Storage Soup

May 22 2014   3:15PM GMT

X-IO switches CEOs, focuses on virtualization

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Tags:
ISE
Storage
VDI
Virtualization

Brian Owen today moved into a well-worn – and well-warmed – seat as CEO of X-IO Technologies. Owen becomes the vendor’s ninth CEO in less than 12 years. His job will be to help X-IO find a secure place in the storage world with its ISE storage bricks.

Owen has been CEO of Mapinfo and decalog NV, and before that held executive roles at Computer Associates, Oracle and  DEC.

He joined X-IO in January as vice chairman. Now he’s trading places with John Beletic, who goes from X-IO CEO to chairman. Beletic held the CEO post since 2011.

Owen said he has been meeting with customers since January, and is satisfied the vendor’s technology is sound. He said X-IO needs to focus more on potential customers who are heavily virtualized, including on the desktop.

“The product is real and appropriate, but for specific parts of the market,” he said. “We’re not storage for all. We’re not general purpose storage. We’re high performance storage for a certain class of applications. The key things for me are to make sure we refine our focus and go into markets where we’re relative and highly competitive.

“As you move towards highly virtualized environments, we become far more relevant. If you think about a SAN world, there’s controller and all kinds of features built into a controller. In a post-SAN highly virtualized world, you build features into the hypervisor that used to be in the SAN. We are not heavy in features. We count on hypervisor to deliver those features, and we just deliver pure raw high performance and reliable storage.”

Owen said for VDI, “we’re just a screamer. We have a highly capable product there.” Our sweet spot is high performance reliable performance at a tremendous price point. We can deliver all-flash class performance with hybrid.”

One of Owen’s previous companies, MapInfo, went public and decalog was acquired by SunGaard. Owen would not talk about X-IO finances but said, “We’re in growth mode. We had good growth in the first quarter. Our second quarter last year was a phenomenal quarter so we won’t have as much growth in this quarter but we’re still in growth mode.”

He added that X-IO needs fine-tuning more than a massive overhaul. He called ISE and the hybrid flash ISE “Incredibly modern technologies” and the vendor is “introverted and a little techy. We need to change that and be more solutions-oriented in the way we go to market.”

Owen has already promoted David Gustavsson to COO from VP of engineering and Gavin McLaughlin to VP of worldwide marketing from solutions development director. Gustavsson will continue to head engineering, and take over technical marketing, manufacturing and support.

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