Start-Up’s Profile: Axxana

In zero loss disaster recovery
By Jean-Jacques Maleval on 2010.09.02

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Axxana, Inc.

In Tel Aviv, Israel, with offices in Newton, MA, Cambridge, UK

Born in

Financial Funding
$18 million in funding to date, including $5 million in 2007 and $9 million in 2009; among its investors are Gemini, Carmel Ventures and Moshe Yanai. The company previously received seed capital from angels including Roni Einav and Dalia Prashker, founders of New Dimension Software, Dan Barnea, senior VP at BMC Software and Eilon Tirosh and Roni Zarom, founders of Exalink.

Main executives

  • Eli Efrat, co-founder and CEO: formerly CEO of MessageVine, in providing presence and instant messaging solutions to wireless carriers and ISPs; before that, he co-founded Veon, in digital video and broadband Internet, acquired by Philips to become MP4Net Group; prior to that, he co-founded Algotec Systems, in picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and now a Kodak company; he was member of the Israeli Defense Forces Haman Talpiot project
  • Dr. Alex Winokur, co-founder and CTO: he spent eleven years in the IBM Research Division, achieving the IBM Master Inventor title, and authoring and co-authoring over 15 patents in storage, network management, and telecommunication areas. Prior to Axxana, he was CTO of XIV Information Systems (acquired by IBM) and the founder of Sepaton (Formerly SANgate)

Number of employees

Enterprise Data Recording (EDR) combines aviation Flight Data Recorder (FDR-Black Box) expertise with newly-developed technologies to address data loss, distance between primary and DR data centers, and cost. EDR systems are designed to provide data centers with the same functionality as FDRs by withstanding extreme conditions to preserve business data in the event of a disaster.

Axxana's Phoenix System RP for CLARiiON brings synchronous, zero data loss disaster recovery to asynchronous replication infrastructure, and protects against WAN link failure between primary and secondary sites. Developed in cooperation with EMC's RecoverPoint and available through EMC Select, it enables enterprises to protect and recover all their data in the event of a disaster. RecoverPoint sends data asynchronously to remote sites, while the Phoenix System RP protects a synchronous copy of information inside its disaster-proof Black Box device at the primary site.

                                                  Phoenix System RP

This Phoenix System RP
consists of the following components:

Phoenix System RP Black Box - The first EDR-class product

  • Location: Primary site
  • Function: Contain and secure data

Phoenix System RP Collector - Advanced data processor

  • Location: Primary site
  • Function: Process, encrypt and synchronously store data onto Stec SSD in the Black Box

Phoenix System RP Recoverer - Data recovery manager

  • Location: Secondary site
  • Function: Handle data recovery process

Phoenix System RP Management Tool – Control software

  • Location: Anywhere
  • Function: Tool that enables detailed, standards-based system monitoring and management while providing operational statistics and black box status details


The Phoenix System RP costs $214,000.

To support all major replication systems and solutions in the market, before expanding the product line to add additional types of data protection solutions.

Distributors and OEMs
Axxana is a member of the EMC Select program and is in partnership with resellers and distributors in the US, UK, Spain, France, Germany, Austria and Serbia. Among its partners are ICI, Bynet Data Communications, Avnet Partner Solutions, Market Experts, MTI and Unique Digital.

The Phoenix System RP protects data at the block level and is not limited to specific applications but the main one is the protection of SQL databases, SAP and VMware.

The replication segment alone is estimated at $1.5 billon, said Axxana, and spans across multiple verticals segments: financial, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, retail, etc.

Our Comments

Few storage companies are involved in disaster replication only, obviously a growing market. But at $214,000, the ruggedized Phoenix System RP is not for small companies.

The start-up claims "zero loss disaster recovery" and its original technology combining synchronous capabilities over asynchronous infrastructure seems reassuring. But no company never guaranteed a customer that it will never loss any byte. If you lose data on tape or on D2D subsytem, the vendor will never pay the price to encode them back.

At Axxana's advisory board, there are two great names, Fred Van den Bosch who was CTO of Veritas, and legendary Moshe Yanai, also an investor in the start-up. Remember that "Mr. Symmetrix" was at the origin of Diligent and XIV, both Israeli firms that were finally sold to Big Blue for a pretty good price. Yanai left recently IBM for unknown reasons but the fact that he is an investor of a company working with competitor EMC could be one of them.

Like about all the start-ups in Israel, this one could finish in the hands of a U.S. storage vendor. And if there are two giants that could be interested to acquire it, it's EMC and IBM to get what is probably the most secure product for data replication.