DataCore Adds Former VMware Exec As COO To Help Push Storage Virtualization

Steve Houck, who was VMware's senior director of global channels until stepping aside in 2009 to run the company's Latin America markets, said he is taking the new position at a time when DataCore's storage virtualization software is ready for a new stage of growth.

"DataCore is essentially a 14-year-old startup," Houck said. "They've been dealing with storage virtualization technology all that time, and have offices in Europe and Asia, and just opened in Latin America. It became apparent that, as the company grew, it needed this new layer of management to align our resources in the best way to capture the market."

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In particular, Houck said, DataCore is looking to better align its business with that of strategic partners such as Microsoft, Dell, VMware, and Fusion-io, as well as with channel partners.

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The adoption of virtualization and the cloud is starting to drive the data center business, Houck said.

"DataCore, with its storage virtualization and storage hypervisor technologies, is moving to abstract storage services from the hardware to software," he said. "Those services, such as snapshots and auto-tiering, in the past needed hardware. Now they can be done at the virtualization layer."

The biggest decision storage customers traditionally had to make was determining which storage hardware vendor would get their deals, Houck said. "Now we're pushing virtualization to take the tier one apps to the cloud, which is complicating the storage decision," he said.

Houck said that George Teixeira, DataCore president and CEO, talks a lot about "BYOD," but he doesn't mean "bring your own device." Instead, he said, Teixeira refers to "bring your own disk."

"Customers are seeing the value of using a storage hypervisor to manage storage on any hardware, including any tier of hardware including PCIe flash storage," he said. And with our partnership with (Natick, Mass.-based) TwinStrata, that also includes the storage cloud tier."

DataCore, which has been profitable for the majority of the time it has be in existence, relies on indirect channels for 100 percent of its business, Houck said.

Between his time at VMware and joining DataCore, Houck also served as CEO of GridTree, a Miami-based developer of IT-as-a-service technology, and as senior vice president of worldwide sales at Astute Networks, a San Diego-based developer of networked flash-based application acceleration appliances.