My original idea was simply to go throught the 66 presenting companies and look at the interesting ones. Problem: there are too many interesting companies! Which is a nice problem to have. So I’m going to skim a little lighter over the field and try to focus on the really interesting ones.

Clearpace offers an interesting archive product for databases. The data is compacted and still supports SQL queries. Sounds like a winner to me.

Coraid, Cleversafe
I’ve already written about Cleversafe (see Bits & Pieces: Network Storage Of Tomorrow and Coraid, (see An Open Source SAN) and I look forward to hearing about their business models. IMHO Cleversafe may have the best campus-area storage solution out there, which is not the market they are targetting. And Coraid is a SAN for the rest of us.

Hie Electronics
Hie Electronics is focused on optical storage of video surveillance data. With the growth of video monitoring they’ve probably got a good niche. They use DVDs to reach 50 TB capacity with inputs for 16 video cameras. They also offer search software.

The guys who started CMD, a successful OEM manufacturer of RAID controllers in the 90’s, are at it again. This time with 10 GbE technology optimized for iSCSI. These are the kinds of folks whose products enable many manufacturers to offer something new. Good niche, experienced team. Won’t be a home run, but a solid base hit.

More later – comments welcome . We don’t realize how wonderful it is that people put their careers on the line to make IT a better place. All you folks at big companies who take your paychecks and forget about work on the weekend – that is not the startup life.