DSSD President quits Dell EMC

Bill Moore is no more team as Emerging Technologies loses another top exec

EMC Cork's DSSD D5 unit
DSSD D5 array

The Register's storage desk has learned that DSSD President Bill Moore has left Dell EMC.

EMC acquired DSSD in 2014, when the prey company had revealed its intentions to build rack-scale flash storage rigs, but was still in stealth mode.

Moore co-founded the company, along with Jeff Bonwick who remains a VP and CTO at Dell EMC.

News of Moore's departure emerged after Emerging Technologies President CJ Desai resigned ealier this week.

That leaves Jeff Bonwick in place along with John McCool as SVP and General Manager of DSSD in Dell EMC's Emerging Technologies Division.

We have been told that there have been around a dozen DSSD sales totalling less than US$6 million. Dell EMC has spent about $1.3 billion on DSSD, with $1 billion in the acquisition in May 2014, and there are more than 200 DSSD employees.

We understand that Dell EMC may need to decide in the next six months whether to keep investing for growth in DSSD or to decide to view it as a niche product and resize the DSSD team to fit that niche dimensions.

According to confidential background from a source aware of what's going in at DSSD but not authorised to speak for the company, Bill Moore has not been involved in DSSD for more than a year.

John McCool is still running DSSD.

Does DSSD have a future? It's best, for now, to view the system as a new thing growing slowly as Dell EMC finds the right swim lanes.

On the plus side, the product is a performance monster that delivered better-than-expected maturity for a 1.0 system. The handful of current customers are very satisfied and have brands that will make for great reference stories.

On the downside, as currently defined, a super-high-end box like this is not going to be a volume product any time soon.

So what can DSSD be? We see three roles:

  1. Current positioning positions DSSD as a high-end, next-generation, all-flash array for the new wave of memory-hungry applications.
  2. A next generation intelligent "shelf" of drives sitting behind existing assets like Xtremio or VMAX or Isilon. Those conversations and investigations are well in progress but nothing is decided yet.
  3. An embedded part of Dell server architecture which has also now begun to be discussed as part of the new company.

It's far too early in DSSD's life to declare success or failure. What we can say for now is that Dell EMC has a unique storage tool that doesn't yet solve widely-experienced problems.

The world has changed: the storage industry is not about selling a faster-than-last-year high-end boxes anymore. It remains to be seen if the new Dell EMC management team can execute a transition to the new world. ®

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