On storage unicorns and their likely survival or implosion

The Register has a great article on storage unicorns. Unicorns are not necessarily mythical creatures in this context, but very high valuation companies that appear to defy “standard” valuation norms, and hold onto their private status longer than those in the past. That is, they aren’t in a rush to IPO or get acquired.

Comment A venture-capitalist-tracking website has revealed a list of unicorns, which are startups valued at a billion dollars or more. Eight storage companies are in the list; does this mean a glorious outcome for them?

The article goes on to analyze the “storage” unicorns, those in the “storage” field. They admix storage, nosql, hyperconverged, and storage as a service. This is my main criticism of the article, as I would define only 2 of the entries here as storage companies. For the rest, storage is a byproduct of what it is they do.

And that is about all the criticism I’ll level at this article, as the rest of it is pretty close to dead on correct.

Basically the article goes on to (succinctly) analyze the competitive nature of business, the companies offerings, and their real traction (if available). Its not comprehensive, its not in-depth, but its a good first pass at an analysis document, that one might like to expand upon.

In the article, they note that storage-as-a-service, the Hadoop, and the storage appliance companies may not necessarily have staying power. This said, perception is reality in the market, so Pure storage is a success by that measure, regardless of its actual data … that is … until IPO. Then its all about the “what have you done this quarter, this year”, etc.

More interestingly, they rate the hyperconverged systems highly, with noSQL and the data reduction tech also in the mix.

Hyperconverged systems are what the day job is all about. We build the fastest, densest units in market, and have a number of very cool things coming to complement this. Its a different side of the same market than the other hyperconverged players (they are focusing upon VDI and VMs), but … its converging … as you can’t really build very dense systems upon poorly designed and performing kit. This is where our incredible firepower comes into play. Density is a function of how much performance you can leverage per rack U, per watt, per port.

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