“Long term vision is a thing we call data anywhere.”
Now you embrace totally the three words software-defined storage (SDS) in your marketing approach following the buzz.
Our mission statement when DataCore was founded in 1998 was ‘software-driven storage and architecture’. And the truth is, if we had called it ‘software-defined’ then the industry would have called it ‘software-driven’, but we went ‘software-driven’ so the industry went ‘software defined’.
Why not anymore storage virtualization software or hypervisor?
For a long time we had to evangelize the idea of software. The industry wants to still buy and think in terms of hardware, the mindset has been hardware. 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 we meant what today they’re calling ‘software-defined’, meaning it could not be sold as part of the hardware. Instead all the hardware people hijacked the term. So all of a sudden IBM SVC, Hitachi, everybody used the term.
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. But the term had a short life. The big change was early last year or before when EMC announces ViPR and they start talking software-defined storage. They said two big things: commodity and software. And then VMware comes along and announces Virtual SAN, again software.
The two biggest player, and EMC the number one storage company in the world, says the future is about commodity and software. All of a sudden, my business, the opportunity has gone up by 50%. Because people are looking up ViPR and go “what else is out there?” and they find us. But the funny part is that, these terms, they are crazy, we’ve been doing the same thing for 16 years.
Who are you main competitors in SDS?
The quick answer is Nexenta, if you’re doing open. But if you take a close look, it’s not a company that we run into that often. Usually Nexenta sells a bundle, with a system. We don’t really compete with them because we usually are high-performance.
I guess you could argue IBM SVC is probably the other one. But in reality most of our competition is EMC, Hitachi, NetApp. But I sell as much with them, versus competing. For instance many of our customers today use EMC but what they do is they take VNX plus DataCore, and it’s cheaper and better as a VPLEX. In some cases they’re competitors, in most cases we work with them.
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