TUXERA'S STORY

We started out as just a few developers working separately on open-source NTFS file system development during the 1990s. Today we’ve grown to the largest team of file systems and storage developers in the world. The name “Tuxera” reflects the belief of our founders that “Tux” (the Linux penguin’s name) would be the cornerstone of the new “era” of embedded development.

1990s

It all began with two Linux fans


Our story starts with Szabolcs Szakacsits (or just Szaka as we call him), a Hungarian developer. Szaka’s passion for Linux began in the 90s while he was working for a Hungarian company collaborating with Rubik’s (of Rubik’s Cube fame). In 1999, he set off for Finland – the birthplace of Linux – to work for F-Secure, and began studying the NTFS file system.

Meanwhile in London, Anton Altaparmakov, then at Cambridge University, began his own development work on the NTFS for the Linux kernel project with the hopes of getting read-write access to his own Windows documents on Linux.

  • Linux NTFS and NTFS-3G development began

Early-mid 2000s

Great minds think alike


During the early to mid 2000s, Szaka continued studying NTFS technology in his free time as a one-man project in Finland. By 2007, Szaka had established a technical project website for NTFS-3G – through which people began requesting a commercial version, plus associated support. He stayed in Finland, but left F-Secure for Ericsson.

Back in London, the Linux NTFS project had changed hands completely to Anton in 2000. By 2002, Anton had completely rewritten the NTFS driver. Later in 2006, Apple hired him to write an NTFS driver for Mac OS X. But he continued to work with Linux NTFS on the side, supporting one customer.

  • NTFS-3G project website launched
  • New Linux NTFS driver in Linux kernel 2.5

2008

Then along came the professor


In 2008, Szaka sought the advice of Mikko Välimäki, a professor at Helsinki University of Technology and legal expert on open-source issues. They met to discuss over drinks in a local Helsinki bar. That night, the passion to build a business based on Szaka’s development work and Linux consulting was born. Later, Szaka’s project was incorporated as a Finland-based company, NTFS-3G Technology.

  • NTFS-3G Technology founded

2009

The era of Tux begins

Mikko and Szaka sought out key developers working with open-source NTFS technology, bringing Anton on board. Later that year, they reached a fast and friendly legal agreement with Microsoft to develop business around Microsoft’s NTFS technology. The deal also included a licensing agreement for another Microsoft file system technology, exFAT, and thus Tuxera exFAT development began.

NTFS-3G Technology was eventually renamed to Tuxera Inc. with Mikko as CEO, Szaka as President and CTO, and Anton as Lead File System Developer. By the end of 2009, they had one embedded customer in the US, two products (including Tuxera NTFS for Mac), a one-room office in Espoo, Finland, and two new file systems developers: Erik Larsson and Jean-Pierre André. The company also joined its first key industry association – the SD Association.

  • NTFS-3G Technology name changed to Tuxera
  • Key NTFS developers joined
  • Licensing agreements forged with Microsoft

2010-2012

And we have lift-off…


In 2010, the company began hiring sales and BD talents for the Asian markets, alongside technical talent. Offices in Sunnyvale, USA and Taipei, Taiwan were also established. Tuxera’s product portfolio expanded to include Tuxera HFS+ and Tuxera FAT, and our software shipped in a growing volume of consumer electronics.

By 2011, new offices in Seoul, Korea and Beijing, China were opened. The team nurtured partnerships with major chipset companies. Onward into 2012, Tuxera software was powering some of the most popular Android phones, plus in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) in cars. By then, Tuxera had grown to about 10 employees at HQ, plus sales consultants in the offices abroad. The company rounded off the year with the Deloitte Technology Fast Award.

  • Expansion into Asia and the USA
  • Tuxera exFAT, Tuxera HFS+, and Tuxera FAT launched
  • Red Herring Global 100 Award 2011
  • Tuxera software powering IVI in cars

2013–2015

Rocketing upwards

Between 2013–2014, the team’s hard work solving customer storage challenges paid off – Tuxera gained position as the global market leader in file systems technology. In 2013, Tuxera FAT for Android and Linux were revamped, the AllConnect app was launched, and the company joined JEDEC. To accommodate an expanding team of about 30, HQ was moved to Helsinki.

By 2014 the AllConnect SDK was launched, and development of Tuxera Flash File System began. The company was also recognized as the 5th fastest growing software company in the Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA listing. When 2015 came around, our software was inside drones, and we started developing Tuxera SMB. Our people remained positive – Tuxera was recognized as one of the best places to work in Finland for 2015.

  • Tuxera FAT modernized for Android and Linux
  • AllConnect app and SDK launched
  • Tuxera Flash File System (now known as VelocityFS by Tuxera) announced
  • Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA rank 5
  • Great Place to Work Finland 2015

2016–2018

Setting new standards


For 2016, we expanded our partnership with Microsoft with the official launch of Tuxera SMB (now known as Fusion File Share by Tuxera). The company opened a new office in India. We joined the Universal Flash Storage Association. Our headquarters moved to Espoo, Finland to accommodate our blossoming team. And we were recognized again with Great Place to Work Finland.

Later, Tuxera was named a CES 2017 Innovation Award Honoree for our AllConnect app. Also in 2017, we opened offices in Germany and Japan. Tuxera grew to a mid-sized company with around 70 employees worldwide. What’s more, we were recognized as a Great Place to Work Finland – only this time ranking among the top ten! Plus, our FAT+ technology was announced as a file system standard for UFS storage.

In 2018, we rebranded our core product portfolio into GravityCS, VelocityFS, and Fusion File Share.

  • Partnership with Microsoft expanded through Tuxera SMB
  • CES 2017 Innovation Award Honoree for AllConnect app
  • FAT+ launched as file system standard for UFS cards
  • Great Place to Work Finland 2016, 2017, and 2018
  • GravityCS, VelocityFS, and Fusion File Share rebranding in 2018

2019–Today

Joining forces


In a major move, 2019 saw us uniting with North American flash file systems and storage management company, Datalight. Datalight added the power of over 30 years of experience in software and storage management development to Tuxera (read more on Datalight’s story here). The merger also brought the best storage developers from around the globe together under one brand. This union solidifies Tuxera’s position as the world-leading storage management software developer.

Alongside this merger, Tuxera said goodbye to long-time CEO Mikko Välimäki, who left the company to pursue other challenges. In his stead, Tuxera warmly welcomed Tuukka Ahoniemi, whose hands-on experience and strategic vision have helped Tuxera rocket forward.

Datalight acquired in 2019, adding products:

  • Reliance Edge
  • Reliance Nitro
  • FlashFX Tera
  • ROM-DOS
  • Tuxera elected to SD Association Board of Directors in 2019
  • Reliance EdgeNAND launched in 2020
  • Tuxera and Datalight merged to one brand in 2020

So what's next?

With IoT devices, connected cars, and an explosion of data for creating highly personalized services, the future of embedded storage is growing ever complex. The need for our products and services continues to expand. Our founders’ original vision about the “era of Tux” has become a reality over the course of Tuxera’s history, with embedded Linux taking a strong foothold. Though, there are many other strong platforms and RTOSes in the ecosystem which we continue to develop and create ports for, with roadmaps to pursue additional platform support into the future. We see many opportunities for growth in the storage industry going forward – and we hope to have you along for the ride!