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Bridging Complex Technology To Market: Lior Gal, CEO of Excelero (Part 2)

Posted on Thursday, Oct 10th 2019

Sramana Mitra: What was going to be in the product that you were putting together based on this general observation?

Lior Gal: The first building block is, it needs to be software. That might sound not that unique but in this space, people are still buying appliances. It needs to be software because that’s the way the future consumption is going to be.

Look at today’s markets. Most of the data is going to the cloud. Clearly, if you want to sell a service to someone, it needs to be software. I really wanted to ride what was clearly going to be the innovation wave with computes, GPUs, PPUs, CPUs, and networking.

Five years ago, people were using one GB networking. Now, they’re using 100 GB, 200 GB, and soon to be 400 GB. These are hundreds of times faster memory innovation – anything from MVNE, which is the new protocol for Flash, all the way to SCM.

If you’re trying to do it with software, you can use those ingredients for something special. The second which was disruptive was thinking of scale-out instead of scale-up. What does that mean? If you design a solution for a rack of servers, then these Flash EMC boxes can be the greatest solution ever.

If you want to design a solution for today’s challenges, you need to think about data center scale. Can I run a new game on the cloud and access 10 servers? It’s not successful. So, access 1,000. If it’s successful, how do I scale up? The design concept was software, and it was scale-out.

The third thing is how do you do that in a way where you have everything everywhere, but it feels local. It’s the same as, if I wanted to run something on my own laptop and I have the fastest drive. It will run as fast as possible. What if I run the same batch and I want to run it on the network and access other storage devices? Will it be that fast?

With all of those ingredients, our team found very interesting ways to be able to do it and make people feel that they are using locally accessible resources, even though it’s everywhere. All of that combined was a disruption that we have been building for the past five years.

Four or five years ago when you thought about cloud service, you thought about web services, archives, and object storage. Now it’s not that anymore. Now it’s AI-driven use cases. It’s immense pressure on data centers. They are now trying to use everything they have on the plate. That was what I felt we can do.

If you look at our slides from 2014, we said we were going after the big ones. We were going to create a solution that will scale to a million servers.

Sramana Mitra: How did you get this business off the ground?

Lior Gal: I got it off the ground thanks to our CTO and Co-Founder Yaniv Romem. Looking back, the most important move in this company was him making a decision in the early days. He made a decision that he doesn’t want to be the CEO. He made a decision that he can lead the technology.

He’s our Head of Technology today. He did not want to lead the business. He was looking for a partner while I was looking for a partner. That was a decision that got us to the point where when they were creating the value of the product, I was dealing with business and partnerships.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Bridging Complex Technology To Market: Lior Gal, CEO of Excelero
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