Storage Soup

Feb 22 2018   6:40PM GMT

Pivotal move: Chad Sakac says Dell EMC in ‘rear-view window’

Garry Kranz Garry Kranz Profile: Garry Kranz


The question ‘Where is Chad Sakac?’ got answered this week: by Chad Sakac. The former president of the Dell EMC converged infrastructure division (formerly known as converged platforms) said he will join Dell’s Pivotal Software subsidiary in April to guide development of the Pivotal Container Service.

Sakac appeared to be the odd man out following a February reshuffling of the Dell Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG). He informed readers of his blog this week that Dell EMC and the converged products are “in my rear-view window.”  He did not specify his new job title, saying only he would be the “glue” among Dell EMC storage, Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) and VMware product development for DevOps customers.

Pivotal Container Service (PKS) stems from VMware’s partnership with Google. The “K” refers to Pivotal’s reliance on the Google Kubernetes orchestration framework.

“My role is to be part of the team that is laser-focused on driving the success of Pivotal Container Service (and the rest of PCF) together with the teams at VMware and Dell EMC.   The job is simple – helping make our aligned Dell Technologies developer platform come together…” Sakac said.

Dell Technologies in February realigned ISG, placing VCE converged infrastructure under the Servers unit, headed by Ashley Gorakhpurwalla.   The converged and hyper-converged infrastructure products, including  VxRack/VxRail and Nutanix XC Series, shifted to the Dell EMC storage division, led by EMC veteran Jeff Boudreau.

Dell EMC’s management moves emerged against a backdrop of other potential changes under consideration. Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell has acknowledged his company is exploring strategic options to unload debt related to $60 million EMC merger in 2016.

Options reportedly being mulled include an initial public offering of the Dell EMC storage business, or allowing VMware to acquire Dell Technologies in a reverse merger.  It’s also possible – some experts say it’s likely, in fact – that Dell will keep its present structure intact. The vendor has not publicly disclosed a timetable for its decision.

Reorganizing ISG appeared to leave Sakac without a clearly defined role. Matt Baker, a Dell EMC senior vice president of strategy and planning, said at the time that Sakac would “continue to be a valuable part of the organization” who was “working hand in glove with the executive team to carve out his next role.”

That role now appears to be defined. On his blog, Sakac said he supports the Dell Technologies reorganization as a way to make converged storage a more useful tool to support development of cloud-native applications.

“The CI business is finding a new gear. In 2017, we lost some ground – but maintained our No. 1 position. That trend changed in the second half – and the CI business and primary storage show that. CI is essential to the primary storage business of Dell EMC. There are thousands of customers who depend on Dell EMC CI to be the foundation of their data center(s) – and have moved up to consume infrastructure,” rather than as a building blocks.

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