According to a Mind Commerce report, global spending on big data is projected to grow 48% annually over 2014 through 2019 to $135 billion. Within the market, the researcher estimates that the global big data storage and server market will grow 31.87% annually over 2012 through 2016.
DirectData Networks’s Offerings
Chatsworth, California–based DataDirect Networks (DDN) is the largest privately held data storage infrastructure provider. The company was founded as MegaDrive in 1998 by Alex Bouzari and Paul Bloch. Soon it merged with ImpactData and began to work on solving the problem of providing customers with high-performance data storage capabilities. The goal was to design a data storage product that could deliver significant bandwidth in order to take advantage of the computer-intensive processing customers were starting to do.
Today, DDN makes storage arrays and related software for data-intensive environments. Its products include a series of storage engines which simplify the scalability required for big data and enabling the convergence of high-performance storage and processing. It also offers big data appliances that are based on the Hadoop infrastructure to help organizations lower capital expenditure and cost of ownership while accelerating deployment and time to insight. DDN’s EXAScaler and GridScaler Storage appliances simplify the scalability required for big data and enable the convergence of data storage and processing. Finally, to cater to the massive availability of unstructured information, DDN designed the cloud-based WOS, which is a high-performance object storage platform that can store petabytes of unstructured data while ensuring high availability and low cost of ownership.
Through its products, DDN is able to offer over one million input/output operations per second (IOPS) and up to 10 GB per second throughput from a single storage system. Its solutions have been deployed in industries that require high-performance computing, including life science research, web & cloud content, professional media, and homeland security, to name a few. Customers include NASA, Fox Sports, TVToday and PayPal.
Initially, DDN managed to raise $12 million in financing from VCs that included ClearLight Partners, Digital Coast Ventures, and PARTCOM. But soon, due to difference of opinion on the overall vision of DDN, the VCs and the founders parted ways. Since then, DDN has been privately funded.
The company broke even within 12 months of launching the product and was profitable soon after. By 2011, it was operating at an annual revenue rate of $200 million. Last year, DDN is crossed revenues of $250 million and this year it is operating at a run rate of more than $300 million.
Recent rumors suggest that the company may be looking to go public. But management has denied such plans, saying only that they may opt to go public sometime in the future. I like DDN’s focused execution in the niche market it operates in. You can read the story of co-founder Alex Bouzari in my interview with him here.