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DataGravity's data-aware storage scooped up by HyTrust

As a standalone company, DataGravity is no more. But the startup’s data-aware storage technology will live inside of HyTrust’s cloud security products.

HyTrust, based in Mountain View, Calif., acquired DataGravity for an undisclosed amount, aided by $36 milllion in new funding. Unconfirmed reports of a DataGravity sale had circulated since last week.

HyTrust provides automated security-policy enforcement for virtual machines running in multiple cloud storage platforms. The vendors had been trying to hammer out a partnership, but the new funding helped grease the wheels for a transaction.

“The timing was great because we had closed the funding round and were in discussions with DataGravity on a partnership. It turned out that it made more sense to acquire them. (The funding) gave us the additional means to pull the trigger,” HyTrust founder and president Eric Chiu said.

HyTrust maintains an inventory of enforcement policies for each VM.  Chiu said DataGravity’s data-aware storage analytics and tagging takes HyTrust cloud security to a higher level.

“This was a key missing piece for our customers. They love all the policies we can enforce, but one thing we don’t know is where each piece of data resides. Marrying our enforcement with DataGravity’s data classification and data discovery gives us a complete solution,” Chiu said.

DataGravity was started by EqualLogic founder Paula Long and John Joseph, another EqualLogic executive. Long and Joseph were part of the management team that joined Dell following its $1.4 billion acquisition of iSCSI SAN pioneer EqualLogic in 2008. Investors supplied DataGravity with $92 million, although the last funding round was in December 2014.

The company came out of stealth in 2014 with hybrid Discovery Series data-aware storage arrays, which endeavored to combine metadata analytics with advanced data discovery, governance and searching. DataGravity abandoned Discovery Series as its flagship in 2015, switching its data-aware storage flagship to DataGravity for Virtualization virtual storage arrays.

Chiu said about 20 DataGravity employees will join HyTrust in various roles, including engineering, sales, quality assurance and support.

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