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DDN Intends to Acquire Nexenta

Leader in SDS

DataDirect Networks, Inc. (DDN) intends to acquire Nexenta Systems, Inc., a market leader in SDS-driven 5G and IoT software solutions, creating the Nexenta by DDN division.

The acquisition adds powerful enterprise-class scale-up and scale-out software capabilities for hardware-, protocol-, stack/platform-, cloud- and app-agnostic deployments to DDN’s product portfolio. It brings 3,000 enterprise, telco and service provider (SP) customers, 300 go to market partners, 50 patents and nearly 2,000 petabytes of storage capacity to DDN’s already significant customer, partner and IP ecosystem.

“Nexenta helped create the Software Defined Storage market and achieved a leadership position in it by deploying more than $100 Million of software globally” said Alex Bouzari, CEO and co-founder of DDN. “With the addition of Nexenta’s great team, IP, and its visionary CEO Tarkan Maner, DDN is broadening our markets beyond AI, Big Data, virtualization and Multi-Cloud, and accelerating our investments in next generation 5G, IoT and enterprise software. No one else can bring such a degree of data management freedom, value and flexibility to the marketplace.”

DDN is combining three technology powerhouses, DDN Storage, Tintri by DDN and now Nexenta by DDN, for the benefit of its customers’ AI and Multi-Cloud Data Management needs:

  • DDN Storage delivers the world’s most powerful and comprehensive AI, big data and data management at scale product portfolio
  • Tintri by DDN offers the ultimate in simplicity and control for virtualized environments and enterprise applications
  • Nexenta by DDN provides the most cost and performance-optimal software-defined data services for enterprises, telcos and SPs with 5G and IoT requirements

“Nexenta’s customers, partners, investors and our entire team are very excited about joining the fast-growing DDN family, and accelerating the massive market disruption which is helping customers digitally transform their legacy IT infrastructures thanks to our innovative and award-winning 5G and IoT-driven software,” said Tarkan Maner, CEO, Nexenta. “As part of DDN we will scale financially, operationally, and geographically, giving our customers and partners the freedom and agility to operate and innovate efficiently, as they build and expand their AI and Multi-Cloud capabilities.”

With 3,000 customers and $100 Million of software deployed globally, Nexenta is already the world’s largest app-agnostic pure play SDS vendor. DDN’s increased investment will broaden the company’s product and technology portfolio, better addressing AI, multi cloud and next generation communications network requirements for telcos and SPs. Nexenta customers and partners will benefit from DDN’s larger global customer, partner and service ecosystem and IP footprint, along with its fast growing and solid operational and financial performance.

“DDN has a long track record of creating advanced storage infrastructures for challenging use cases in a number of demanding markets including AI, HPC, media and entertainment and life sciences,” said Henry Baltazar, research VP of 451 Research. “The acquisition of SDS pioneer Nexenta extends DDN’s storage product portfolio into mainstream midrange and enterprise use cases while also opening up new market opportunities in emerging markets such as 5G and IoT.”

Nexenta by DDN will continue to offer SDS solutions through its distribution and reseller partners with all existing platforms and components. Nexenta partners will receive more news over the coming months about new solutions as the DDN roadmap broadens.
“We are excited about the DDN acquisition of Nexenta,” said Chris Orlando, CEO and co-founder, ScaleMatrix, Inc., whose national footprint of high-density data centers and cloud hosting platforms are designed to support transformative high-performance computing requirements. “Our clients benefit from the flexibility and performance of Nexenta’s robust software-defined storage solutions and platform-agnostic strategy, which provide great differentiation for the HPC, AI, and HPDA verticals we serve. With escalating demand from our clients for ultra-scalable compute and data storage platforms, we look forward to the exciting developments which will result from this new relationship.”

As the leading provider of AI and Data Management software and hardware solutions, spanning edge to core for intensive workloads such as AI, Big Data and IoT, DDN is enabling organizations to successfully accelerate the digital transformation of their business in a platform-and vendor-agnostic way, and with full support for private and multiple public cloud deployment
models. The Nexenta acquisition broadens and enhances the value DDN brings to its customers, partners and to the marketplace.

Gartner: Compare verified reviews from the IT community of Nexenta vs. DDN) in Distributed File Systems and Object Storage


This is a big news for the storage industry shaking positions, confirming that DDN is the #1 private storage company and reaffirming its storage unicorn status.

We met recently DDN and understood that this enterprise strategy is a serious inflection point aligned with IT trends, acquisitions opportunities and business needs.

During a recent call, Nexenta's CEO Maner confirmed his company is almost profitable at the time of the acquisition and he seems to be super satisfied by this exit. He finally succeeded to sell it last adventure following Wyse sold to Dell in 2002. Nexenta was founded in 2005 and Maner arrived in 2013, growing the company during six years to this new company event.

Nexenta got more than $160 million in financial funding, including:

  • $25.9 million in 2012 in 3 rounds including series C
  • $24 million in series D and $34.6 million in series E in 2013
  • $29.3 million in 2015 (series F)
  • $7.7 million in 2016 (series G)
  • $20 million in 2017 (corporate round)

Price of the acquisition, not revealed by private company DDN,  is probably several hundreds of million of dollars.

In fact, Nexenta alone was and is interesting with attractive products and technologies but limited in its execution capabilities. Now the story is different, DDN is an execution machine having demonstrated its 'savoir-faire' for years in various markets. Following Tintri for enterprise virtualization (acquired for $60 million) and Intel Lustre File System acquisitions last year, DDN enters with Nexenta into a new dimension. The good idea here is to maintain Nexenta entity as a business unit named Nexenta by DDN.

Nexenta brings to DDN enterprise multi-protocol SDS key strategic direction for the company most of the time considered exclusively as a hardware storage firm. It will be able to seriously accelerate its cloud journey as software and SDS are key to succeed in that space. With the recent trend of edge, Nexenta has developed EdgeFS, pretty unique on the market and none existent within DDN. Also James Coomer, SVP products, DDN, confirmed that open source, strong culture at Nexenta, will continue to be a key asset confirmed already with DDN's Lustre move. All business alliances will be maintained, at least this is the desire of DDN, we'll see if the other side - companies - will keep them in place.

Nexenta success in telco such Ericsson or Nokia will help DDN for cross- and up-sell the rest of the portfolio and vice-versa in vertical DDN markets.

The table below shows current DDN offering and where Nexenta products will land:

Product line DDN Nexenta
File Storage
  • ExaScaler (Lustre)
  • GridScaler (IBM Spectrum Scale)
  • Tintri (for VM env.)
  • DDN Cloud Edition for Lustre
  • NexentaStor
  • NexentaCloud for AWS
Block Storage
  • SFA18k, SFA14KX, SFA7990 and 
  • SFA200NV and SFA400NV
  • NexentaStor
  • NexentaEdge
  • NexentaCloud for AWS
Object Storage
  • WOS
  • NexentaEdge
  • A3I, IME, DataFlow and Insight
  • NexentaFusion
  • EdgeFS

We'll see how competition will react but again this clever move really changes market dynamics.