26 Mar SoftIron scores $34 million to help fund global expansion
London-based SoftIron announced on Wednesday that it has added $34 million to its war chest, which it will use to expand its presence globally.With the Series B round of funding, SoftIron, which is a developer of Ceph storage hardware and software for data centers, has raised a total of $41 million to date. Those funds will be used to expand its presence across North America, Europe and the APAC region. SoftIron will also use the funding to strengthen engineering initiatives to further build out its portfolio of date center appliances based on open source software.
SoftIron was founded by Norman Fraser, Phil Straw and Mark Chen. The latest investment round was led by Fraser and a group of SoftIron’s existing investors.
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Using open source Ceph software, SoftIron makes task-specific appliances for scale-out data center solutions. Its hardware is designed, developed and assembled in California and is purpose-built to optimize performance in data centers of all sizes.
Because SoftIron has complete, end-to-end ownership of the entire design and manufacturing process, it claims to have “auditable provenance” on its products, “meaning 100% complete transparency on the integrity of hardware and software.”
With increasing concern over supply chains out of China related to the coronavirus pandemic, and the ongoing tariff wars with that country, SoftIron is positioning itself as a viable alternative to traditional vendors in the data center and storage spaces.
“We’re going to see a lot of budgets under pressure over the next year or two, as the consequences of COVID-19 wash through the global economy,” Fraser said in a statement. “SoftIron stands ready with the right offer at the right time: much more performance for much less cost, with no vendor lock-in, and products with unprecedented security properties, designed and manufactured right in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.”
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Last week, SoftIron announced its HyperSwitch, which is a top-of-rack switch built on open source Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC.) SONiC originated with Microsoft four years ago as a means to improve network switch operations. Microsoft subsequently contributed SONiC into the Open Compute Project (OCP) in 2016 to further its development and reach. In addition to Microsoft and OCP, SONiC is also supported by LinkedIn, Alibaba and Tencent.
SoftIron, which has 45 employees and plans for future investment rounds, competes against traditional enterprise storage vendors such as Dell EMC and NetApp. On the white box and software-defined storage (SDS) fronts, its primary competitors include Red Hat, SUSE and Supermicro.