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Storage startup Datrium gets less stealthy, lands Northrim Bank as trial customer

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The storage racksPhotograph by Phil K Spencer — Getty Images/Flickr RF

Datrium, a somewhat-mysterious startup, is starting to emerge from stealth. On Tuesday it said it’s signed a bank as trial candidate for its flagship product.

Alaska’s Northrim Bank is trying out the company’s storage virtualization technology to streamline its data infrastructure, the Sunnyvale startup said on Tuesday.

Datrium even showed off a video of Northrim Bank CIO Ben Craig talking up the company and taking a shot at so-called hyperconverged products, which Craig said “didn’t scale with our needs.” Startups like Nutanix and Simplivity have gained notice in recent years for selling what is known as hyperconverged hardware that combines compute, storage, networking, and virtualization technology in a sort of datacenter-in-a-box.

Datrium boasts that its product scales out easier with a company’s storage needs. Essentially, if you want to add more storage to your infrastructure, you don’t have to add extra computing power like you might by using hyperconverged hardware, in which the storage and compute need to scale out together, the company claims.

Enterprise technology watchers kept a close eye on Datrium because it was reportedly backed by Silicon Valley luminary Diane Greene, who co-founded virtualization giant VMware (VMW) in 1998. She was removed from her CEO position ten-years later by EMC CEO Joe Tucci. EMC was (and is) a part-owner of VMware.

Since then, people have been wondering what Greene’s next move would be. As Fortune’s Barb Darrow reported last fall, Greene has apparently taken an investor role with the new storage startup and is not a hands-on executive.

A blog post on Datrium’s website written by Datrium CEO Brian Biles explains that Greene was involved with introducing the company’s founding team with each other, but is not a key decision maker.

“Just to clear up some internet speculation, while we are grateful for Diane’s introduction, advice, and friendship, she is uninvolved in our direction,” wrote Datrium CEO Brian Biles on a company blog post.

Datrium’s leadership team consists of several former employees of storage giant EMC (EMC), including Biles, Hugo Patterson, and Sazzala Reddy.

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