Whether cloud or on-premise, storage tools have dramatically changed and improved over the past few years. However, there are many storage companies that aren’t just about securely backing up your data.

Here are five companies to watch that are taking a unique approach to storage.

Coho data

Coho Data is an enterprise-focused storage company that offers a flash-based scalable architecture for private clouds. Coho was founded in 2011, and has captured funding from powerhouse VC firms such as Andreessen Horowitz and Ignition Partners.

The company makes use of software-defined networking (SDN) to adapt the storage hardware as your cloud storage needs change. The product runs SSDs alongside standard discs and allocates workloads as needed. At the end of last year, Coho released its DataStream products, which offer linear scaling as your app data needs grow to eliminate performance bottlenecks.


Exablox is a network-attached storage (NAS) solution based on its OneBlox storage appliance that allows users to bring their own drives, regardless of the type of drive. As drives are added, OneBlox grows the file system with no configuration needed from the user. According to its site, the system is able to accomplish this with no application disruption.

The Exablox management platform, OneSystem, is a secure cloud-based platform that keeps tabs on your OneBlox appliance, regardless of its location. Users simply log in from any browser to manage their entire storage system.

Storiant (formerly SageCloud)

Storiant started out life in mid 2012 as SageCloud, founded by former Carbonite CTO Jeff Flowers. The driving goal of the company is to lower the cost associated with storing massive amounts of data. Storiant wants to bring the low-cost scalability achieved by internet giants to private clouds.

The company’s products are a volume play, focused on the type of “tier 3” data that is stored but rarely accessed. This is sometimes referred to as “cold storage,” and Storiant’s software is written with cold storage in mind. The software offers reduced maintenance, increased reliability, and the ability to use up to 75% and increase disk life.


Panzura is another company that utilizes NAS protocols, offering its software with a hardware appliance, known as Quicksilver, or software-only through a VM license. Panzura offers the flexibility of distributed storage with increased security and ease of management. Its storage systems offer integration with popular platforms such as those offered by AWS or Google.

The company has been around since 2008, but they closed a $25 million financing round in mid 2013 adding to their already hefty fundraising efforts. The company later announced an investment from flash memory giant SanDisk which could mean big things are to come in 2015, perhaps even an IPO.


Zerto offers business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) for enterprise customers. The company uses hypervisor-based data replication instead of array-based replication, which it claims makes it a better fit for virtual environments. Array-based replication operates outside of a virtual environment, using software to copy data from one array to another. Hypervisor-based replication copies virtual disks or, sometimes, entire virtual machines as backups.

Zertos product is software only, and will replicate data to and from any type of storage hardware. According to its site, Zerto was designed for tier-one applications, and it seamlessly integrates with many VMware products. Customers include Fujitsu, ING, and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group.