CRN Exclusive: Hot Startup Velostrata Has Its First Channel Chief

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Velostrata, a startup that's attracted enormous attention since exiting stealth by touting its ability to decouple storage from cloud resources, has appointed its first channel chief.

John Donnelly, previously senior vice president of sales at MobileIron and before that vice president of sales at Symantec, joined the Israeli-American startup last week. The new vice president of worldwide sales will lead Velostrata's efforts to develop a channel program as it prepares to formally introduce its software into the market.

Donnelly told CRN he has set his sights on building a sales organization and figuring out a go-to-market strategy for a product that aims to break down a barrier to hybrid cloud adoption -- the sometimes-undesired interdependence of storage and compute -- and in so doing create new opportunities for the channel.

[Related: Velostrata Exits Stealth Ready To Tear Down A Barrier To Cloud Adoption]

Before he was officially hired, Donnelly spent a few months consulting for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup and with its R&D office in Tel Aviv. He said he considered all sales models before squarely deciding on a channel approach.

"Is there an existing channel that we can join on? Do we have to build it from scratch? Do we go direct?" Donnelly said were the questions he asked himself and other Velostrata executives.

"One thing that became really obvious early on is this is a great channel opportunity," Donnelly told CRN.

The problem with hybrid cloud today is the difficulty in migrating workloads away from existing infrastructure, Donnelly said. Sure, there are "a bunch of big guys in that space that will charge you a lot of money, do yearlong projects, but it's not cost-effective."

Those forklift migrations eliminate much of the value of using hybrid cloud, he said.

Many organizations would prefer to keep their databases stored in their data center while bursting into the cloud to leverage compute and memory resources, Donnelly explained, and "the complexity of decoupling from the data center goes away with Velostrata."

That makes Velostrata's technology an easy sell to potential partners, he added.

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