes of the iPod that were sold at the time, the decision helped drive a movement toward flash memory in consumer devices, says John Vrionis, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. Prices for flash began to fall dramatically. Large businesses and their data centers soon followed.首先是苹果胞弟CEO史蒂夫o乔布斯不愿之后在iPod便携式音乐播放器中用于旋转式磁盘,转而用于质量更加重,也更加节约能源的固态硬盘。光速创投合伙人约翰o弗里奥尼斯认为,由于当时iPod的销量很大,这项要求推展了存储器在消费电子设备中的用于。

存储器的价格也开始明显上升。各大企业和他们的数据中心也迅速跟上了这一潮流。“Flash performs like memory, which is 100 times faster than spinning disks, but it’s almost as cheap as disk,” Vrionis says. “You get all the performance benefits of memory, but it costs almost the same as disk.”弗里奥尼斯回应:“存储器的性能与内存相近,但它比旋转式磁盘慢100倍,而价格却像硬盘一样低廉。你可以既享用到内存的性能优势,同时享用到完全像硬盘一样便宜的价格。

”Another contributing factor was a gigantic leap in the amount of data that average users were accessing on a given day, supported by the rapid rise of the Internet-connected mobile device. On a consumer level, anyone with a smartphone can relate to the trend; for businesses, the volumes began to get so big as to fall into the territory now known as “big data.”另外一个推展因素,则是普通用户平均值每天读取的数据量经常出现了极大进步,而这主要得益于联网移动设备的较慢蓬勃发展。在消费者层面上,任何人只要有一部智能手机,都与这种趋势涉及。在企业界,数据量开始很快减小,由此促成了一个现在被称作“大数据”的新兴领域。A final factor was the storage industry’s move to software-defined storage, a kind of storage technique that uses cheap, distributed hardware (rather than massive, centralized boxes) to scale with demand easily and inexpensively. “Just as you want to buy whatever PC you want and then choose the operating system separately, people want to buy hardware and then get the storage software separately,” Vrionis says.最后一个因素是存储行业开始改向软件定义存储,这种存储技术用于了廉价、集中的硬件(而不是集中于的大型箱式机)构建了规模效益,可以只能地并且低成本地符合市场需求。

弗里奥尼斯回应:“就像你可以卖任何一台你讨厌的电脑,然后再行分开自由选择操作系统一样,人们也想要先买硬件,然后再行分开卖存储软件。”Put it all together, and what do you get? A storage market ripe for change and a boatload of startups vying to make it happen. “Huge tailwinds are giving all these startups a chance,” Vrionis says. “They’re unstoppable now.”将所有这些趋势挤满在一起,你能获得什么结论?那就是存储市场早已发展到变革的边缘,很多创业公司争相使之再次发生。

弗里奥尼斯指出:“一股极大的推动力正在给与所有这些创业公司一个机会,他们现在完全是不能挡住的。”$1 billion per year每年10亿美元Vrionis’s firm is just one of many that have been betting heavily on enterprise storage startups—including contenders such as DataStax and PernixData, which recently drew fresh funding of $106 million and $35 million, respectively. (Vrionis himself serves on DataStax’s board of directors.)在企业存储领域下了重注的风投还有很多,弗里奥尼斯的公司只是其中之一。在这个领域中竞争的创业公司有DataStax和PernixData等,这两家公司最近刚分别冲到了1.06亿美金和3500万美元的投资。

(弗里奥尼斯自己就是DataStax公司的董事会成员。)A few other examples that have drawn investment attention in the past few months: Primary Data, which took in $10 million in Series B funding in February; Tintri, which garnered $75 million in Series E funding that same month; Pure Storage, which closed a $225 million Series F round in April; Nutanix, with a $140 million Series E in August; Amplidata, with a $10 million Series E round in September; Formation Data Systems, with a $24.2 million Series A that month; SolidFire, which closed an $82 million Series D round in October; SwiftStack, whose $16 million Series B round also took place that month; IzumoBase, which raised $1.4 million in November; Kaminario, whose $53 million Series E took place earlier this month; and DataGravity, which this month closed a $50 million Series C round.除此之外,还有几家公司在过去几个月也更有了大量投资。比如Primary Data公司在二月的B轮融资中融得1000万美元;Tintri公司也于二月在E轮融资中筹得7500万美元;Pure Storage公司四月在F轮融资中筹得2.25亿美元;Nutanix公司在八月份的E轮融资中筹得1.4亿美元;Amplidata公司在九月份的E轮融资中筹得1000万美元;Formation Data Systems公司也于同月在A轮融资中筹得2420万美元;SolidFire公司在十月份的D轮融资中筹得8200万美元;SwiftStack公司在同月的B轮融资中筹得1600万美元;IzumoBase公司在11月融资140万美元;Kaminario公司在本月初的E轮融资中筹得5300万美元;DataGravity公司刚在本月的C轮融资中筹得5000万美元。In all, disclosed investment in enterprise-storage startups has amounted to about a billion dollars per year in each of the last few years, says Simon Robinson, a research vice president for storage and information management with 451 Research, which has been covering the space since 2000.451 Research公司自从2000年起就开始注目企业存储领域,该公司的存储与信息管理研究副总裁西蒙o罗宾逊认为,总体来看,在过去几年里,向企业存储类创业公司已透露的投资,基本上每年都能超过10亿美元左右。

“You get these waves of startups,” Robinson says. “As soon as you think the industry is done with storage, along comes another wave. It’s been a constant cycle of innovation in the last decade.”罗宾逊回应:“这类初创公司层出不穷,你刚刚实在行业的这一波存储潮完结了,立刻就不会步入另一波。过去十年,这个领域基本上仍然都正处于创意期。”Typically, those waves of innovation have each focused on a particular feature, spawning numerous startups playing to a similar theme. “Some wouldn’t last; a couple would be acquired; one or two would do really well and go public,” Robinson says. “Then usually one of the big guys would step in and pay a substantial premium to acquire them.”每一波的创意浪潮基本上都集中于某一特定功能,大量创业公司都在环绕一个类似于的主题。


”Data Domain, for instance, was acquired in 2009 by EMC EMC 1.00% , which snatched up Isilon the following year. Hewlett-Packard HPQ -0.25% bought 3PAR in 2010; Dell acquired Compellent Technologies in 2011. The list goes on.比如Data Domain公司就于2009年被EMC公司并购,就在第二年,EMC又并购了一家名为Isilon的创业公司。惠普(Hewlett-Packard)则于2010年卖给了3PAR公司;戴尔(Dell)于2011年并购了Compellent Technologies公司。类似于的并购还有很多。

“The thing to bear in mind is that you have five or six big vendors, virtually nobody in middle, and then a whole bunch of startups,” Robinson says. “We haven’t seen a major change in the cast of characters in the last decade.”罗宾逊认为:“必须留意的是,这个领域约有五六家大厂商,基本上没有人在中游,然后就是一大堆创业公司。在过去10年里,这张‘演员表’基本上没有怎么大逆。”Dave Wright, SolidFire‘s founder and CEO, says his company grew 700% year over year in 2013 and 50% quarter over quarter this year. He attributes much of that to two “huge waves of change” affecting the industry.SolidFire公司创始人兼任CEO戴夫o莱特回应,他的公司2013年的年增率超过700%,而每个季度都比上一季度快速增长50%。

他指出,这主要得益于影响行业的两个“根本性的变革浪潮”。The shift to flash and solid-state storage is one of those. “That’s very disruptive—a huge chunk of the storage market is going to move to flash over the next few years,” he says. (SolidFire offers all-flash systems with a focus on scale-out storage for data centers.)首先是向存储器和固态硬盘的改变。他回应:“它十分有颠覆性,在未来几年,存储市场将有非常一部分向存储器转型。

”(SolidFire主要获取仅有存储器系统,同时重点获取数据中心的拓展存储。)At the same time, though, Wright downplays that trend as “a fairly short-term disruptive shift—everybody is doing that,” he says.不过与此同时,莱特也看低这股趋势,指出它只是“一种更为短期的政治宣传式转型——人人都在做到它。”More interesting from Wright’s perspective is a second major shift: the transition within enterprises from traditional, so-called siloed data infrastructures to cloud-based ones. It’s a change that is affecting the entire industry, but one that “a lot of other startups in the storage space are not really attuned to,” he says. ‘That’s what we think is going to make us more successful in the long term: SolidFire is the only infrastructure purpose-built for this wave of cloud.”从莱特的观点看,更加有意思的则是第二个根本性转型,也就是企业从传统的所谓孤立无援式数据架构向云架构的改变。

这种改变正在影响整个行业,但是“很多存储类创业公司并没确实适应环境这种改变。”他还回应:“这就是我们为什么指出我们在长年不会更为顺利,因为SolidFire是目前唯一专门为云计算浪潮建构的专用架构。”‘Looking for simplicity’找寻非常简单性Part of the challenge for storage startups today is to simplify what has become an inordinately complex and fragmented landscape, Robinson says. It’s the result of a lot of feature-focused research and development over the last decade.罗宾逊指出,如今存储类创业公司面对的挑战之一,是要修改过去那种非常复杂和碎片化的格局。

它正是过去十年很多以功能为重点的研发所导致的结果。“Big companies have lots of storage systems, each of which serves a particular purpose,” he says. “The challenge that organizations are having now is not just the data growth, but managing that environment, which may consist of seven or eight storage silos with huge complexity.”他回应:“大公司有很多存储系统,其中每个系统都服务于一个特定的用途。企业所面对的挑战某种程度是数据量的快速增长,还有如何管理这种环境,因为这些系统有可能还包括了七八个独立国家的存储系统,极为简单。

”Simplicity is a new goal, in other words. The trend has led to an industry preference for more all-encompassing approaches. “Converged” (which combines storage and compute in a single device) and “hyper-converged” (which combines storage, compute, networking, and virtualization in a single device) models reflect the shift. Robinson points to Nutanix and Formation Data Systems as notable contenders.换句话说,非常简单性是一个新的目标。这种趋势使得整个行业开始注目那些“万金油”式的方案。所谓的“融合”模式(将存储和计算出来统合到一台设备上)和“高度融度”模式(将存储、计算出来、网络和虚拟化统合到同一台设备上)的风行也体现了这种改变。罗宾逊认为,Nutanix和Formation Data Systems公司是这方面的两个值得注意的竞争者。

Meanwhile, the flood of apps—internal and customer-facing, and often mobile—continues unabated, increasing pressure on businesses to achieve better performance and speed from the databases and storage systems that underpin those applications.与此同时,应用软件的热潮(还包括内部应用于、面向顾客的应用于,往往还有移动应用于)仍然没消退,这也增大了企业的压力,被迫它们被迫提升数据库和存储系统的性能和速度。“Every second of latency can cost you 10 percent of conversions, and it’s getting worse on mobile, where the network has its own built-in latency,” says Matt Murphy, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. (KPCB invested in both DataStax and PernixData; Murphy serves on PernixData’s board.) “If you can cut off a second or half a second, there’s millions or hundred of millions of dollars in opportunity there in play. At all layers—storage, compute, network—everyone is trying to figure out how to get that extra edge.”Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers公司(该公司是DataStax和PernixData公司的投资方,其合伙人墨菲也是PernixData的董事会成员)的合伙人马特o墨菲认为:“每一秒钟的延后都有可能让你损失10%的客户,在移动末端则更加相当严重,因为移动网络本来就有延后。如果你可以把延后增加一秒或半秒,就享有了有可能赚到几百万甚至上亿美元的机会。在存储、计算出来和网络等所有层面上,每家公司都在想方设法地取得这种额外优势。

”The question is which technologies and vendors will best deliver that edge. Lightspeed’sVrionis contends that newcomers to the scene have an advantage over incumbents, which are still “staring at yesterday’s problems and not able to take a blank sheet of canvas.” (One of those incumbents, Oracle, did not respond to Fortune‘s request for comment.)现在的问题是:哪些技术和哪些厂商需要最差地将这种优势带来客户?光速创投公司的弗里奥尼斯也指出,这个领域的新进者只不过比重义者更加有优势,因为“重义者们依然盯着昨天的问题,无法决意扬帆行进。”(其中的一个“重义者”甲骨文公司并没恢复《财富》的评论催促。)Henry Baltazar, a senior analyst with Forrester Research, agrees. “The big guys are finally catching up, but they left the door open for too long,” he says. “Now it’s a battle.”福雷斯兹研究公司的高级分析师亨利o巴尔塔扎尔也回应:“大公司最后不会赶上来,但是他们给创业公司拔了太长时间的空子。




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