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New head for disk drive array upstart: Coraid moves CEO to board

And pops ex-NetApp big cheese into hot seat

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Ethernet storage biz Coraid has moved Kevin Brown from the CEO seat to its board and installed David Kresse as its new chief exec.

Coraid builds EtherDrive arrays using commodity hardware, which are accessed via the lightweight ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) protocol devised and patented by company founder Brantley Coile.

Kevin Brown joined the then 10-year-old Coraid as its CEO in 2009, coming from being the big cheese at NetApp-acquired Decru. He helped build it from a few guys and a website, so to speak, to a thriving and growing business. El Reg understands the company is ready for a potential stock-market debut.

David Kresse spent four years at NetApp, running its storage management and app integration business, and then became CEO of application performance and security vendor Mu Dynamics, later acquired by Spirent. He continues as an independent director at Embrane, the software-defined network services company.

Coraid has 1,700 customers, such as Sony Music, Shutterstock, RackForce, EVault and Tableau which have deployed petabytes of Coraid storage. It knows its customers are heading cloudwards with software-defined storage and virtualised servers. Kresse also says data centres are changing from a scale-up model to a scale-out one based on commodity hardware.

Coraid has its EtherCloud products, with a one-click self-service user interface, ready and waiting in that space. Kresse believes that Coraid will probably have to strengthen its data services offerings and that will be done in consultation with customers.

Kresse thinks all storage suppliers to enterprises are facing down widespread virtualisation and the cloud. EMC's Project Nile is a recognition of the need for simplified, more flexible and scalable storage offerings. ViPR's coming ability to use commodity storage hardware also plays off the same hymn sheet.

Coraid will continue to closely integrate with VMware and Microsoft virtualisation offerings, and also with OpenStack. We don't expect any radical changes in strategy; more a refinement and tuning of its product offers, internal and channel operations.

The company's also had $85m in venture capital funding since 2010, in three tranches. ®

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