CRN Exclusive: ZeroStack Names Former Aerohive Exec David Greene As CEO

A new CEO started at ZeroStack on Monday, ready to drive the next phase of growth for the startup that's trying to simplify private cloud deployment through a hyper-converged appliance.

David Greene, who has extensive experience selling enterprise infrastructure, will take the reins of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company from co-founder Ajay Gulati, who will transition to CTO.

Greene previously held the position of chief marketing officer at Aerohive Networks, a wireless networking company that, like ZeroStack, leverages cloud-based software to solve on-premises infrastructure challenges.

[Related: Here's Who Made Gartner's 2017 Magic Quadrant For Cloud IaaS]

Sponsored post

ZeroStack is vying for share in a market that’s rapidly heating up – solutions that reduce the complexity of deploying and managing on-premises technologies like the OpenStack cloud operating system.

"That was a lot of what got me here," Greene told CRN. "There's this macro trend happening around infrastructures. They keep getting more complicated, the resources to run them keep getting more scarce, and that doesn't work."

ZeroStack is addressing the problem with a hyper-converged stack built on top of the KVM hypervisor. The product runs OpenStack and a proprietary SaaS layer with management, operational intelligence and analytics tools. Open APIs allow integrations with other storage and networking solutions.

At Aerohive, Greene told CRN, he saw how a cloud-based management layer could make it easier for customers to operate advanced infrastructure.

Greene said over the last decade he's seen many enterprises want the simplicity of cloud, but feel out of their comfort zone when ceding a tight grip on the environments where their data and applications live.

ZeroStack delivers on-premises cloud to those enterprises that don't have "a bunch of experts on staff that are going to build that." The infrastructure, powered by machine learning algorithms, can be controlled through a web interface, giving it the look and feel of a public cloud, he said.

Before Aerohive, Greene ran marketing and business development for Riverbed, another enterprise technology vendor that did all business through the channel.

"Both [Aerohive and Riverbed] proved that's a model that scales well, delivers value to customers, helps get solutions into the marketplace. That's part of the DNA I bring into the discussion," Greene said.

Last year, the startup introduced a formal channel program for partners. From what he's seen, Greene said, the program is off to a good start, and more partners are joining all the time.

"As customers start to look at new approaches to building their infrastructure, it's really natural they would turn to the person they already trust, the reseller," he said.

ZeroStack also provides the potential for channel partners to offer managed services of their own, he said, though the company is seeing that happen through its technology more in Europe than in North America.