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Tom Trainer
Tom Trainer
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Storwize Focuses On Optimization Without Compromise

As the embers of the last decade slowly faded away, Storwize - a Massachusetts-based, storage optimization company - quietly planned for the start of a new decade with new executives and a plan to leverage the leadership of its CEO, Ed Walsh. At the start of 2010, I noticed the press release stating that storage analyst and EMC-veteran Steve Kenniston had joined the company as vice president of Technology Strategy. I know Steve from past work experience with EMC and found him to be a great guy a

The company promotes its core values of "storage optimization without compromise" (no real-time performance impact) and to "leverage industry standard compression techniques." According to Steve, these core values have enabled Storwize to continue to build strong customer relationships and grow the company, even during the current global macro-economic down turn.

Storwize's real-time, random access method for compressing primary storage data is certainly unique and an attractive approach: as a file is processed through the appliance, a file envelope is created where attributes such as access control lists, permissions and file size are all identified and stored within the file envelope on the disk. The compressed data is stored in logical units. Should edits need to be made to files, they are made to the logical units negating the need to decompress/restore all the data just to make one edit. This can represent a significant time savings during write updates while also preserving compression ratios in downstream processes such as backup and deduplication.

Partnerships remain key to Storwize's go-to-market model. In fact, one strategic partnership involves a program with Landmark Software where NETAP file servers with dedupe support and Storwize compression appliances are sold as a pre-packaged CAD/CAM turn-key solution. The company will remain focused on developing its partner programs throughout 2010. From a service and support perspective, IBM continues to support the Storwize hardware, while Storwize itself provides support for the appliance-based software.

Steve took some time to give me a customer example of a global tele-video conferencing company with headquarters in the San Francisco bay area. The global company, an EMC and NETAP primary-storage user, relies upon Storwize to compress its Microsoft Home Directories, along with certain Oracle and VMware information. I did make contact with this customer and they confirmed their satisfaction with both primary storage vendors and with the Storwize compression solution.

So far this year, in addition to bringing Steve Kenniston on board, Storwize added another industry veteran, Roger Commings, as vice president of World Wide Sales. The company has an impressive list of investors including Bessemer, Sequoia Capital, Tenaya Capital, Tamares Capital, Stiching (a private Dutch group) and Tokyo Electron Device Limited.

Tom Trainer is founder and president of analyst firm Analytico. Prior to founding Analytico, Trainer was Principal Storage Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat, and Director of Marketing at Gluster prior to its acquisition by Red Hat. Tom has worked as managing senior partner ... View Full Bio
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