“We are clearly in the age of software defined data centers, where virtualization, automation and across-the-board efficiencies must be driven through software. Businesses can no longer afford yearly ‘rip-and-replace’ cycles, and require a cost-effective approach to managing storage growth that allows them to innovate while getting the most out of existing investments.”
Our mission statement when DataCore was founded in 1998 was to create ‘software-driven storage architecture’. But, if we had called it ‘software-defined’ then the industry probably would have called it ‘software-driven’; we went with ‘software-driven’ so the now the industry went ‘software defined’. We have always been true to our mission of developing a pure software approach and we have been doing it for over 16 years and have thousands of happy customers to show for it…
For a long time we had to evangelize the idea of software. The industry wanted to still buy and think in terms of hardware, the mindset has been hardware biased. We kept trying to find ways to associate with software. Storage virtualization was the correct term in the beginning but when we started storage virtualization as a term meant what today they’re calling ‘software-defined’, meaning it could not be sold as part of the hardware, it was totally hardware independent. Instead all the storage hardware vendors hijacked the term. So all of a sudden IBM SVC, Hitachi, everybody began to use the term even if it was not downloadable software and required a customer to buy specific vendor hardware to make it run.
Then, a few years back, because of the success of VMware, I said “let’s start using storage hypervisor” so that we could at least talk to the people who were using VMware, Microsoft and understood the software layer was separate from hardware. But the term had a short life. The big change (turning point in mindset) was early last year or right before when EMC announces ViPR and they start talking software-defined storage. The largest player in the storage market says two big things: commodity and software are the future of storage. And then VMware comes along and announces Virtual SAN, again promoting a pure software approach.
Two huge companies, and EMC the number one storage company in the world, say the future is about commodity and software. All of a sudden, my business, and the interest and opportunity in DataCore has gone up by 50%. Because people are looking up ViPR and VSAN and searching to find out “what else is out there?” and they find us. But the funny part is that, these terms, in fact they are all crazy, since we’ve been doing the same thing for 16 years.
What is the roadmap for SANsymphony storage virtualization software?
The long-term vision is a thing we call ‘data anywhere’.
The idea is that we’ve been able to do a lot of things with SANsymphony V-10 especially where the data can move from being on the server side to the SAN, into the cloud. And we believe that there is so much different types of storage -its a specturm from Flash to disk to Cloud storage, and that companies will have different types. And the funny part is th
at every vendor talks convergence but if you look at what they do, they’re selling divergence.
Today everybody is creating ‘isolated storage islands’. And they only work within their own stuff, our features and software work across all of them. Our view is, we UNIFY all these isolated storage islands.
DataCore was formed in 1998 and you’ve been its president and CEO since the very first day. For how much longer?
I still find it exciting. What’s amazing now is that the vision we had has become real; I don’t have to explain what it is anymore. However, it took three times longer than I thought to get to this point…