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Storage People

From about 2012 onwards it became clear that people in the storage industry were ready and willing to write their own bios on and so from about 2012 upto 2018 I've mostly linked to those detailed self protraits whenever someone has been mentioned in the news. Sometimes when reading the storage history archive I went back to earlier news stories and added the later profile links ins too.
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news, bios and blogs about key people in the storage market
Seagate names new VP SSD

Editor:- July 30, 2012 - After 6 years at other companies Gary Gentry has rejoined Seagate to lead its SSD business as senior VP SSD.

He was recently GM of the Enterprise SSD Division at Micron.

Editor's comments:- If you want to see what I've said recently about these 2 companies - from the angle of the SSD market - just click on their profiles. There are many possible interpretations of what this (and other recent rumors) mean. The simplest is that Seagate is taking the enterprise SSD market more seriously.

Skyera increments SSD headcount

Editor:- July 10, 2012 - Skyera today announced that 2 industry veterans have joined the company.

Dr. Alessandro Fin - Skyera's VP of Product Management was previouslyVP of product development for PNY Technologies and before that he was director of solid state storage at SMART.

Roy DCruz - Skyera's VP of Array Systems comes to Skyera from iTools. Before that DCruz was principle engineer at Brocade, contributing to the architecture of FCoE and storage services. His career also spans Nishan Systems, Andiamo and Cisco.

Violin recruits Narayan Venkat as VP of product management

Editor:- March 28, 2012 - Violin Memory today anounced that Narayan Venkat, former VP of cloud infrastructure at VMware, has joined Violin as VP of product management.

"Flash is the single most disruptive technology in storage since the advent of virtualization," said Venkat. "Violin Memory is on the leading edge of the trend with its scalable, flash-based storage system for the modern, virtualized data center. I look forward to playing a central role in fulfilling the company's vision to build an all-silicon primary storage powerhouse." See also:- Storage People

STEC gets more serious about developing enterprise business

Editor:- January 17, 2012 - STEC announced that industry veteran Vaughn Miller has joined the company's Systems and Software Group as VP of Business Development.

Mr. Miller is responsible for developing business opportunities with OEMs and ISVs that focus on enterprise applications.

During the past 16 years, Mr. Miller held various key management positions in business development for Cisco Systems, NeoPath Networks, Acopia Networks (acquired by F5 Networks, Inc.), NetApp and Auspex Systems. Prior to his roles in business development, Mr. Miller served as an engineer for Landmark Graphics (a Halliburton company) and Modcomp.

Editor's comments:- if you're unfamiliar with the earlier companies in this virtual cv - before we get to the storage companies - the themes are "real-time" and "big data analysis", the world's first NAS company (Auspex) and "virtualization".

I've said for years that STEC didn't put enough effort into enterprise business development. The company lost market share in the enterprise SSD market in 2011. Better late than never to grab a map and shovel in this year of the Enterprise SSD Goldrush.

BiTMICRO nurtures microchip design training in Philippines

Editor:- October 25, 2011 - the Bruce Institute of Technology is a new training institute in the Philippines - focused on microchip design - which has been set up in a collaborated effort led by BiTMICRO in partnership with Synopsys, Cadence and leading universtities.

The name celebrates the family name of the Bruce brothers - who founded BiTMICRO in 1995 as an ASIC design consultancy - before embarking on their pioneering market developments in flash SSDs.

BiTMICRO's Chairman and CEO, Rey Bruce said "The Philippines' traction in the global microelectronics industry is almost entirely concentrated in assembly, fabrication and manufacturing. BiTMICRO is practically the only Filipino founded and owned company engaging into actual microchip design and engineering. We will do our part in uplifting the industry to higher valued services and service capabilities with the technology and products that we develop and produce in the country but this will be not enough. Our goal with BIT is replicate our success at BiTMICRO in developing microelectronic design skills."

Rudy Bruce, President of BIT, said "We hope to eventually build a critical mass of locally developed engineers that can make the Philippines a favored destination of the world's best microelectronic design companies. We still believe in the Filipino's ingenuity and their ability to be relevant in the world stage."

Steve Jobs passed away this week

Editor:- October 6, 2011 - Like most of you - this morning on the tv news I heard that Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple, died yesterday.

The outstanding products created by his visionary ideas affected billions of people in the past 30 years - not just those who used them or competed with them (or tried to copy them).

Steve Jobs showed that if you designed digital products which were easy to use, people would buy them - even if they cost more.

Stories about Steve Jobs kept thousands of journalists busy during his life and there have been many books about his achievements. I'm sure - that like Elvis - the media industry will long continue paying homage to Steve Jobs and future generations will find it hard to imagine that there ever was a world without irock and roll.

Here's a link to an interview on CBS news - with Steve Wozniak - life-long friend of Steve Jobs - and the other cofounder of Apple.

SSD Bookmarks - from Foremay's CTO

Editor:- March 1, 2011 - today published SSD Bookmarks - suggested by Jack H Winters, CTO, Foremay .

Jack H Winters' suggestions are focused on the topic of managing data security in flash SSDs (both in working and not working devices). These links take you on a tour of the published state of the art in fast / secure SSD data erase and the related issue of SSD encryption.

from the garage to a top 10 SSD company

Editor:- February 10, 2011 - OCZ's CEO, Ryan Petersen reveals in a new article on the difficulties he faced when he decided his business had to get out of the memory business and focus on SSDs. the article

See also:- the top SSD companies, storage people, VCs in storage

re multi-million IOPS SSD marketing - new blog from Woody Hutsell

Editor:- December 22, 2010 - Woody Hutsell - who for a decade led the enterprise SSD marketing business at Texas Memory Systems - and who recently joined ViON has recently started a blog about SSDs.

His first article bemoans the current trend of marketers to quote ever higher millions of IOPS - a marketing tactic - which he freely admits he started back in his days at TMS.

In this entertaining and thought provoking article Woody says - "One million IOPS. Yawn! Is that all you've got! In fact, I would argue if the extent of your marketing message is your IOPS you don't have enough… marketing talent." the article

Texas Memory Systems's founder writes about 20 years of DoD SSDs

Editor:- September 20, 2010 - Holly Frost founder of Texas Memory Systems has written a paper (pdf) which describes how variants of the company's newer SSDs like the RamSan-630 have been used recently by the US DoD and Intelligence Community.

In another article he describes some features of their 1st DoD SSD in 1988. The company launched its 1st commercial enterprise SSDs in 2001 - but has continued evolving its defense based array processing capabilities.

the SSD Bookmarks - WhipTail Tech

Editor:- September 16, 2010 - today published an update to the SSD Bookmarks series (which includes recommended reading from SSD industry thought leaders) - with new links for you to see suggested by James Candelaria, CTO - WhipTail Technologies the articles

Viterbi joins Link_A_Media board

Editor:- September 2, 2010 - Link_A_Media Devices recently announced that Dr. Andrew Viterbi has joined its board of directors.

"I have followed Link_A_Media's progress for some time and find its culture of innovation compelling. The company has already emerged as the technology leader in the data storage application with its introduction of Low Density Parity Check SoC products in the mobile hard disk market," said Dr. Viterbi. "With its strong financial backing, customer traction, technology leadership and executive team, the company is well positioned to deliver compelling SoC solutions to the broad data storage market."

The LAMD LDPC data recovery architecture can tolerate significantly more noise on the recording medium at the expense of increased complexity relative to Reed Solomon decoders. LAMD's current LDPC-based SOC device reduces the number of errors read from a disk from 1 in 100 to 1 in 100 Million bits of data, relative to the previously-used concatenated coding schemes. This enables more efficient utilization of the available disk surface to store more data and reduce the cost per gigabyte of storage.

pushing the SSD testing rock farther up the hill

Editor:- August 25, 2010 - I'm mostly resistant to the idea of rehashing recent news stories - but yesterday while talking about new SSD technologies a reader asked me to take another look at SNIA's SSD performance testing guidelines - which I reported on a month ago.

I said I had been surprised it took ORGs like SNIA so long to look at these issues - because I had been aware of "Halo effects" in flash SSD benchymarks for years - and commented - "But I guess member led ORGs have a built in lag factor and only move at the speed of the slowest exec members."

The reader - Neal Ekker - whom I knew from his time at Texas Memory Systems - put up a spirited defense for this particular ORG opus and said...

""...We've all known about the fishy-ness of SSD performance claims for years. But I'd like to draw attention to what an impressive accomplishment the SNIA SSS PTS represents, no matter its technical merits or ramifications. I watched it happen, and I can tell you it was an amazing POLITICAL achievement. And I don't mean that in a negative way. Any time there's more than one person in a room, there's politics. For a collection of engineers representing both their own egos and the interests of their employers to finally agree on even this rather bare-bones beginning standard was just remarkable to observe. I can't begin to give enough credit to some of the chief movers and shakers.

Neal Ekker added - "This is why I want more attention focused on the SSS PTS right now, so we don't lose momentum entirely. There's still plenty of work to be done. We need additional companies and fresh faces and energies to step up and push this rock a little farther up the hill."

Editor's comments:- During the majority of the SSS PTS development Neal Ekker served as the SNIA SSSI Education Committee Chair. He's now a for-hire independent SSD marketing consultant. ...Neal's bio, ...SSS PTS (pdf), Storage People

Pliant nabs Dot Hill's VP software engineering

Editor:- August 3, 2010 - Pliant Technology today announced the appointment of Mark Delsman as VP of engineering.

Prior to joining Pliant, Delsman was VP of software engineering for Dot Hill. Before that, he was the senior director of software engineering for NetApp and the CTO and VP of engineering at Adaptec. Additional storage industry experience includes Seagate, Conner Peripherals and Maxtor.

In his new role, Delsman will manage the software, hardware and ASIC development organizations to expand Pliant's position in the enterprise storage market for solid state based technologies. See also:- Storage People

StorageSearch talks SSD with David Flynn, CEO Fusion-io

Editor:- July 23, 2010 - I've been speaking to Fusion-io since May 2007 - and I thought I already knew a lot about the company.

But I was surprised to learn a lot of new things - which you might be interested to read about too - in a long talk I had with Fusion-io's CEO David Flynn, yesterday. the article

SSD Bookmarks - from SandForce's CEO

Editor:- July 14, 2010 - today published SSD Bookmarks - suggested by Michael Raam, CEO SandForce.

It seems like nearly everyone in the SSD industry wants to know what SandForce is doing and thinking.

Michael Raam's suggestions include some great SSD resources which I had never seen before - which is why the SSD Bookmarks Series was created.

Do you want to understand more about the issues that drive SandForce's thinking? If so - read the article

NetApp's Jay Kidd joins board at ProStor

Editor:- June 29, 2010 - ProStor Systems announced today the appointment of Jay Kidd to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Kidd's accomplishments span over 30 years in key leadership roles at many high profile multi-national storage, networking, and computing companies with a strong emphasis in product strategy and development, marketing, and business operations. Mr. Kidd is currently serving as senior VP, Storage Solutions Group and Product Strategy and Development at Network Appliance.

Prior to joining NetApp, he held the position of CTO and VP of product management at Brocade, where he played a key role in developing and implementing the Brocade product road map, including infrastructure and strategic evangelism.

Storage Superstars

Editor:- June 21, 2010 - CRN published an article called - Storage Superstars which is like a who's who in the storage industry.

Pliant names former Google exec as VP Ops

Editor:- April 20, 2010 - Pliant Technology today announced the appointment of Frank Kull as VP of operations.

He brings more than 15 years of experience in operations management for Google, Cisco and other leading technology companies.

ECC Tek seeks high integrity acquirer

Editor:- April 14, 2010 - Phil White, President of ECC Technologies said today he's looking for a suitable company to possibly acquire ECC Tek (and its patent portfolio).

The company has IP which can increase the data integrity in mission critical SSDs.

Web-Feet tallies SSD numbers for 2009

Editor:- March 8, 2010 - Web-Feet Research has just published a quarterly update to its 7th annual report on SSD Markets and Applications (annual price $9,000).

This update focuses on the SSD market dynamics for the year ending 2009 covering the Client, Enterprise, and Commercial markets.

Addressed in each of these markets are the drivers of SSD adoption, price points, and issues associated with SSD adoption. Web-Feet Research has compiled aggregate SSD shipments and revenue by form factor and application markets covering 2009. SSD market research & analysts

Sun's Famous Personalities Beam Down to Earth

Editor:- January 27, 2010 - as previously speculated last summer - many top people at Sun Microsystems will not be retained to continue Oracle's new SPARC / Solaris server business.

Here are some articles about the departing.

New Book - Oracle Performance Tuning with SSDs

Editor:- October 10, 2009 - some of the technical folks at Texas Memory Systems have contributed to a new book called - Oracle Performance Tuning with SSDs - written by Oracle expert, Mike Ault.

This is part of an august collection of Oracle tuning books published by Rampant Press.

"Solid State Disk storage is changing the game for Oracle databases, and how we think about performance tuning," said Mike Ault. "Whereas in the past a poorly-designed database might take 6 months and $500,000 in consulting costs to repair, simply installing an SSD can mean the database immediately runs more than 10x faster for a fraction of the cost of repairing the source code. We wrote the book specifically for DBAs so that they could easily understand the benefits and limitations of SSD in their specific circumstances, and have all the tools they need to benchmark effectively. Any DBA who wants to keep their performance tuning skills relevant will read this book."

Rambus Fellow Named Inventor of the Year

Editor:- October 1, 2009 - Rambus today announced that Craig Hampel, a Rambus Fellow, has been named Inventor of the Year by the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association.

During his distinguished career, Mr. Hampel has received 134 U.S. patents. These inventions and associated memory solutions have played a fundamental role in advancements in 3D realism across a number of gaming platforms, including the Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation 2 and 3 game consoles.

"I am proud to work alongside some of the best minds in the industry at Rambus," said Craig Hampel, Fellow at Rambus. "Together, we have designed 3 generations of memory architectures that increased bandwidth nearly 100x and helped enable the rapid rise in performance of computing and consumer products." See also:- Storage People.

Former Fusion-io CEO Encores at Violin

Editor:- September 15, 2009 - Violin Memory today announced that Donald Basile has been named CEO.

Dr. Basile (with over 20 years of leadership experience) most recently served as the CEO of Fusion-io which evangelized the use of PCIe flash SSDs for servers and workstations. Under his leadership, the company concluded agreements with HP, IBM and Dell. He also led sales growth that generated over 300 global enterprise customers in less than 1 year.

"Don has an impressive record of building both value and market footprint rapidly as was shown in his time as CEO at Fusion-io" said Steve O'Donnell, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "He possesses the unique combination of operational, technical, managerial and marketing skills that will have an immediate positive impact on Violin Memory."

NextIO Names New VP Sales

Editor:- September 15, 2009 - NextIO has named DaWane Wanek as VP of world wide sales.

Prior to joining NextIO, Wanek served as a member of the executive team at Dell, where he was a director of the Advanced Systems Group. Wanek has also held senior sales leadership positions with companies such as RLX Technologies, Scalable Software, BMC Software and Data General.

NetApp's Revenue Dips, Names New CEO

Editor:- August 19, 2009 - Network Appliance today named a new CEO.

Tom Georgens is the company's new president and CEO, succeeding Dan Warmenhoven, who led the company as CEO for the past 15 years. The transition in leadership, which is effective immediately, is the result of a management succession process. Georgens, 49, joined NetApp in October 2005 as executive vp and general manager of Enterprise Storage Systems.

NetApp also reported that revenue for the quarter ended July 31, 2009 declined 4% compared to a year ago.

Editor's comments:- 2 years ago NetApp was one of the world's fastest growing storage companies and you might have expected that its leading position in the analyst reported fast growing storage iSCSI market (at that time) would have protected its revenue growth - even in the adverse market which followed. But the company has become a laggardly follower rather than a leader in the critical iSCSI SSD market. That's clear to potential buyers - even if they aren't buying too many of those products right now.

Naming a new CEO now - at a low dip in the company's fortunes - means the new guy will look good when growth comes back. (If it does.)

Overland's New Marketing VP

Editor:- July 22, 2009 - Overland Storage today announced the appointment of Jillian Mansolf as VP of worldwide sales and marketing.

Previously, Mansolf served as senior VP of sales and marketing at Data Robotics.

Prior to that, she held various executive positions at Motion Computing, Maxtor and Dell. At Snap Appliance, Mansolf played a pivotal role in doubling sales and establishing the company as the worldwide NAS volume market leader.

New Disk Backup Article

Editor:- July 14, 2009 - a new article is published today on called - "Aspects of Disk Backup".

Written by Andrew Brewerton - Technical Director (Europe) - BakBone Software - the new article comprehensively reviews the why? how? and where? of today's modern enterprise disk backup techniques. has had a decade long affinity with enterprise disk backup - tracking changes in the market since the concept 1st began. This overview article brings that coverage right up to date - from the perspective of a leading company in the backup software market. the article
If you're researching storage history and want to see this storage people page as it looked in past years - click on these links which take you to the relevant pages in the internet archive.
The Byte family was just a small part of
the interesting community of beings who
worked in the storage market.

some of today's storage bloggers

Barry A. Burke - the Storage Anarchist

Dave Hitz - NetApp

Hu Yoshida - Hitachi Data Systems

Gareth Taube - Kaminario

Robin Harris - StorageMojo

Rob Peglar - Xiotech

Steven Golden - Code and Butter

Tony Pearson - IBM

Matt Werner - Storage Buzz

Woody Hutsell - Fusion-io

Pioneers from early storage history
  • Richard J. Egan - cofounder of EMC. EMC led the trend to convince enterprise buyers of open servers to believe it was safe to buy RAID storage arrays from a different company than the one which made their servers.
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