DataGravity: Game changing data-aware storage

Interview with founder and CEO Paula Long
Date: 6 October 2014
DataGravity Profile

Paula Long founded EqualLogic, which was acquired by Dell in 2007. She was only interested to get back in business with a truly game changing idea, which she did: Data-aware storage.

paula_long640x474DataGravity won the ‘best of show’ award at VMworld 2014 in the category new technology, definitely a good start. I had the pleasure to speak with Paula Long last week and learn about DataGravity’s plans and current status.
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Build your own private Amazon cloud at $1ct/GB with Cloudian

Interview with founder and CEO Michael Tso
Date: 3 October 2014
Cloudian Profile

Interview with Michael Tso, CEO of Cloudian

This wednesday morning I had the pleasure to speak with Michael Tso at breakfast in an Amsterdam city-centre hotel.
Born in mainland China, Michael was raised in Shanghai and Hongkong, finished high school in Melbourne and graduated at MIT in 1993. In his 20 years business experience he not only lead companies commercially, but also accumulated 32 patents.

He’s the CEO of Cloudian, a company I only recently became aware of.

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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.
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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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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.
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Nimble Storage CEO Suresh Vasudevan on culture and post IPO plans

Nimble StorageNimble Storage, interview with Suresh Vasudevan
Date: 15 February 2014
Nimble Storage CrunchBase profile

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

Nimble Storage was founded in 2008, offering a hybrid storage model that works both with magnetic disk and flash storage. They have been very successful and went IPO very succesfully on December 13 of last year.

I had the pleasure to interview Suresh Vasudevan and learn about his background and gain insights into Nimble’s company culture and post IPO plans.

You are a born Indian and studied there, how did you transition into Silicon Valley and the Storage field?
Suresh VasudevanYes I was born and brought up in India and studied there, then I joined McKinsey consultancy in India. The work was a lot of fun, most of what I did was strategy consultancy which I loved. I then moved for McKinsey to Chicago and the assignments there were considerably less interesting.

(laughing) I was into operations and restructuring of steel plants and paper companies – and so on, which was a lot less exciting then what went on in Silicon Valley at the time.
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Diablo Technologies steaming towards widely adopted DDR4 Memory Channel Storage

diablo_technologies (1)Diablo Technologies, Riccardo Badalone on DDR4 plans
Date: 14 February 2014
Diablo Technologies Crunchbase Profile

I spoke with Riccardo Badalone yesterday, who updated me on the current state of affairs at Diablo.

Last time we spoke in September of last year, the interview was covered in a 2 part article, you can find part 1 here, and part 2 here. In that interview, Riccardo hinted towards a few great partnerships and customers coming up. In the period in between, the following has happened:

  • Partnership with Smart Storage Systems
  • SanDisk acquired Smart Storage and market Diablo Technologies MCS as SanDisk ULLtraDIMM
  • IBM adopts Diablo MCS / SanDisk ULLtraDIMM as eXFLash in their portfolio
  • Diablo Technologies keeps building out their partnerships and achieved ‘VMware Ready’ Status this week
  • That’s quite some progress in barely 6 months time. There has also been some negative publicity concerning a lawsuit that Netlist filed against Diablo.

    I caught up with Riccardo to discuss all of the above and hear about their plans for the upcoming year, particularly where new partnerships / customers and DDR4 are concerned.

    The partnership with IBM is great news. Are you committed to an exclusive partnership with them?

    Riccardo Badalone 1IBM was the first to really recognise the value of what we were doing. They have very big plans for the technology and they made MCS a key piece of their X6 platform which is an awesome platform. They’re very important to us, we see them as a very valuable customer and integrator partner. That said, we have no exclusivity with them.
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    Diablo Technologies VMware ready

    Diablo Technologies VMwareDiablo Technologies update: VMware ready status
    Date: 11 February 2014
    Diablo Technologies Crunchbase Profile

    Diablo Technologies VMware ready

    Diablo is doing great. They partnered up with Smart Storage Systems, which was then acquired by Sandisk that sells Diablo Memory channel Storage (MCS) as Sandisk UltraDIMM and TeraDIMM. IBM is now using UltraDIMM in their x-series servers where it is called eXFlash

    The news today; Diablo Technologies VMware ready status is announced today. VMware’s ‘check’ will certainly help market adoption and is another sign this innovative technology is here to stay. I congratulate Diablo with this achievement!

    This article is followed up by this interview with CEO Riccardo Badalone

    Background and links

    Diablo website
    14 February 2014 Interview with Riccardo Badalone on DDR4 plans
    10 September 2013 Diablo Technologies MCS background and specs
    9 September 2013 Interview with CEO Riccardo Badalone
    30 augustus 2013 Introduction to Diablo Technologies MCS

    Interview with Moshe Bar – VC Partner at Atlantic Capital

    Atlantic Capital PartnersAtlantic Capital Partners, interview with Moshe Bar
    Date: 9 December 2013
    Atlantic Capital Partners CrunchBase profile

    Moshe Bar of Atlantic Capital Partners

    Atlantic Capital Partners (ACP) is founded in 2010 and invests in the growth stage of start-ups in (enterprise) software and digital life domains. Currently ACP has three general partners, Fred van den Bosch, Dr. Marcus Engelbert and Moshe Bar and two venture partners; Raffaele Jerusalmi and Lars Dittrich.

    Moshe Bar is a well known figure in the IT landscape. The list of companies he co-founded is substantial; Qlusters, XenSource, Hyper9, Qumranet, are the prominent ones. Moshe is now partner at Atlantic Capital Partners and serves on several boards.

    I know Moshe through his time at Qumranet and decided to contact him for an interview, to find out more about Atlantic Capital Partners and his current investment focus.
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