Has the Consolidation of Cloud Storage Started?

As I was preparing for our upcoming Structure 2010 conference earlier this month, I had various conversations with venture capitalists who have invested in cloud and web infrastructure companies in which the topic of cloud-based storage came up. The consensus was that the cloud storage market was overcrowded and as such it was only a matter of time before there would be thinning of the herd, with many companies getting gobbled up by larger players.

And now it appears that such consolidation has started. Israel’s The Marker reports that IBM Corp. (s IBM) is in talks to buy Storwize, an online data compression software company, for about $140 million. The 6-year-old Storwize, which was initially based near Tel Aviv and is now headquartered in Marlboro, Mass., has raised $40 million from Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Ventures Partners and others.

Storwize is one of the many startups that have been funded in order to solve three major problems universal to the web and to the enterprise: how to access data faster, and how to store it more compactly and more cheaply. Given that underlying these problems is the digitization of everything, they’ll only be compounded as the current data explosion continues.┬áThe big question now is, which company will get snapped up next, and by whom? Go ahead and share your wisdom in the comments.

We’ll be discussing big data, the new storage paradigm and the future of cloud and web infrastructure at Structure 2010 on June 23 & 24 in San Francisco.