DataCore Software acquired MayaData Thursday, formally drawing the latter company's OpenEBS persistent container storage software into the DataCore portfolio.
DataCore Software sells software-defined storage (SDS) products for block, file and object storage. MayaData created the open source OpenEBS software and sells several tiers of engineering and architecture support to supplement the product.
Dave Zabrowski, CEO of DataCore Software, said the company has spent the past several years expanding into what he calls an "all-encompassing storage platform," with container storage as a tentpole addition.
"We decided the time is right to combine the two forces," he said, adding that 50% of DataCore's customers were adopting Kubernetes into their workflows. "We took our engineering team with our expertise [and] combined it with MayaData expertise."
A prior joint venture between the two companies made the acquisition an inevitability, according to Dave Raffo, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group.
"They've had a relationship here," he said. "This was a question of when, rather than if."
The two companies started the joint venture in early 2020, Zabrowski said. DataCore provided funding, technology licensing and its own container team to help MayaData improve the OpenEBS product.
DataCore Software provides a container storage interface to integrate Kubernetes containers into existing infrastructure while OpenEBS targets cloud container deployments.
DataCore experimented with an in-house project before seeking outside technology due to a lack of experience with open source development and container deployments, Zabrowski said.
"We have sold product into IT, [MayaData has] a product sold into DevOps," he said. "Those are very different worlds, and they're starting to merge."
DataCore selected MayaData as a partner due to OpenEBS's popularity among users, with the software generating 1 million pull requests a month, according to Zabrowski. The success of OpenEBS as a project with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and its increasing adoption among enterprise users also factored into the purchase.
"MayaData has earned some really good customers," Zabrowski said, citing media giant Bloomberg and cloud compute provider Digital Ocean as two of its users.
Initial venture included investments into MayaData from DataCore Software and Insight Partners, a venture capital firm that also invests in DataCore.
Details of the merger were not available, as both companies are private. Zabrowski said a "vast majority" of MayaData's 60 employees will be merged into DataCore but didn't give an exact headcount.
DataCore Software, according to Zabrowski, will continue to support the open source version of OpenEBS but eventually plans to sell an enterprise version with additional security and data protection features.
Existing customers of MayaData will continue to receive support and will be invited as early adopters of the new enterprise OpenEBS product. Zabrowski said they could be grandfathered into the new product, but specifics on pricing and available services, "will be decided once we have solidified the roadmap."
Open and closed containers
The acquisition echoes many other storage companies procuring container-focused startups or projects during the ongoing boom of Kubernetes adoption. Ray Lucchesi, president of Silverton Consulting, noted a similar purchase-and-maintain strategy of open source software by IBM, which continues to support Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. Other companies have made purchases of private container storage startups, such as Pure Storage acquiring Portworx.
"Storage vendors are seeing that as a major opportunity," Lucchesi said. "It follows the trend."
He expects other storage companies will continue monitoring new startups to acquire, such as Robin.io.
Ray LucchesiPresident, Silverton Consulting
"There's plenty of startups that haven't been purchased," Lucchesi said.
DataCore Software currently sells three other SDS products: SANsymphony for block storage, vFilO for file storage and Swarm for object storage.
The company has not shied away from acquisitions and partnerships. The company bought Caringo earlier this year to fold Swarm into the product lineup.
Evaluator Group's Raffo said he expects DataCore's next priority will be a unified management interface across its products.
Tim McCarthy is a journalist living in the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.