Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Taking Storage Hypervisors to the Next Level

  
Steve Houck One of the most valuable things newcomers bring to a corporate team is a fresh perspective. This is especially true when he or she fills a newly-created position, as is the case with Steve Houck, DataCore’s new Chief Operating Officer, who’s tasked with organizing and driving our rapid growth to maintain our leadership in storage virtualization.

Steve’s previous roles included vice president of worldwide channels for VMware, along with various global sales leadership posts at EMC Corporation. Steve has also held executive posts for global field sales and go-to-market strategy development at start-up ventures focused on cloud computing and flash storage, with the most recent executive role at Astute Networks, an innovative SSD technology company.

This week we’d like to share with you a brief conversation with Steve, illuminating the high points of his perspective on the storage virtualization market, DataCore, and SANsymphony-V R9. Q. What brought you to DataCore?
“The opportunity really stood out for me, given my experience at EMC and VMware, and later two startups in the data center/cloud space. Its pretty clear that we’re going through the biggest IT transformation of our lifetime, and we’ve reached an inflection point. When customers start virtualizing their tier-one business applications and production environments, they find that that their storage architectures were too complicated to sustain that effort. As a result, over the past 24 months or so, the market has moved steadily into DataCore’s sweet spot.


Q. Why now? DataCore’s been in business for 14 years. What changed to make storage hypervisors a sweet spot?
“Again, complexity. Until server virtualization took off, the pain just wasn’t intense enough to force customers to fundamentally re-evaluate their storage architecture. For years, the biggest discussion was about which storage vendor to commit to. But things are moving so fast now that customers don’t want to tie themselves to one vendor anymore. No matter how broad their vision, you’re going to run off the edge at some point, and that kills the agility that’s the whole point of virtualization and cloud computing.”


Q. What do you see as DataCore’s fundamental advantages?
“Technology goes without saying: that’s the foundation of the performance gains, increased agility, and lower costs that SANsymphony-V delivers. Maturity, too. There’s over ten years of code behind this, and thousands of customers—that’s why I call DataCore a 14-year-old startup. But above all, the real barrier to entry is that DataCore is an agnostic pure storage play: we’re not a part of anyone’s virtualization stack but we play well with all of them. That puts the customer and our partners in the driver’s seat.”


Q. What will your primary focus at DataCore be?
“On a high level, building relationships with strategic partners, with channel partners, and with customers. Our recent SANsymphony-V release takes our storage hypervisor technology to the enterprise level with increased scalability and integration with major system monitoring tools. Likewise, I want to take the DataCore ecosystem to the next level with volume resellers, system integrators, cloud providers, solid state disk (SSD) vendors and appliance system builders selling SANsymphony-V, to give customers more choice and the ability to do projects they just couldn’t afford or manage before.


“Our channel partners will be a big part of this. Integrators who grabbed the brass ring back when server virtualization started to take off—I saw this at VMware—were able to break away from the pack and establish themselves as major players, leapfrogging their competition in the process.


“I see the same opportunity for the DataCore channel. SANsymphony-V enables them to build the best, most scalable, most efficient storage architectures for their customers by leveraging all of their storage expertise and vendor relationships. We add value to their entire portfolio, and a lot of my focus will be on demonstrating that with actual customer engagements to build our channel.”

For more about Steve Houck and his new role at DataCore, click here: DataCore Software Appoints Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Industry Veteran Steve Houck to Newly Created Chief Operating Officer Role.

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