‘7 Minutes’ with WekaIO VP of Marketing Barbara Murphy


**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

WekaIO’s Matrix software enables partners to construct a software-defined storage network out of a mix of commodity servers and SSD capacity, integrated with Amazon S3 or Swift, in an on-premises, cloud or hybrid setup.

WekaIO's Barbara Murphy

WekaIO’s Barbara Murphy

“We are completely hardware-agnostic, to the point we don’t even require NVRAM,“ VP of marketing Barbara Murphy told Channel Partners. “You might have Dell servers one quarter, and the next quarter you buy HPE. That’s not a problem for us. We can mix and match. We just present it back to the compute layer as a single namespace. ”

WekaIO, which was founded in 2013 and officially exits stealth mode today, currently has a mix of reseller and OEM engagements, Murphy says. The value proposition for customers is a unified strategy as opposed to the traditional three buckets of storage.

“If you want low latency and speed, people tend to go for all-flash-type arrays,” says Murphy. “If you want simplicity and share-ability, scale-out NAS has been the platform of choice. And then if you want massive scale, cloud object store has been that platform.”

She says those silos have followed storage into the cloud, with Elastic Block Storage for high availability, Elastic File System for shared storage and S3 object store for big data.

“We’ve said, let’s solve for the three elements — speed, simplicity and scalability — with a single architecture that can that can satisfy all of your application needs,” she says.

Little-used data can be moved to the cloud but remain accessible. “We always maintain locality from the application perspective,” said Murphy. “So even if we’ve pushed the file to the cloud for storage because you’re not using it anymore, that application has this concept that it’s still local.”

The company has raised a little over $32 million in funding to date and has what Murphy calls a “very rich” patent portfolio. The executive team includes veterans of NetApp, EMC, IBM and Intel.

Currently, auto-tiering to the cloud is limited to AWS — where many customer proofs of concept are run — but Murphy says the company is working with Microsoft to enable Azure integration. Google Cloud is on the road map as well. Because there’s a reason enterprises are willing to pay a premium for dependable storage, WekaIO has tested reference designs on Dell and HPE gear and is reaching out to Lenovo, Quantum and other hardware makers.

“That just gives that extra bit of confidence to the user,” she says. “We also do a great deal of testing on the SSDs and have great relationships with providers like Toshiba and Micron and Intel.”

The technology is focused on HPC use cases — large enterprises with …

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