Numerous sources have confirmed that Evan Powell, CEO of Santa Clara-based Nexenta will step down today as CEO under undisclosed circumstances. He assumes the position of CSO in the company and had served as its CEO since 2007. Privately held and founded in 2005, the company brings an open philosophy to software-defined storage and uses its community model to become a storage force. Network storage veteran Bridget Warwick also joins the company as its CMO, chief marketing officer.
Nexenta has been making waves with major partnerships and touts over 5000 customers, with an emphasis in the finance sector. Their total sales are approaching half a billion dollars and projected to be over a billion dollars this year, and go to two billion dollars in 2014. The explosive growth echoes the rise of software-defined datacenters, delivering major savings and capabilities at the same time. As a software-only platform, the heterogeneous capabilities result in not only high scalability, but also maintain high-performance, which is critical in high demand scenarios such as virtualization and VDI. At a time where it is commonly estimated that more than half of IT budgets are spent in big data, cloud and virtualization, this is where Nexenta shines with their ZFS-based storage solutions that break the boundaries of proprietary and slow storage systems. The company competes with NetApp and their Data ONTAP products.
With numbers like these it appears that the company is on a track for public investment or perhaps a suitor. The market for software-defined storage is hot. VMware recently picked up virtual storage company Virsto for just that reason, giving them a bleeding edge storage hypervisor in its mighty lineup. The safe assumption would be that the incoming Nexenta CEO will be one with significant investment and IPO experience. Word from partners say that man is Mark Lockareff, a senior executive with 24 years of experience and a significant track record helping emerging technology companies achieve market success. The industry sees the explosion in infrastructure as code, and the opportunities of the software defined datacenter. This is only the beginning.