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Chris Mellor

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Chris Mellor covers storage and allied technology areas for The Register. After experience working for DEC, Unisys and SCO, he became an IT journalist writing for a variety of print publications. He edited the UK's first storage print magazine and then moved into the online world writing for IDG's Techworld, then started up the Blocks & Files blog, which was bought by El Reg.

He has written many sportscar buying guides, a few mountaineering guides and drives a car that's faster than he is.

By | Chris Mellor 4th December 2015 19:35

Something's bubbling up in the Springpath springs

Hyper-converged software brewster brewing big changes

Springpath, the hyper-converged software startup, has cancelled two US briefing events with journalists and industry types. It's also canned its global PR agency, and calls to its contact phone number are not answered.

The two events are the IT Press Tour this week, and Tech Field Day in February. It was listed as a sponsor for the November IT Press Tour as recently as November 16 but is no longer a sponsor for the event.

Springpath presented at Tech Field Day 7 in March. Our understanding is that it was not at the Virtualisation Field Day 6 event in November, cancelling its scheduled appearance. Here's its history:

  • 2012 – founded as Storvisor by CTO Mallik Mahalingam and Krishna Yadappanavar, with an $8m A-round.
  • 2014 – $25m B-round, we think, taking total funding to $34m.
  • 2015 – In February, it comes out if stealth as Springpath. In May, Terry Cunningham becomes CEO.

Cunningham replaced Mahalingam who was both CEO and CTO, and reverted to being the CTO. The announcement of Cunningham's appointment is no longer available on Springpath's website, although he is listed on the company's leadership page.

In September this year, hyper-converged infrastructure appliance startup Simplivity sued Springpath. Andrew Perry left as veep of sales at Springpath in October, joining Maxta as its senior vice-president for worldwide sales the same month. That meant Springpath has no head of sales. Joe Dillon is veep Sales for the Americas, and is listed on Springath's leadership team webpage.

We've heard rumors from several directions saying Springpath is being bought by Cisco. We asked Springpath's PR agency for comment but were told: "Racepoint Global is no longer working with Springpath." It was working for Springpath as recently as late October.

Calls to Springpath's main number were not answered at time of writing.

Something is happening at Springpath – we just don't know what yet.

If Cisco did buy Springpath, it could reenter the storage business with a Unified Computing System (UCS) server-centric offering, which would not prejudice Cisco's Flexpod arrangement with NetApp, and similar converged system reference architecture deals in the storage array area.

It's thought that up to half of Simplivity's sales come via its Cisco relationship and these would be prejudiced by a Springpath acquisition.

Springpath is operating in a crowded market with three dominant players: VMware (VSAN), Nutanix, and Simplivity, plus software-only startup companions such as Maxta. The likely exit for such a software startup is by acquisition. ®

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