From Classic Coraid to SouthSuite
Coraid, Inc. was founded as a company in 2000 by Brantley Coile. He and a small team of developers worked on inventing the ATA-over-Ethernet protocol and began selling their first storage appliances in 2005.
The startup was so scrappy, they assembled storage servers in an empty airplane hangar at the Athens-Ben Epps airport. Over the next few years, they grew a solid customer base of Linux users, found beautiful office space in downtown Athens, Ga., and moved manufacturing into an air conditioned warehouse.
The recession of 2008 was hard on everyone, and as the US economy contracted and storage sales plummeted Coraid, Inc. had a difficult decision to make: lay off half the staff or seek venture funding.
They chose venture funding and leadership flew out to Silicon Valley. By the end of 2009 Coraid, Inc. had completed a fully subscribed A round.
This and the ensuing investment rounds came with an unexpected price, however. The Silicon Valley culture—revenue growth over all else—pushed the company away from its roots. As prices steadily rose, the original core technology suffered.
By 2013, Coile found the Valley’s system too toxic and stepped down from his position as CTO and a year later had to leave the company altogether. In early 2015, Coraid as a company closed its doors for good and its foreclosure was completed in April 2015.
Although Coraid the company was no more, even with no one to be the AoE standard-bearer the Coraid line of storage appliances continued to flourish and its users were just as active as they had always been. Many of the 1,700 Coraid customers kept their AoE storage arrays in production even without support.
Brantley Coile, who had since founded his fourth company, SouthSuite, was given the opportunity to purchase the intellectual property for Coraid’s original line of products. This was the original AoE software technology that is now referred to as “classic Coraid.” Most recently he has re-acquired the rights to the Coraid trademark.
So after 16 years and the death of a company, Coraid™ starts a new chapter, this time as a SouthSuite brand.