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BLOG: A conversation with Suresh Vasudevan, CEO of Nimble Storage

Larry Chaffin | May 16, 2013
How he is changing storage

Over the last 5 years, there have been over 3-4 dozen storage startups, all premised on solid state storage as a disruptive phenomenon that incumbent companies will be unable to leverage as quickly or as effectively as ground-up designs, without cannibalizing their existing products.  While it is true that many, if not most, of these startups will not be able to sustain as standalone entities over time, I also firmly believe that the next set of multi-billion dollar product lines will stem from new entrants into the storage market.

9. Where in the world are most of your sales now and do you see growth in emerging markets?

A majority of our revenue is derived from the US today, although we have expanded quickly over the last 2 years.  We now have sales presence and hundreds of customers around the globe - in Canada, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, BeNeLux, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines and in China.  We continue to expand our global presence with new locations every quarter, with emerging markets as an area of focus as we look ahead at the next 12-18 months.

10. Let's talk about the cloud, what are you doing in the cloud now?

Our biggest area of focus as it relates to the cloud is in serving cloud service providers as a customer segment.  This segment has been one of our fastest growing segments.  While our ability to deliver 3-5 times better price performance, better data protection and simplicity appeals to service providers, one of our unique attributes is that our systems can be scaled very granularly in low-cost increments, non-disruptively as workloads change  from a very small initial foot-print to very large-scale deployments — we term this scaling ability as Scale-to-FitTM.  This allows service providers to stage their investments and mimic an on-demand procurement model which in more in line with an on-demand payment model that they experience from their customers.

A second area where we are leveraging the cloud is in how we deliver support and how our customers manage their Nimble Storage deployments.  We monitor all of our customer deployed systems on a near-real-time basis and gather millions of readings per array per day which are then analyzed using big data analytics to predict support problems.  We also use this data to deliver a cloud-based management software such that our customers can monitor their global storage environments from any location using a browser.

11. What do you think of SDN and where your company fits in that new buzzword.

In a narrow sense, SDN will help us and help our customers as it matures.  If SDN can allow storage traffic to be prioritized based on which application is being served, that will further improve storage performance. 


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