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Bill Roth, Ulitzer Editor-at-Large

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What's New at Nexenta: Looking back 14 months

Recently I reread some old blog posts in order, in part, to gain some inspiration for a new post.  And it worked.

Here’s a post I wrote in June of 2010 about events at Nexenta:

http://www.nexenta.com/corp/nexenta-blog/2010/06/10/what-is-new-at-nexenta-and-sleepless-nights/#content

What’s consistent since that time:

    • Rapid growth (accelerating recently to over 100% quarter on quarter growth - which we expect to slow down to “only” 50% quarter on quarter)

    • Lots of interest from VARS, many of which have built great business based on NexentaStor

    • I continue to focus on having the right culture; our pledge is an important part of this - it focuses us on being aggressive, taking care of the customer, considering the VAR, and trying to “relish the challenge.”


What’s new

    • Last year we estimate partners exhibited NexentaStor at 14-16 shows.  This WEEK we were exhibited at four shows.  We estimate there will be over 100 shows at which we are exhibited in the next 12 months.



    • Product enhancements: our focus continues to be on product supportability.  We continue to add lots of supportability capabilities, including improved ease of use and improved hardware integration such as the ability to report to temperature and so forth with many different hardware.



    • Process enhancements: the bane of many entrepreneurs is process.  And, therefore, entrepreneurs sometimes don’t fit in bigger companies.  Here I see processes as absolutely a critical piece of how we’ve been able to grow.  Processes allow companies to focus on exceptions, and to treat most work as a standard part of the process.  Two key processes that we’ve improved (and continue to improve): Partner on-boarding: we have almost overwhelming interest from partners; and they are busy and in competitive markets.  We’ve invested quite a bit in helping them get up to speed more quickly.  Next week we’ll have another 50-60 partners trained at the open storage summit.  Hardware certification: we continue to develop our own certification tools and we’ve worked quite a bit on processes to better work with the major hardware vendors from joint product design through integrated support.



    • VDI: We continue to win major VDI deployments where NexentaStor serves as the storage for VDI; we just crush others at price per random IOPS, thanks in part to our ability to leverage the tremendous products of SSD partners STEC and others.  This week we took the significant step of announcing the productization of NexentaVDI, a companion product to NexentaStor.  NexentaVDI will be the first software only product on the market to auto-tune the storage and desktop environment, together, for VMware View.  NexentaVDI is, perhaps not surprisingly, open.  While it works well with NexentaStor and shares certain management with NexentaStor it does *not* require the use of NexentaStor as the back-end storage should any such storage be needed.  We are actively working with other storage solutions to certify them with NexentaVDI and would welcome others as well including companies that otherwise compete with Nexenta.  Please contact partners at nexenta.com for more information.  NexentaVDI entered into beta this week as many have heard from our announcement with VMware at VMworld.  Click here to see that press.


I believe my job includes being able to be both our harshest critic and our biggest cheerleader.  We’ve not done everything right.  We continue to make mistakes.  And we will make more.  However - our pledge helps us to relentlessly focus on four things:  customer success, VAR success, an aggressive and transparent culture, and, last but not least, fun.

All in all, people like me and other Nexentians live in part for what we are achieving here.  To grow a company from a good idea in IRC chat to perhaps the leading independent competitor to the major legacy storage vendors in approximately four years is a (stressful, all consuming, out and out difficult) blast.  For the right people, those that can seize opportunities while building sustainable processes - this is an opportunity of a life time.

And yes - we’re hiring pretty much across the board.  We have 100+ recs that are open or will be shortly.  Please give it your best shot.  Email careers at nexenta.com to learn more.  We’ll be launching a new careers site shortly as well, as a part of our  spruced-up website.

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Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.