Another scrappy startup bites the dust
HP announced this morning that it is buying IBRIX, one of the up and comers for scale-out cluster file storage. They expect to close the transaction in 30 days.

The IBRIX secret sauce
IBRIX was founded in 2000 with IP from Yale math professor, Stephen Orszag. The essential insight behind the IBRIX architecture is the use of an “area code” to enable any node in the cluster to access a file in one hop. This eliminates much of the back-end chatter needed to maintain more granular cache-coherence in many clusters.

Like the Google File System, the IBRIX software is a layer on top of each node’s local OS and file system. It runs on Windows, Linux and – at least in the lab – Solaris.

The StorageMojo take
With Polyserve (transactional cluster storage), LeftHand Networks (cluster block storage) and now IBRIX (scale out cluster file storage), HP owns most of the prime real estate in the cluster storage market. As they note in their press release

Adding IBRIX’s software to HP’s portfolio further solidifies the company’s leadership in the emerging market of scale-out and high-performance computing storage, cloud storage, and fixed content archiving. This market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent per year, which is faster than both the network-attached storage and total external storage markets.

What is surprising is that the other IBRIX resellers – EMC and Dell – didn’t make this move themselves. Rumor has it that IBRIX has been cash-flow positive with good growth in sales and customers over the last several quarters. Marketing myopia?

Courteous comments welcome, of course. I’ve done some work for IBRIX and like the technology and the people.