Cisco buys Ignition-backed flash storage startup Whiptail for $415M

ignition-logoCisco today paid $415 million to acquire New Jersey-based Whiptail, an all-flash enterprise class storage startup bankrolled in part by Bellevue venture capital firm Ignition Partners.

WhipTail describes itself as an all-flash enterprise class storage array, a solution that boosts storage performance. More than 100 customers are currently using the technology, including inVentiv Health, The Pension’s Trust and Ohio.gov.

Cisco’s senior VP Hilton Romanski said that Whiptail will help beef up its Unified Computing System (UCS).

“Whiptail is a perfect architectural fit for UCS because together the two combine a clustered architecture with fabric-based acceleration — all of which is automatable via the UCS Manager and UCS Director,” Romanski wrote in this blog post.

In January of 2012, Ignition invested in Whiptail’s second round of venture capital financing.

“Picking winners such as Whiptail requires understanding the macro trends and the ability to identify winning technology and superior teams early on,” said Richard Fade, partner at Ignition Partners focusing on infrastructure software, cloud and services investments. ”At Ignition we believe we are at the beginning of a cycle where enterprise customers re-structure on these new tools.”

Ignition is rebuilding itself after raising a new $150 million fund earlier this year. The Whiptail acquisition is the latest of many recent exits by companies in Ignition’s portfolio, including Appature, Azaleos, Likewise, Parse, Splunk, StorSimple and Zenprise.