Nyriad, Developer Of GPU-based Storage, Looking To Sell Company

Nyriad, a developer of data storage technology that combines GPUs, CPUs, and persistent memory and the company’s proprietary software to develop high-performance storage systems, is looking for a buyer.

Derek Dicker (pictured), CEO of Austin, Texas-based Nyriad, said in a statement emailed to CRN that the company has formally engaged with a firm to administer an accelerated timeline and that it has taken steps to reduce expenses while it conducts this process.

“After thoroughly considering and exploring various options, the Nyriad board has decided to actively seek to sell all or part of the company and its technology. The board believes that Nyriad technology continues to hold great promise and that this step is in the best interest of its shareholders and the long-term sustainability of its technology,” Dicker said in that statement.

As part of its preparation to sell part or all of the company and its technology, Nyriad on Jan. 26 released a “Sale Memo” aimed at investors looking to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement, with a deadline of Feb. 21.

In the Sale Memo, Nyriad, which in addition to its U.S.-based headquarters has its development based in New Zealand, said the company invented and delivered the world’s first GPU-accelerated storage system with the UltraIO brand. The performance that comes from combining GPUs and CPUs is aimed at media and entertainment, high- performance computing, backup and recovery, and active archive, the company said.

The Sale Memo also noted that the UltraIO storage system went into general availability in October 2022, that the company subsequently received series B funding, and that the technology received several early customer wins and proof-of-concept tests.

However, the company said, long sales cycles that were exacerbated by the macroeconomic environment and, at least for the media and entertainment market, last year’s writers and actors strikes, the company was unable to receive further funding.

Prior to the publication of the Sale Memo, Dicker told CRN that Nyriad was the first company to build a system using GPU acceleration specifically for storage, and that no other companies he was aware of are building a similar technology.

“Nor do they, to our knowledge, use a GPU for the purposes of accelerating the storage portion,” he said. “We actually run data protection algorithms locally in a GPU in the system itself in a complete system sold as an appliance. That’s the piece that we believe that we’re very much the first to do.”

For cost reasons, the Nyriad storage systems are hard disk drive-based, Dicker said. However, he said, instead of using the classic array-based technology at the core of traditional on-premises storage systems, Nyriad uses erasure coding.

“Erasure coding [traditionally] is done in CPUs, and CPUs actually aren’t architected very well for processing those algorithms,” he said. “A GPU has many, many cores that can run an algorithm in parallel, and erasure coding itself is unique because it’s a highly parallelized set of tasks. So when we use erasure coding, we accelerate it in GPUs, and we’re actually able to very cost-effectively apply it across a very, very large number of drives in a given system. We stripe across either 102 or 204 drives. And that essentially gives us performance of 20 gigabytes per second for both read and write, which is quite unusual in the spaces where we’re playing using an all-HDD based solution.”

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