DDN adds software-defined data services

Interview DDN bought software-defined storage player Nexenta this month. We conducted a short email interview with Kurt Kuckein, DDN senior director, to find out more.

Blocks & Files: Will Tarkan Maner stay on as Chairman and CEO of Nexenta?

Kurt Kuckein: Tarkan is staying on as CEO of the Nexenta by DDN business.

Blocks & Files: What is DDN’s strategy for Nexenta?

Kurt Kuckein: Short-term, we will continue to have each of the three businesses follow their swim lanes and they are tasked with being the best in their respective markets.

DDN Storage delivers the world’s most powerful and comprehensive AI, big data and data management at scale product portfolio.

Tintri by DDN offers the ultimate in simplicity and control for virtualized environments and enterprise applications.

Nexenta by DDN provides the most cost and performance-optimal software-defined data services for enterprises, telcos and SPs with 5G and IoT requirement.

We are currently defining the longer-term vision and product roadmap. We certainly see opportunities in the convergence of AI and Analytics processing at scale (DDN’s strength through our history in HPC) with the promise of next-generation networks like 5G creating new opportunities at the edge (IoT deployments and such) all the way back the core – whether that final resting place be in the data centre or on public cloud. 

Layer on top of that the Tintri analytics capabilities and tight integration with VMs (and potentially containers) and applications and you can start to see a possible direction.  Again, none of this is set in stone yet, and the product direction is still being discussed.

Blocks & Files: Will there be a convergence of Nexenta’s back-office functionality with that of DDN?

Kurt Kuckein: Much like the Tintri acquisition, we do see opportunities to lower operating costs through pooling of back office resources. That is definitely in the plan.

Blocks & Files: Will Nexenta remain in its current San Jose offices or move to DDN’s Chatsworth facility?

Kurt Kuckein: The Nexenta folks will be moving to the Santa Clara DDN/Tintri offices at some point.

Blocks & Files: On a separate topic, how does DDN view the HPE-Cray combination in terms of competition for its own storage line? (Cray has its Lustre-based ClusterStor scale-out parallel access filesystem arrays and DataWarp accelerator.)

Kurt Kuckein: This is probably a longer conversation.

Blocks & Files: And one we intend to have. Thank you.


DDN is heading towards an endpoint where data generated by IOT edge devices is transmitted across 5G networks and combines with other enterprise generated data. This is processed by virtual machines and containers, and AI and analytics may have roles to play. Data is stored and archived on-premises or transmitted to a final resting place in the cloud.