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Storage marketing guru ups and leaves CTERA ... for whom?

Takes stealthy startup job with ex-XtremIO big data-sorter

A storage marketing guru has left security-focused, file services cloud storage gateway CTERA for a mysterious big data startup led by an ex-XtremIO techie.

Marketing movers and shakers are bound to move and shake – just recently, CTERA took on a new marketing SVP, Tom Grave, from Catalogic.

Grave had been Catalogic’s VP of marketing since January 2015, coming from being VP for product and marketing at SimpliVity (January 2012 – October 2014). Marianne Budnik replaced him at SimpliVity.

The opportunity opened up because CTERA’s marketing senior VP, Jeff Denworth, has gone off to be VP of products at stealth mode startup Vast Data, which is focused – cue the name – on big data and cloud storage. Denworth joined CTERA in February 2014, coming from being boss marketeer at DDN.

CTERA seems well set for growth, so Denworth must be keen on startup struggles and a more direct role in product development and strategy. Interestingly, Vast Data is based in the Herzliya area, north of Tel Aviv, Israel, not too far away from CTERA’s office. Usually, in my experience, Israeli startups set up sales and marketing ops in the US, not product management, so Denworth’s move - specifically into a product development role - is doubly interesting.

Vast Data was founded by Renen Hallak in February this year. He is a very clever guy, with XtremIO CTO experience and a string of 17 patents to his inventive name.

Hallak “led the architecture and development of an all flash array at XtremIO, from inception to over a billion dollars in revenue while acting as VP of R&D and leading a team of over 200 engineers,” according to his LinkedIn entry. Before that he’d gained a BA in computer science while at high school, and then an M.Sc. in computer science at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology – we understand while serving in the Israeli military. He worked in two other companies – Intercast and Time To Know – between the military service and XtremIO.

We think Vast Data is building a Pure Storage FlashBlade-type all-flash array box for big data, with fiendishly clever software. Hallak probably has seed funding - how else is Denworth going to get paid? He’ll also have a team of architects and engineers. More information is bound to come out next year.

So, marketeers looking for a change: send your applications in for a marketing VP-ship at Catalogic. But flash and big data engineers should get in touch with Vast Data. We think it might be recruiting. ®

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