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Storage is one of the hottest contested areas in the cloud so it should come as little or no surprise that the vendors competing in this space are looking to increase their size of their arsenals.

Case in point is Nirvanix, which this week announced it has picked up an additional $25 million in funding. In addition to expanding the size and scope of a business model that depends on a blend of direct and indirect sales coupled with a healthy dose of OEM relationships with companies such as IBM, Steve Zivanic, vice president of marketing for Nirvanix, says the company will expand the number of data centers it operates worldwide in addition to staffing a new cloud competency center in Colorado.

All of this effort is focused on gearing up to compete more effectively with a broad range of cloud storage providers, not the least of which is Amazon. Zivanic says the most effective way for Nirvanix and its partners to compete is to focus on enterprise-class storage needs. Developers may appreciate the self-service experience provided by Amazon, but enterprise IT organizations want the same level of service in the cloud that they get today from their storage vendors in the data center.

In addition, Zivanic notes that Nirvanix provides customers with access to a global name system that makes it easy to manage files that are distributed around the globe and has been specifically designed to process the large files that enterprise IT organizations typically generate.

Zivanic adds that one of the biggest drivers of new business for Nirvanix has been the rise of “consumer audits.” It’s not uncommon for enterprise IT organizations to discover they are spending millions of dollars on cloud services such as By providing that capability in a way that leverages a secure cloud computing platform that offers both shared public infrastructure and dedicated private clouds, Zirvanic says those customers are finding they can provide the same level of file sharing capabilities as Dropbox without all the attenuating security risks to the business.

There has been some concern as of late over the ability of cloud storage vendors to compete with Amazon given the size of the Amazon cloud. Each time Amazon adds more storage to their cloud the faster that cloud becomes. But Zirvanic says while that might matter to developers that want to fire up a lot of virtual machines during the application development process, enterprise IT organizations are not that concerned with storage performance given the nature of their requirements for moving data in an out of the cloud.

The Nirvanix platform is specifically designed to be integrated with on premise storage systems from multiple vendors, which means customers can leverage Nirvanix software to manage storage deployed in a local private cloud, in a private cloud deployed on Nirvanix cloud or in the Nirvanix public cloud service.

Assuming solution providers don’t have the capital to build out a global cloud network of their own and that working with companies such as Amazon that are not particularly service friendly, it’s clear solution providers are going to have find a cloud storage alternative. While there’s plenty of options to consider, the most important thing may ultimately be how simple is it to manage those cloud storage resources.