Storage Superstars 2010: Meet The Visionaries

Storage Superstars: Meet The Visionaries

Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles every two years or so, is a commonly-used measure of the rapid development of computer technology.

The storage industry, however, long ago transcended Moore’s Law, with new hardware components, systems, software, and services being developed at a pace unmatched in any industry.

None of this would have been possible without the early realization that the cost of raw storage capacity would start approaching free, and the vision that new ways to store, backup, retrieve, archive and, above all, manage users’ and companies’ data would be required.

Here, we spotlight 10 of the individuals and groups that made the modern storage industry what it is today.

Pioneers In The Storage Channel

Phil Soran, Chairman, President, CEO, Co-founder
John Guider, COO, Co-founder
Larry Aszmann, CTO, Co-founder

Soran (left), Guider (center) and Aszmann were pioneers in automated tiered storage and storage virtualization. Compellent, which launched in 2002, was unique in that it was designed from the start as a channel company. It engaged potential VARs and their customers a year before the first product hit the market. Also unique is the ability to constantly update installed products without the need for forklift upgrades.

"Fathers of RAID"

Garth Gibson, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Randy Katz, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
David Patterson, University of California, Berkeley

Gibson (pictured), Katz, and Patterson co-authored the pioneering 1998 research paper, ’A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID),’ while at the University of California-Berkeley, setting the stage for the development of RAID storage as we know it. The development of some of the storage arrays currently in use such as EMC's Clariion can be traced to the publication of that paper.

Storage Management Pioneer

ReiJane Huai, Chairman and CEO
FalconStor Software

Huai was an 11-year veteran of Cheyenne Software where he led R&D on what became the industry's first -- and for a long time, the most popular -- client-server storage management application, ARCserve. As president and CEO of Cheyenne Software, he led its sale to Computer Associates, now CA Technologies. Huai now drives storage virtualization software pioneer FalconStor.

Storage Software Leader

Oleg Kiselev, Chief Architect

Kiselev, who currently drives the technical vision and architecture for ParaScale’s cloud storage offerings, holds 64 patents in storage management and clustering. Before that, he was with Veritas for years, where he led teams in the Storage Foundations division of the Data Center Management business unit and helped lead the development of Veritas' Volume Manager and Cluster Volume Manager.

NAS Pioneer

James Lau, Founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer

Lau is responsible for guiding the evolution of NetApp's business strategy and identifying future growth opportunities. Before NetApp, he guided software development at NAS pioneer Auspex, and was instrumental in defining product requirements and the architecture for high-performance NFS file servers.

Deduplication Developer

Kai Li, Co-founder, Chief Scientist
Data Domain (now part of EMC)

Li was a pioneer in developing deduplication technology, and co-founded the leading dedupe vendor, Data Domain, which was the subject of an intense bidding war between EMC and NetApp. He founded Data Domain while a Princeton professor, a position he still holds. He was also a board member of the Intel Microcomputer Research Lab Advisory council.

Storage Networking Driver

Kumar Malavalli, Co-Founder, Chief Strategy Officer

Malavalli is best-known as being a co-founder and CTO of Brocade. As chairman of the ANSI INCITS T11 Technical Committee in 1994 and as founder and Chairman of Storage networking Industry Association (SNIA), he was one of the drivers of the development of the Fibre Channel networked storage fabric. His primary focus today is developing IP-based storage networking.

Driver Of Storage Development

Steve Sicola, CTO

Sicola was the driving force on several generations of storage arrays and architectures at Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) and Compaq, which acquired DEC, and then at HP, which acquired Compaq. He has been designing storage hardware and software for nearly 30 years, most recently a Seagate "Skunk Works"-type project acquired by Xiotech that resulted in self-healing storage modules. Sicola has 39 patents or patents pending.

Pioneer In RAID Storage

Bob Solomon, Vice President of Storage Technology and EMC Fellow

Solomon was one of the original creators of the Clariion line of storage arrays at Data General. When the Clariion was initially released in the mid-1990s, it was one of the pioneers in building networked storage with such then-innovative features as hot-swappable disks, dual active controllers and mirrored cache. Clariion is also the reason EMC acquired Data General.

Gold Standard In Storage

Moshe Yanai, IBM Fellow

Yanai over 30 years ago started developing mainframe storage, but made his mark by leading the development of EMC's Symmetrix storage system, which was for years the gold standard for enterprise-class storage. Yanai also helped multiple open system servers connect to iSCSI storage and developed grid storage for XIV, which was acquired by IBM.

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