StorageMojo has been informed that YottaYotta, a storage networking company that EMC invested in a couple of years ago has shut down. EMC reportedly scooped up the IP and key employees. I once worked there and hold stock in the company.

The YY web site is not opening. Reportedly CEO Barton Shigemura, CTO Wayne Karpoff and a number of development and test managers have been let go. An estimated 40 former YY’ers now have EMC badges.

Update: A second source has confirmed the YY shutdown and EMC’s uptake of the IP and about half the people. End update.

The Maui connection
As StorageMojo noted in April, 2006:

EMC’s GM of the Grid & Utility Computing, Ian Baird, mentioned at EMC World in Boston this week that EMC had invested in distributed caching technology developed by YottaYotta, a Canadian startup, for their “Grid Storage” strategic direction.

Distributed caching technology is crucial to creating WAN-based storage infrastructures that operate as if local, despite being spread over thousands of miles, where normal network latency would cripple response times. YottaYotta, an $80M startup based in Edmonton, Alberta, has been working on the technology since its founding in early 2000.

The YottaYotta system was a network-based RAID controller. The controller’s backplane was a network – Infiniband or GigE – so the controller could be physically distributed. The coordination of the distributed controller boards through wide-area cluster software is the company’s key IP.

The StorageMojo take
A coup for EMC. For a few million dollars EMC got the benefit of $80 million in R&D and some fine engineers. I speculate that EMC will use the YY block technology behind filer heads to provide fast data replication and access across dispersed data centers in the Maui infrastructure.

YY’s fate was sealed 5 years ago when the company abandoned the storage systems market in favor of attempting to market only the RAID controllers. That market could never justify the $80 million invested in the company.

Comments welcome, of course.