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Nimboxx folds among growing crop of hyper-converged vendors

Nimboxx execs won't confirm the company's status, but signs point to the hyper-convergence startup pulling the plug on its technology 18 months after launch.

Nimboxx entered the hyper-converged storage market with little fanfare in 2014. The Austin, Texas-based startup...

appears to have left the market the same way.

Nimboxx found there was no room for it among a growing number of hyper-converged vendors. The startup's executives have gone quiet, and no one has answered the phone at its headquarters or responded to email requests. The silence follows an unsuccessful attempt to secure more venture funding.

One person who worked with Nimboxx confirmed it has closed.

"It was a pretty sudden shift of gears. Sad for us after all the great early momentum," said the source, who is not authorized to speak for Nimboxx and requested anonymity.

Questions surfaced about Nimboxx's fate after customers reported being unable to reach the vendor's technical support for several weeks. The Nimboxx website remains active, including a blog post dated Nov. 12. However, the vendor's toll-free telephone line appears to have been disconnected. 

One Nimboxx customer posted a message on Spiceworks under the heading "Nimboxx Closed," stating: "So it seems I am a bit stuck, a year ago, I bought two hosts from Nimboxx to begin virtualizing my environment. I have been having some issues recently, and today, I find out that Nimboxx is no more. The equipment is Super Micro, so I am guessing that, at this point, my main option is wipe them and put VMware or XenServer on them? Does anyone have any suggestions one way or the other?"

Nimboxx launched its hyper-convergence product in 2014, with $12 million from Hong Kong-based SMC Holdings, but could never obtain additional capital investment.

"These things always come down to money," said Arun Taneja, president of consulting firm Taneja Group Inc., in Hopkinton, Mass. "We've seen that with a lot of startups over the years. It's business as usual, right up to the point at the board meeting where investors decide 'No more funding.'"

Nimboxx hyper-convergence consists of the 1U hybrid Atomic Unit and MeshOS operating system, which is based on KVM. Nimboxx required a minimum of two Atomic Unit nodes and used an Ethernet switch as a third node to establish quorum.

The appliances were not enough to gain ground on hyper-convergence pioneers Nutanix and SimpliVity and large storage vendors adding their own hyper-converged systems.

"The hyper-converged space is pretty much mainstream now. You can see the massive pull that Nutanix and SimpliVity are getting. Big vendors like Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and EMC have all made big bets on hyper-convergence," Taneja said.

"A new player like Nimboxx [needs] technology that makes you stand up and take notice. Otherwise, they'll be out of the game."

To the chagrin of its paying customers, that seems to be the case for Nimboxx.

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