Toronto Storage-as-a-Service company ioFabric has announced the release of its Vicinity software, which debuted in August 2015, for general availability effective immediately. ioFabric's Vicinity software-defined storage (SDS) platform optimizes diverse workloads and unifies existing storage systems with newer infrastructure, including traditional SAN and NAS systems, along with flash and hyperconverged appliances. Founded in 2013, ioFabric has been funded by private investors and Real Ventures, and the company consists of a group of serial entrepreneurs, including co-founder and chief technology officer Rayan Zachariassen, vice president of marketing Andrew Flint, business development director Nigel Miller, and co-founder and CEO Steven Lamb, all of whom have worked together for the past 20 years, successfully piloting four previous companies to exits. \u201cThe future is about intelligent automated solutions that can do the complex and time-consuming activities that usually require expensive experts and expensive systems,\u201d said ioFABRIC co-founder and CEO Steven Lamb. \u201cVicinity adds intelligence to any storage, allowing admins to gain agility and data mobility in a cost-optimized manner." Breaking down these storage silos to create a unified storage environment frees up more time for IT departments to focus on concurrently managing and optimizing diverse workloads while enabling cross-vendor data mobility, both on-premise and in the cloud. \u201cI was spending a great deal of time, almost on a daily basis, trying to get the most possible performance out of our NAS units,\u201d said Donald Lopez, IT Manager at InReach. \u201cioFABRIC Vicinity is extremely simple to deploy and use. The biggest advantage for me was the time I gained in my day by having Vicinity monitor and automatically shift things around in order to get the performance I needed.\u201d Vicinity is an example of SDS 2.0. Whereas SDS 1.0 was about virtualizing storage, SDS 2.0 is about offering IT professionals a degree of automation and control over how their storage works via a user interface that automatically places active data on high-performance media enabling fast access while pushing lower priority data onto higher capacity, less expensive media. Applications and products that have emerged since Vicinity's debut include: SAN Extender \u2013 More life from existing storage by seamlessly extending it with newer technologies while staying within budget. Migration Solution \u2013 Seamlessly migrates data between both old and new storage targets while apps are up and running, eliminating risk and ensuring continuity. Hyperconverged \u2013 Innovates with a software-driven intelligent, resilient, cost-effective application platform that deploys in minutes. Docker \u2013 A micro-converged system providing storage that was designed with Docker in mind: light, agile, scalable and persistent. Server SAN \u2013 Transforms commodity hardware into a distributed, enterprise-class storage platform, while maintaining unique application service objectives. Last August, ioFabric's Vicinity won the Most Innovative Enterprise Business Application award at the annual Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California, and Enterprise Management Associates also chose ioFABRIC for an \u201cEMA Vendors to Watch\u201d award. \u201cioFABRIC Vicinity excels at making storage management efficient, automatically delivering the needed storage resources to meet service-level requirements,\u201d said Jim Miller, Senior Analyst at EMA. \u201cCostly overprovisioning can be eliminated, and overall storage utilization can be increased to its full potential, which means capacity purchases can be delayed while administration chores are reduced.\u201d For customers, Vicinity's QoS-driven storage automation drastically reduces storage-related operating expenses (OPEX) and capital expenses (CAPEX). Vicinity is sold through ioFABRIC\u2019s reseller and distribution channel, supported by its LEaD program, with partners selling Vicinity as licensed software with support or by white-labeling it with additional hardware and\/or software. Vicinity is licensed by capacity under management as an annual software subscription, with site and perpetual licenses available. Vicinity is available through ioFABRIC\u2019s reseller and distribution channel, in addition to pre-built appliances with bundled hardware and software.