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Panasas Pins Future on Unproven Spec: Page 4 of 5

Several of Schrock’s colleagues have followed him to Panasas, including three VPs from Compaq.

The biggest coup for the company was signing Varun Mehta as VP of software engineering. Among network-attached storage circles, he’s considered to be one of the best in the business. Mehta built the software team that developed the Network Appliance operating system.

Is Panasas worried about a potential lawsuit from Network Appliance for snapping up Mehta? (à la EMC Sues Over Secrets?) Apparently not, as prior to joining Panasas, Mehta spent a year as VP of engineering at FastForward Networks, which was acquired by Inktomi Corp. (Nasdaq: INKT) for $1.3 billion.

“He got his non-compete year out of the way at FastForward Networks, which was great timing for us,” says Schrock. His expertise in network-attached storage will be critical to the success of the Panasas product.

On the funding side, Panasas received $10 million in September 2000 from early-stage venture capital firm, Mohr Davidow Ventures. Schrock says the company will go for a second round when the product is ready to go mid-next year.