Ex-VMware vCloud Air Sales Chief Joins Storage Startup Run By Nutanix Co-Founder

Storage startup Cohesity said Tuesday that it has hired Riccardo Di Blasio, former vice president of sales and marketing for VMware's vCloud Air public cloud service, as chief operating officer and head of field operations.

Di Blasio, who resigned from his position at VMware last month, joins a startup that came out of stealth mode in June with $70 million in venture funding. Cohesity focuses on secondary storage, or data that's stored in devops and analytics environments as opposed to being used in production networks.

Cohesity founder and CEO Mohit Aron is a storage industry veteran who also co-founded hyper-converged infrastructure startup Nutanix, which has raised more than $312 million.

[Related: VMware's Top vCloud Air Sales And Marketing Exec Resigns, Longtime EMC Exec Takes Over]

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Di Blasio was one of the executives leading VMware's efforts to establish itself in the fiercely competitive public cloud market, where Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure reign supreme.

In an interview with CRN, Di Blasio said he'll be helping Cohesity expand its field operations, marketing, manufacturing and IT teams. He said he was attracted to Cohesity because it uses a combination of storage and hyper-converged technology to address challenges associated with secondary storage.

Di Blasio said Cohesity's scalability and management makes it an ideal storage option for organizations that are using big data analytics. The startup's technology makes it possible to browse a single data point within large data stores, he added.

"We offer to end users a single pane of glass where they can have access to all the data they have stored, and run analytics on it," said Di Blasio.

The startup's flagship product is called the Cohesity Data Platform, which provides a range of data protection services, including storage of backed up data, archival data and cloud connectivity.

Cohesity, based in Santa Clara, Calif., has more than than 20 channel partners in the U.S., U.K. and the Asia-Pacific, including Dasher Technologies, Presidio and Data Pivot Technologies.

Di Blasio is the second high-profile VMware vCloud Air executive to depart in the past two weeks. Mathew Lodge, the former VMware vice president of cloud services who left last week after more than five years at the vendor, is now COO of Weaveworks, a London-based container startup.

Sources told CRN last month that VMware has either stopped development on vCloud Air or will soon do so, including work on additional features. More recently, sources have said they expect VMware parent company EMC to combine vCloud Air with Virtustream, the cloud startup it acquired in July.