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Panzura raises $32 million in funding

Cloud NAS vendor Panzura raised $32 million in Series E equity funding this week to expand its product and give organizations an alternative to what CEO Patrick Harr calls a “dying on-premises model.”

Harr said Panzura will add support for block, Internet of Things and Hadoop interfaces for data analytics to go with its original NAS protocols. He also plans expansion outside the U.S., into  the U.K. and Europe.

“We are focusing on scaling our business in two areas,” Harr said. “One is on the channel side and second is the continued expansion of our product portfolio. We are adding addition protocols to consolidate what we view is the dying on-premise model.”

Harr said the on-premises only storage model will collapse, and he offers Panzura as a cloud-first model for building a hybrid cloud. Since he became Panzura’s CEO in May 2016, the vendor has expanded its  its hybrid cloud storage controllers and added archiving capabilities. He said he has also hired 18 engineers during his eight months at Panzura.

“We are very much in growth mode,” he said.

Harr said in 2016 Panzura added 100 new enterprise-level customers and expanded its partnerships to include Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM and Microsoft Azure. It also added 26 petabytes of customer enterprise storage.

Panzura’s new Freedom Archive software that moves infrequently accessed data to public clods or low-cost, on-premises storage could  bring the vendor into new markets. Target archive markets include healthcare, video surveillance, gas and seismic exploration and media and entertainment. Freedom Archive is a separate application from Panzura’s flagship Cloud NAS platform, which caches frequently used primary data on-site and moves the rest to the cloud.

Last summer, Panzura launched a new series of cloud storage controllers with more capacity and the ability to expand to handle multiple workloads. The new 5000 hybrid cloud storage controllers replace Panzura’s previous 4000 series.

The E funding round brings Panzura’s total funding to around $90 million. The investment was led by Matrix Partners and joined by Meritech Capital Partners, Opus Capital, Chevron, Western Digital and an undisclosed strategic investor.

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