Cirtas Systems was a privately held company based in San Jose, California. The company was founded in 2008, raised US$32.5 million in private funding, and shut down its operations in 2011. Its primary product, the Cirtas Bluejet Cloud Storage Controller, was a cloud storage gateway device that used public cloud storage utilities, such as Amazon S3, the Iron Mountain Archive Services Platform, AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service and EMC Atmos for storing business data while maintaining enterprise storage array performance and functionality.
Cirtas’s Bluejet Cloud Storage Controllers were targeted at the enterprise market, with pricing starting at about $70,000 per device.
On September 20, 2010, Cirtas emerged from stealth mode at the Storage Decisions, announcing its Bluejet Cloud Storage Controller, available immediately through channel partners. Bluejet cached high-priority data locally while using WAN optimization technology. The 2 rack unit (3.5-in-high) appliance acted as a local cache that uses a combination of DRAM, solid-state drives and hard disk drives. The multiple tiers of storage are governed by automated algorithms that allow Bluejet to place data on the appropriate media based on access patterns to achieve the best performance. The Bluejet appliance promised data compression ratios of 2:1 to 3:1, depending on the data type, and a data de-duplication ratio as high as 50:1 for backup.
Overall, Cirtas raised US$32.5 million in private funding. In September 2010 Cirtas announced that it received US$10 million in A-round funding led by New Enterprise Associates, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Amazon.com. In January 2011 Cirtas announced that it had raised US$22.5 million in B-round funding, led by Shasta Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners.
In 2010 Cirtas was named a Red Herring Top 100 North American Company for its innovative approach to make cloud storage work like traditional on-site storage arrays. In 2011 Red Herring further awarded Cirtas the 2010 Global 100 award, recognizing the hundred most promising private companies in the world.
According to Arun Taneja of Taneja Group, when tested in enterprises at large scale the Bluejet controllers failed to bring the needed performance. In April 2011, Cirtas pulled out of the market, laid off most of its staff, and the venture capital companies funding Cirtas rescinded their investment in the company.