NEWS: NGD on Cutting Edge of Paradigm Shift

Nader Salessi, CEO, NGD

The term “cloud storage” has become so ubiquitous that it’s easy to assume that anything and everything can be stored in the cloud, (a process of storing data via the Internet instead of on-site).

But that’s not the case at all.

The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and virtual reality all generate massive amounts of data. The cloud can’t accommodate it all. (The internet of things is the interconnection – via the internet – of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.)

That’s where a process known as fog computing comes in. It bridges the gap, taking care of things like computing, communication, and storage closer to where the data comes from. This, in turn, enables significantly faster processing time and lowers network costs, according to news reports.

NGD Systems, with HQ in Irvine, is on the cutting edge of fog computing. It recently raised more than $12 million in a Series B round to develop and manufacture hardware – known as a Solid-State Drive (SSD) – for this process.

Partech Partners led the funding, along with Orange Digital Ventures, Alcor Micro and Benhamou Global Ventures. NGD also raised $4 million in a credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank in Irvine, which will also be used to mass produce its solid-state drive.

NGD will also use the funding to broaden its customer base and prepare its third-generation product for release, expected by Q4, CEO Nader Salessi said.

He explains fog computing as a paradigm shift – as it reverses the traditional process of moving large amounts of data to a server for computation and manipulation. NGD’s hardware brings computing power directly to where the data is generated. That’s where the paradigm shift starts and that’s an important step in the next level of data computing, Salessi said. There aren’t a lot of companies tackling it, he added.

“Larger organizations that are entrenched in the market do incremental improvements (in terms of storage),” he said. “We saw an opportunity for a revolutionary solution, rather than incremental.”

The epiphany came from witnessing a void in the marketplace for hardware with this kind of capability, he said He and his team have roots with Western Digital, with HQ in Irvine, which has become a global leader in storage products and STEC, also in the storage space. Salessi and his co-founders Rich Mataya and Vladimir Alves launched NGD in 2013. The company has been awarded 17 patents and has another 12 pending.

“The team of people (more than 30 currently) that comprises the company are experts in the segment like no other company,” he said. “They have done other ground-breaking work in the past. They’re very successful at what they do, and this leads to a clear competitive advantage in the skill set we have to execute this very novel and very interesting idea that’s getting lots of market attention.”

The company serves two additional verticals – cloud storage and content delivery networks (CDNs). In the cloud space, the ability to provide capacity, processing and low energy per terabyte is key to enabling hyper-scale data center storage rollouts, Salessi said. In the CDN space, NGD also offers the ability to scale capacity and manage local storage tools, like encryption and data protection – all without without adding massive computing platforms.

NGD previously raised more than $10 million in a Series A round. And, it’s received several grants through the National Science Foundation totaling more than $1 million to develop “in-situ processing,” where its SSDs can process data rather than simply storing it, as well as for computational storage.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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