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Right Technology, Right Time: Opportunistic Ocarina CEO Murli Thirumale (Part 6)

Posted on Monday, May 12th 2008

SM: You are not alone in the market, but I think you are going after a niche which has been ignored somewhat.

MT: Yes. We mentioned earlier the WAN concepts, where people are compressing the data because of the narrow pipes. Companies have done it for backup solutions as well. That is a huge sub-category in this space as well. With backups there are a lot of duplicates. From one week to the next 90% of the data is the same. It is pretty straight forward that you only need to have one instance of a file stored as long as it can be referenced by multiple storage backup restoration indexes.

I like our niche because we have the same value propositions but it is for online storage which is more expensive. The challenge, of course, is that online storage does not have nearly as many duplicate files as the backup category. Hardly any of the files we have to deal with are duplicate files.

SM: Who are the primary clients you sell to? Do you focus on datacenter vendors?

MT: It is not limited to a datacenter, nor is it intended only for large enterprises. The people who have the biggest problems are internet media, and they are our first target market. We are pretty much in evaluation in all the big photo shops. We are also talking with all the email companies, the social networks, and a lot of the managed service providers who do hosting. Thus internet media is one major group for us. Then there are all the media and entertainment guys like Fox media and the animation and video companies. They comprise of a second major group for us. Finally you have another category consisting of oil and gas companies who do a lot of simulation and seismic data.

SM: You are already at a stage where you are selling to all of these people?

MT: We are just starting with Internet media, and oil and gas has just started.

SM: How big is your sales force?

MT: When I say we just started, it is very literal – we launched last week! We will be shipping this month. We are undergoing evaluations in six places right now.

SM: This is a really good story. I like that is is very defined technology with an obvious market need.

MT: It is straightforward. The technology is cool and very different.

SM: Who is the technologist behind this?

MT: We have a bunch of different people. We have three different types of people in the company. The first are high speed network proxy folks. That is in line with the Net6 group. Then we have some storage people, because there is a lot of file system awareness. The third category are the compression experts. Those are guys whose heads bulge in strange places and they have three PhD’s a piece, from all over the world. Those are the three extremes of the types of people we hire.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Right Technology, Right Time: Opportunistic Ocarina CEO Murli Thirumale
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