Apeiron throws new CEO in at the deep end

Apeiron has hired HPE veteran Chuck Smith as CEO. His predecessor company founder William Harrison has stepped aside take the CTO role.

Smith worked for two years with Compaq, which HP (now HPE) bought, and then 18 years with HPE. In his last role at the company, he ran the datacenter and hybrid cloud, business leaving in November 2017.

Ape Iron

Apeiron sells the ADS1000 NVMe flash array which can also use Optane (3D XPoint) drives for extra speed.

The host-array connectivity uses hardened layer 2 Ethernet with round trip array network access latency cut to <3 µS. The 2U array provides 20 million IOPS and 72GB/sec throughput.

Chuck Smith talking about HPE ProLiant servers on a YouTube video

Incoming CEO Smith has a job on his hands with this small NVMe storage array network startup. It faces significant, growing competition.

These include other NVMe fabric startups such as E8, Excelero, Pavilion and Vexata. More importantly, mainstream heavyweights storage suppliers are adopting NVMe fabric networking en masse.

Moreover, Smith must make the transition from senior exec at a $30bn rev oil tanker of a company – with all its internal support infrastructure – to running a small, feisty startup that must be able to turn on a dime. 

Apeiron needs to build out its sales, marketing and support infrastructure and strengthen its channel.  Smith can bring huge sales and sales channel experience and steady management to Apeiron and this may be just what the founder and investors want.

But it will cost. The company has raised less than $30m since its inception in 2013. Blocks & Files thinks more funding is necessary.