In April 2023, I joined Zadara as its CEO. I want to take this opportunity to share with Zadara customers, partners, prospects, and employees my view of Zadara and why I am so thrilled for this opportunity.
I have known the Zadara founders for more than 25 years. When we met I managed storage R&D at IBM Haifa. Zadara’s Nelson Nahum, Eli Shapira and Robi Hartman were at IIS, a company that developed storage controllers for IBM midrange products. We established great communication working in the same field and living in the same city. Circa 2000, all of us decided to start new companies. They went on to found StoreAge while I and 3 great engineers from IBM, namely Danit, Erez and Yigal founded Topio. I stayed in touch with Nelson over the years while we both built several technology companies, went through very similar experiences, faced the same challenges, and continued to develop innovative technology solutions to solve our customers’ pain points.
Cloud computing has become the dominant trend in the industry and it’s only going to get bigger going forward. The current cloud model is centralized to a fault. A relatively small number of mega clouds are serving the majority of workloads worldwide. This works well for many use cases and enables the major cloud providers to leverage economies of scale. However, this model introduces various challenges such as performance, lack of digital sovereignty, security, and high, sometimes unpredictable costs.
Edge computing addresses some of these challenges by moving device specific processing to edge devices. However, it is not a solution for scenarios that require running business applications at the edge. The holy grail is “Edge Cloud”, a solution that provides the best of both worlds – a full-fledged cloud placed at the network edge. Welcome to Zadara – the Edge Cloud leader.
No other company provides Edge Cloud at scale. Some cloud providers have tried to augment their centralized cloud with pre-packaged servers that are loaded with cloud software stack and can be installed on premises to serve some workloads locally. However, these servers rely on connectivity to the public cloud. Moreover, they support only fixed configurations that lack the flexibility, scalability, and consumption-based pricing that Edge Cloud customers require. Retrofitting a centralized cloud model to the edge is not the same as building a true Edge Cloud.
Zadara Edge Cloud (ZEC) is a simple, scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solution. It is based on a consumption-only pricing model with no upfront cost and no ingress or egress fees. Although to reap all ZEC benefits, you have to deploy all ZEC services, Zadara also coexists with cloud services offered by other vendors and is compatible with all major cloud providers including AWS, Azure and GCP. Some Zadara customers leverage Zadara cloud storage for their AWS/Azure/GCP instances. Others, leverage Zadara cloud compute and networking for their existing cloud storage capitalizing in some cases on the Zadara/Seagate Lyve joint solution.
Developing, deploying and supporting more than 500 Edge Clouds is not an easy task. I was very impressed by our customers’ and Managed Service Providers’ (MSPs) feedback on ZEC. ZEC significantly simplifies MSP IT operations and provides a robust and scalable IT platform for all of their services. It also opens up opportunities for revenue growth via the Federated Edge program that enables MSPs to deploy their services anywhere in the world with no upfront cost – the same way that they deploy in their own data centers. This outstanding feedback is loud and clear testimony supporting the amazing team that Zadara has assembled over the years and the astonishing technology and support that they built.
In January, Nelson approached me and extended a very generous offer to join Zadara as its next CEO. I have a lot of respect for Nelson and think highly of the other Zadara founders. Therefore, I was very excited to explore the possibility of working together.
I spent a significant amount of time researching Zadara and talking to many stakeholders. The more time I spent learning about the company, the more I felt that while there are challenges, Zadara has an outstanding team, a lot to offer to customers and partners, and great potential going forward. For this reason, Nelson leading the technology of the company as CTO was an essential part of my decision to join the team at Zadara.
I am looking forward to working with the entire Zadara team, partners, customers, and prospects. Nelson will help me learn the ropes and lead the company into its next phase of growth. He will continue to share his vast knowledge and wisdom in cloud platforms and infrastructure and together with his great customer and partner relationships in his new role as CTO and non-executive chairman. Together, with our partners, we will continue to build and expand the world’s largest Edge Cloud.