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Right Technology, Right Time: Opportunistic Ocarina CEO Murli Thirumale (Part 5)

Posted on Sunday, May 11th 2008

SM: Let’s talk about Ocarina. What is the genesis and why?

MT: Once I knew that Citrix was doing well I was read to turn it over to somebody else. I asked the CIO of Citrix what his top three problems were. Application deployment was number one on his list. As far as I am concerned anybody who is doing a big Oracle or SAP deployment will have that as their number one problem because you can get fired if it does not go well. The incredible storage problem was number two on his list.

With that in mind, we did the SDBS model again. We SDBS’d the Ocarina idea with two other ideas which were in completely other realms. One was an e-business, Web2.0 business and the other was an image recognition technology. The reason we picked Ocarina was that this was one that customers would consistently come back and say they had a huge pain point around.

SM: Explain the pain point a bit more.

MT: The pain point is very straight forward. We were talking about Web 2.0 and media stuff earlier. The world has changed and businesses are hit with it all the time. There is so much rich media out there in the form of images, video, office documents, and etcetera. All of these things are accumulating and one of the side effects is that you need lots of room to store it. The typical home user’s storage has gone up dramatically in the past years, so just multiply that by a thousand fold and you are at the enterprise level. Then imagine the challenge for market leaders. Basically, what is happening is that storage skyrockets. Even though the cost of media is falling, the overall cost of storage is increasing. The amount to be stored overwhelms everything else.

The value proposition we present is that we will go in and optimize your online storage, which is the storage you use on a regular basis, and allow you to store up to 10 times more on the storage devices you already have. We do this by installing an Ocarina appliance on your existing storage network. We are not a storage vendor. We are not asking you to buy storage from us. We simply make whatever storage you already have much more efficient.

SM: Is it like a network level defragmenter conceptually?

MT: In a sense it is one of the things we do. That is absolutely true. Defragging is one of the strategies. We come in, install the appliance, and literally the next day we will have crawled through 5 terabytes and freed up 70 to 80 percent of the space. We will deliver three terabytes of additional storage space per day which you can put to use immediately.

SM: It is a simple idea.

MT: Very simple!

SM: I like that!

MT: Everybody gets it, and everybody wants it. The nice thing is that in one sense it is not new. There are people who have done this for different parts of data. They have done this on the Wide Area Network. As data is sent from a branch to a central office you could just reduce it so you use less bandwidth.

SM: True, but you are solving a very different problem.

MT: Exactly, the technologies which are utilized for data in motion and data in rest are very different.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Right Technology, Right Time: Opportunistic Ocarina CEO Murli Thirumale
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