Chetan Venkatesh: Founder and CTO of Atlantis Computing

atlantis computing centered2Interview with founder and CTO Chetan Venktatesh
Date: 20 August 2014
Atlantis Crunchbase Profile

In succession to the interview with CEO Bernard Harguindeguy I had the pleasure to speak with the CTO of Atlantis, Chetan Venkatesh.

As the founder of Atlantis, he provided great background to Atlantis. Enjoy the interview!

Willem ter Harmsel: Can you run me through the genesis of Atlantis Computing?

Chetan Venkatesh: Chetan VenkateshI can! I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my life and started Atlantis in 2006. I spent a lot of time in the datacenter, storage and Infrastructure space. I was keen to to explore the software that was on the server side to do something intelligent with storage.

We had Moore’s law deliver twice the horsepower at half the cost. I was inspired to create a storage model that took advantage of these increasing CPU cycles and RAM on the server side.

I wanted to bring data services like de-duplication and compression, that require a lot of CPU power, right next to the application.

(Smiling) It turns out that this is much harder idea to implement in practice than said. It took us almost 3 years to complete the first version of the product and we launched in 2009.
[Read more...]

Interview with Alex Benik of Battery Ventures

Battery VenturesBattery Ventures, interview with Alex Benik
Date: 19 Augustus 2014
Battery Ventures CrunchBase profile

I had the honour to speak with Alex Benik, partner at Battery Ventures where he focuses on IT Infrastructure technologies. He previously worked for the Yankee Group.

Battery Ventures is a large fund that invests in a wide variety of start-ups, divided in eCommerce&Retail, Digital Media, Industrial Technologies, Software&Services and Infrastructure.

Alex currently works with a number of known players in IT infrastructure, namely: Diablo Technologies, AppDynamics, Catchpoint, Chef, Cumulus Networks, Nutanix, Primary Data, and Stratoscale.

When he has the time, Alex blogs for GigaOM, where he writes in-depth articles on trends in the infrastructure arena.

I had a brief talk with Alex about his views on the IT infrastructure market and specifically his take on SanDisks acquisition of FusionIO.
[Read more...]

Interview with Sirish Raghuram, CEO of Platform9

Platform9Platform9, interview with CEO Sirish Raghuram
Date: 18 Augustus 2014
Platform9 CrunchBase profile

I recently spoke with Alex Benik of Battery Ventures, who argued the IT market has come to expect the ease-of-use and agility of public cloud services like AWS (Amazon Web Services).

Read my article with Alex Benik, partner at Battery Ventures here

Alex stated that internal IT organisations are increasingly benchmarked against AWS by their internal customers in terms of ease-of-use and speed. For traditional enterprises, that do not have the scale and resources of Amazon, it is very hard to meet the AWS service levels.

As circumstances would have it, soon after I picked up these insights I spoke with Platform9. They offer internal IT organisations a way to build a private cloud that approaches the agility and ease-of-use of AWS.

I had the great pleasure to speak with Sirish Raghuram, the CEO of Platform9.
[Read more...]

Atlantis Computing, the road toward USX. Interview with CEO Bernard Harguindeguy

atlantis computing centered2Interview with CEO Bernard Harguindeguy
Date: 3 July 2014
Atlantis Crunchbase Profile

I had the opportunity to speak with the original founder and CTO of Atlantis Computing, Chetan Venkatesh, and the CEO and chairman of the board Bernard Harguindeguy.

Both Bernard and Chetan have extensive experience in the datacenter space and were passionate about creating an optimal storage platform that solved many of the challenges their customers struggled with.

Read my interview with founder and CTO Chetan Venkatesh

Data storage solutions are typically sold as appliances; hardware with a smart software layer on top. The intelligence is in the box that you buy and is tailored to the hardware it lives with.

That approach makes sense until you take a wide-angle view on a real-world datacenter: independent storage boxes act well on their own, but are hard to aggregate into one centrally controlled storage pool. The result is that storage capacity is not used optimally and storage performance is hard to control.

There are several approaches to solving this problem, Atlantis Computing offer a software-only solution that places all intelligence in one hardware independent software layer. That means customers can run Atlantis USX on their existing server, network and storage hardware and control all types of storage centrally from one software layer.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 10.38.52

Atlantis’ USX solution investigates the physical infrastructure it lands on and offers customers suggestions for various types of storage setups. Depending on the application requirements the customer can pick the recommended setup and tweak settings.
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John W. Thompson: CEO Virtual Instruments and Chairman of Microsoft

Virtual Instruments LogoVirtual Instruments, interview with CEO John W. Thompson
Date: 19 June 2014
Virtual Instruments CrunchBase profile

For my CEO Series I interview CEOs and founders of start-ups in IT Infrastructure, SAAS, Fintech, Mobile and eCommerce. Their views are shared on my blog.

Recently I had the great honor to speak with John W. Thompson. It is hard to introduce such a heavyweight, so I will start by listing a few of the most notable positions he occupies. His positions, besides being impressive – are relevant to understand the viewpoints he holds and voiced during the interview.

After a long career at IBM where he held various executive positions, John W. Thompson became CEO at Symantec, which he helped build to a $6 billion company over a period of 10 years. In 2009, he was contender to be secretary of the Department of Commerce.

John W. ThompsonIn 2009 he became involved with Virtual Instruments (VI) as an investor and became CEO of VI in 2010. Besides this demanding role, in February of this year John W. Thompson was famously appointed Chairman of the Board at Microsoft, replacing Bill Gates. In this function he was involved in replacing former CEO Steve Ballmer with the current CEO Satya Nadella. Here is a link to his appointment speech.

Additionally, PernixData, Liquid Robotics, Domo and Seagate are among the companies where John holds advisory positions. [Read more...]

Storage Startup popularity on Google Trends

I was just playing around with Google Trends. A great tool to compare search popularity between search terms.

How much impact storage startups really have on the market is hard to pin down, but the search popularity of individual brand names does provide some perspective.

Below, I compared worldwide search popularity between Storage Startups over the last 6 years. I looked at three groups; Boxed Storage, Software-only Storage and Server-side Caching Solutions. Then to put the Startup scene in some perspective I compared the most popular of each group to storage giants EMC and Netapp.

Boxed Storage: Nutanix, Nimble Storage, Pure Storage, Tintri, Skyera


Boxed Storage [Read more...]

Skyera turning $ 3.6 million revenue in 2012, shipping in volume by May 2014

Skyera-Logo-300x103Skyera, interview with CEO Rado Danilak
Date: 16 April 2014
Skyera CrunchBase Profile

I had a great chat today with Rado Danilak, the founder and CEO of Skyera. The company has been greatly introduced by Chris Mellor in August of last year. They certainly had my interest then with their very low $2 dollar per GB of Flash storage and 500 TB per 1 U unit / 21 PB per rack storage density.

These specs are so good, they could arouse suspicion. At least until you realize that Rado is not only the founder of Sandforce but also the engineer behind the best chipsets ever at NVIDIA.

I was given a few scoops today that reveal how well Skyera is doing. Today, Rado told me that in fiscal year 2012, before the 51.6 million in funding, Skyera turned a healthy revenue of $3,6 million.

The revenue numbers for 2013 he could not give yet, but will reflect strong growth.

The relevance of these numbers is that Skyera has been able to create much more revenue, much earlier, than competitors like Pure Storage and Violin Memory.

In addition to these impressive figures, Rado also announced that they will be shipping their product in volume within two weeks from now (May 2014).

Skyera seems to set itself apart both in engineering power and in healthy financials, I look forward to seeing what this company will do.

Later this week I will update a full article on the interview I did with Rado. So tune in later!

For more CEO interviews, check out my CEO series here.

Rohit Khetrapal, CEO of Tegile Systems on path toward IPO

tegileTegile Systems, interview with CEO Rohit Khetrapal
Date: 26 February 2014
CrunchBase profile Tegile Systems

As a part of my CEO series, I interview CEOs of innovative companies in the fields of Storage, Virtualization and Networking.

Tegile Systems has been founded in 2009 and offers a range of Hybrid Storage arrays, labelled as Zebi storage arrays. Their top model can be configured as a 100% all-flash array, while keeping the option open to expand the storage capacity with cabinets of magnetic disk up to 200 TB.

Tegile Zebi arrays further offer flexibility in terms of access (iSCSI and Fibrechannel) and work with NFS, CIF and SMB.

I spoke with CEO Rohit Khetrapal about the core values of Tegile Systems, his views on the storage market and their path toward IPO.
[Read more...]

A3cube Nanosecond Memory Network Solution

A3cube wideA3Cube, interview with CEO Antonella Rubicco
Date: 25 February 2014
A3Cube CrunchBase profile

Hereby an introductory piece on A3Cube, that will come out of stealth later today. After 5 years of intensive engineering, the founders of A3Cube are presenting their tremendously exciting new technology; in-memory networking. They use PCIE to create a very fast in-memory network with nanosecond latency between nodes.

Last week I had the chance to briefly speak with both the CEO Antonella Rubicco and CTO Emilio Billi, who ran me through the concepts.

According to CEO Antonella Rubicco: ‘Ronniee is a data plane technology, designed to build massively parallel storage and analytics machines. It is different from all other existing interconnection networks due to its hardware based shared memory facilities.’
[Read more...]