Former 3PAR CEO David Scott, who was at the helm when HPE bought the company, has joined the Cloudian board.
Cloudian is one of three standalone object storage startups alongside MinIO and Scality. Object storage has changed markedly since 2011. Mainstream storage vendors, with one exception, have bought object storage startups so the acquisition route to an exit of startup status for Cloudian looks limited. Building up the business for an IPO against the current economic climate looks looks challenging.
Michael Tso, Cloudian founder and CEO, stated: “We are thrilled to welcome David Scott to Cloudian’s board of directors. David’s extensive experience and deep industry knowledge will contribute to our vision of ubiquitous cloud-native, S3-compatible storage. David’s proven track as an IT infrastructure visionary aligns seamlessly with our commitment to delivering innovative object storage solutions for the hybrid cloud.”
That vision is shared by most if not all object storage vendors including the three startups and the mainstream: Dell, Hitachi Vantara, IBM, NetApp, DataCore, DDN, and Quantum. Only HPE has not acquired an object storage vendor. It has partnership deals with Cloudian and Scality, plus its VAST Data file storage deal for GreenLake File Services give it the option to extend that deal to include object storage as well.
Scott’s career includes 18 years at HP, where he held various marketing and general management exec positions before joining 3PAR as CEO in 2001. HP bought it for $2.35 billion in 2010 after a bidding war with Dell EMC. Scott became SVP and GM of HP’s global storage business, with 3PAR becoming part of HPE in 2015 and Scott semi-retiring that year. Since then, he has taken on various board-level positions and co-founded server offload card business Nebulon in May 2018.
MinIO’s role in the industry is to grow through its evangelizing of fast open source object storage. Both Cloudian and Scality have a more enterprise mindset. Navigating their way through the shifting sands toward a profitable exit will be a constant concern of investors in both companies. Cloudian has raised $233 million from investors, the latest being a $60 million round earlier this year.
At that time Cloudian appointed a new board chairman, Bob Griswold, in a strategic advisor role. His CV includes HPE, Seagate, and Cisco. Now he is joined by fellow HPE alumnus David Scott, who said of his appointment: “As the enterprise IT landscape shifts towards hybrid cloud operating models, the power of Cloudian’s native S3 API and scale-out design becomes increasingly evident. I am eager to contribute to the journey and work alongside the talented team in advancing the success of their hybrid cloud storage platform.”
Both Scott and Griswold will now be looking at object storage market growth factors and pondering the best way forward for Michael Tso’s company. Becoming the software supplier for an HPE GreenLake Object Storage offering could be one destination they are examining, as well as how to deal with the AI opportunity.
Last week at Amazon’s re:Invent meeting in Las Vegas, Cloudian supported AWS’s S3 new service, Express One Zone.