DataGravityPaula Long, CEO and co-founder of DataGravityPaula Long is known in the enterprise tech world as the co-founder of EqualLogic, a storage company bought by Dell for $1.4 billion in 2008. Last year, she began working on a new startup, DataGravity, still in stealth mode.
Long has been tight-lipped about DataGravity. But she just opened up about the company to Business Insider.
The New Hampshire-based start-up has been on Silicon Valley radars since January, when VC firm Andreessen Horowitz lead a $30 million investment round. That was on top of the $12 million Data Gravity nabbed out of the gate when it launched in June, lead by Charles River and General Catalyst, making $42 million total.
While most big data systems today rely on complicated software, Long is creating a shortcut. She’s getting the storage system itself – the actual disk drives that hold the files – to share what it knows about the company’s business. This could make big data an affordable option for a lot of mid-sized companies.
Here’s an edited transcript of what she told us.
Business Insider: A lot of people are watching Data Gravity and you haven’t said much about what you’re working on. What can you tell us about the tech?
Paula Long: It occurred to me that big data is great for companies who have lots of IT staff and programmers, but not so great for mid-sized business where they don’t have a full-time data scientist. I started to ponder what the storage array itself could tell you. [Note: Enterprise disk drive systems are called storage arrays.]
If you talk to a normal disk today it will tell you its name, rank and serial number. It will tell you ‘I’m a Seagate drive and I’m this big.’ But the operating system that works on that data knows quite a bit. It knows what’s going on in your company. You just don’t have the vocabulary and language to ask it. So we’re working on a way to unearth the knowledge that your storage has.
BI: You mean, you can learn a lot about the business by studying which files people are accessing?
It’s more than that. It can tell you things like who should be collaborating. Who is not happy. We’re not talking about everything we’re doing, but [our tech] can surface what’s going on with customers. Patterns in the business. Who should be talking to who.
Today a storage array is just a container. It’s not looking inside the container [and reading the data]. We’re looking inside the container to [help you] make sense out of what’s there.
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