Vinod Khosla VC Firm Invests In Cloud Storage Firm Nirvanix – What SUN would be if around today.

Legendary investor Vinod Khosla’s VC arm—Khosla Ventures—revealed today that it led a Series C investment in hot enterprise cloud storage startup Nirvanix.  Lots of coverage on Techcrunch, Venturebeat, SearchTechTarget, DatacenterKnowledge, and Gigaom.   {editors note: SiliconANGLE has been covering Nirvanix (and other soon to be hot startups) and it’s great to see the mainstream traction.  Well deserved Nirvanix.}

The $25M round represents the first investment by Khosla in the cloud storage services sector and  demonstrates further validation of Nirvanix’s enterprise cloud technology—cloud tech already deployed at the likes of IBM, USC, Relativity Media, National Geographic, NBCUniversal, Cisco, VMware and other large multi-billion dollar companies around the globe.

I spoke to some folks about this around the valley and Khosla liked this deal because it reminds him of what Sun Microsystems would have looked like if they were a startup today.  For the folks who don’t know the tech history Sun Microsystems was basically  built to be one big file system.  That is what Nirvanix’s cloud storage basically is.

Nirvanix has been on a tear lately.  I spoke with the CEO in Las Vegas at NAB.  They booked more revenue in Q1 of 2012 than nearly all of 2012, according to CEO Scott Genereux, whom we recently met with in Las Vegas at NAB. Armed with the deep coffers of Khosla behind them, Nirvanix is now better poised to accelerate its growth curve and take on the cloud service giants such as Amazon  and Google—as they try to focus more on the enterprise space—and the cloud hardware vendors such as NetApp and EMC—who keep pushing boxes as the answer to cloud.   While Box.net of the world get tons of attention they (Box) have very little storage in the cloud.  I hear from sources that Box.net has less than 10 Petabytes in the cloud in one datacenter.  Cloud storage customers alone should be by themselves in the >10 Petabyte range.

Box.net and Dropbox are still stuck in the sync ‘n’ share consumer cloud arena and have yet to crack the petabyte-scale customer barrier.  Box and Dropbox have more in common with Apple’s iCloud and Sony’s forthcoming PlayMemories than anything Nirvanix is currently offering.

Nirvanix informs us that it is also planning to effectively double its cloud storage node count from 9 to 16 or more locations including Las Vegas, London, Singapore, China, Brazil, Russia, Dubai and others.  Customer demand is forcing fast expansion, as the company recently opened up a second data center in Dallas.

Nirvanix is also planning to double the size of its engineering organization, opening a new Cloud Competency Center in Colorado, which will be home to an army of engineers working on next generation scalable cloud storage solutions to meet the big data challenge.

Big data needs big clouds and that’s where Nirvanix really comes in—storing it all with an architecture built for scale. With Khosla’s backing, Nirvanix is definitely a startup investors and storage heavy weights need to pay much closer attention to.

Nirvanix is storing the biggest of the biggest data sets out there and Khosla obviously sees this traction in the enterprise and will provide the fuel for the Nirvanix sales machine to really take off.  Cloud storage is about reliability, scale, and performance and if Nirvanix can continue to crush the other upstarts and take share from Amazon and Google then Nirvanix will be either bought fast or hit the IPO route.

About John Furrier

Founder and CEO of SiliconAngle.com.