Joyent Co-Founder And CTO Leaving To Pursue 'New Ideas And Projects'

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Hoffman has an interesting background. He began his career in the 1990s as a cancer pathologist and started Joyent in 2004 as a way to handle large amounts of research data.

As he told Business Insider last November, Hoffman wanted to figure out why the same cancer drug given to two different patients would yield very different results. He needed a way to study images of tissue samples from cancer patients at nanoscale, but supercomputers at the time weren't able to handle this sort of work.

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So, Hoffman co-founded Joyent, whose cloud infrastructure-as-a-service runs on SmartOS, an open-source offshoot of OpenSolaris built for high-performance workloads.

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"What started as a small solution to a personal problem has grown into a tremendous company and a significant player in the cloud computing business," Hoffman said in the blog post announcing his departure.

Gartner, in its Magic Quadrant report for cloud IaaS last month, described Joyent's vision for cloud IaaS as "unique" and said its technology is "exceptionally innovative" compared against the rest of the cloud market.

Joyent is also the corporate sponsor of Node.js, a JavaScript-based software platform used to build scalable server-side apps.

In June, Joyent launched Manta, a cloud storage and big data service that brings compute power to where the data resides in order to analyze it. Joyent is one of the first vendors to do this, and it's important because it lets organizations avoid the costs and time involved with moving large amounts of data.

"I believe that Joyent's Manta compute on storage innovation will disrupt the storage and big data analytics markets, even as it is just starting to get major traction," Hoffman said in the blog post.

The scope of Hoffman's role at Joyent was quite broad and included "overseeing our commercial offerings, pricing strategy, products, product positioning, engineering and operations," according to his LinkedIn profile.

Hoffman is well regarded in technology circles, as evidenced by the many industry luminaries on Twitter that are wishing him well in his future endeavors.

One example is Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, who tweeted: "Thank you for the high bar on how science should be used in technology and in business. Your work will continue to influence."