Why it matters

EqualLogic bet early on a new standard for storage systems that allowed data to be Ethernet based and locally available. The company made storage for large companies more efficient and less costly than alternative technologies. Essentially, the company changed the way storage is sold. “It used to be a dim sum approach – you buy what you eat,” co-founder Paula Long said. “We turned to t IT administrators into storage and SAN administrators because they could manage it without any deep expertise and with cost savings.

Investment

In 2001, CRV’s Chris Baldwin ran into Peter Hayden at the Denver airport. The two had known each other as engineers at Digital Equipment Corp. 10 years earlier. Hayden told Baldwin that he, Paula Long and Paul Koning wanted to do a startup in storage. As it turns out, Baldwin was deep in the storage space, recognizing that the explosion of data was going to require new ways for information to be stored. He and Hayden both had a hunch that those seemingly useless but cheap PC disk drives could have a higher purpose and were willing to bet on the immature technology. Baldwin helped the first-time founders vet the idea as well as the VC field as they launched.  EqualLogic was the company they founded in July 2001, and it soon thereafter started receiving offers to be acquired. But the founders and the VCs believed in the company and were in it for the long haul. By July of 2007, the company, with very strong annual revenues and profit margins, filed for an IPO but postponed going public after it received an offer from Dell – which it finally accepted.