The Abstract Truth

Nutanix: Storage Management for Virtualized Environments

Posted by rbpasker on May 21, 2010

Virtualization is Big.

Not only does it encompass what we traditionally think of virtualization: running multiple guest OSes on the same piece of hardware, but it also is the enabling technology for other large initiatives, such as server consolidation, data center continuity, virtual desktops, cloud computing, and “infrastructure as a service.”

The dirty little secret is that virtualization places a huge burden on storage systems. VMWare has a suite of products, a team, and a blog all dedicated to storage issues.

And Azure Capital Partners, where I am the CTO-in-Residence, recently co-led the Series A investment in CORAID, a leading storage networking company for virtualized environments. CORAID’s EtherDrive product provides a 5-8X cost reduction over legacy storage systems with its “scale-out SAN architecture that is ideally suited to dynamic virtualization and cloud environments.”

But the virtualization storage problem is multi-faceted and complex, so the breadth of solutions must be equal to the task.

This is why I am pleased to announce my participation, along with Bipul Sinha of Blumberg Capital, in a seed round at Nutanix, an enterprise-class storage management company led by three world-class entrepreneurs Dheeraj Pandey CEO, Ajeet Singh COO, and Mohit Aron CTO.

Nutanix is still in stealth mode, but they do have a hint on their career page:

Nutanix is a stealth-mode startup building a disruptive product that is designed ground-up to leverage trends in virtualization, solid state drives, and cloud computing, each of which plays a very critical role in reducing cost and management complexity, improving performance, and providing revolutionary data management capabilities to the enterprise.

Keep an eye out for Nutanix. Big things are happening.

Posted in My Companies, startups, tech | Leave a Comment »

StackOverflow is the Answer

Posted by rbpasker on May 9, 2010

The internet has always been about tapping collective intelligence, and, indeed, my very first public use of the internet on March 23d, 1989, was a question.

As Internet usage shifted from USENET to WWW, so, too has the technology for human-powered answers to our burning questions. We’ve had, Yahoo! Answers, Google Q&A, Linkedin Answers, and recently Hunch and Aardvark (acquired by Google for a reported $50MM).

The main problem with these sites has been keeping the signal-to-noise ratio high.

StackOverflow solves this problem is a number of well established, clever ways: reputations, voting, bounties, and merit badges, and it has become the de facto site for technologists to get questions answered. (

I’m honored to be backing a great team led by two extraordinary technologists: Joe “On Software” Spolsky and Jeff “Coding Horror” Atwood.

Stay tuned. More answers are coming.

Posted in tech | 2 Comments »

Diaspora, an open source, distributed, private alternative to Facebook

Posted by rbpasker on May 9, 2010

With all of the privacy nonsense going on at Facebook, I am backing Diaspora, an open source, distributed, private social network.

Posted in tech | Leave a Comment »

MIT Technology Review (Germany) quote on iPad

Posted by rbpasker on April 6, 2010

My friend Steffan Heuer interviewed me for the German edition of MIT technology review in his article on the iPad launch.

Posted in tech | Leave a Comment »

I Joined AngelList!

Posted by rbpasker on March 4, 2010

I’m very pleased to announce that I have joined the Angel List.

The Angel List list reads like a who’s who of the angel investing world, and you can pitch all of us at once.

This is a great way to get your company funded.

Special thanks to Nivi and Naval for putting this together.

Posted in tech | Leave a Comment »

Servo Secures $5M in Series B Funding to Grow Business

Posted by rbpasker on December 15, 2009

Conrgrats Christof and the Servo Team!

Posted in tech | Leave a Comment »

Cameron Purdy blogs about WebLogic under Oracle’s Aegis

Posted by rbpasker on March 28, 2009

I don’t often blockquote other people’s articles, but I couldn’t resist this time.

Coherence March 2009 Update

A week ago Oracle massively exceeded expectations, completely crushing the hopes of the doomsday crowd. Part of those results stems from the growth in Fusion Middleware, which includes BEA WebLogic. This past quarter I saw a big jump in the number of accounts switching from WebSphere back to WebLogic on the high end, and (quite surprisingly, considering the economic climate) from JBoss to WebLogic. I could mark it up solely to a great sales organization, but there are some really interesting things at work that have made a huge difference in the ability to win business with WebLogic:

WebLogic is getting a higher level of technology investment as part of Oracle than it has seen in a long time, and those investments are starting to pay real rewards for our customers.
We showed a plan for WebLogic and the other BEA products. We have been steadily delivering on the plan. Customers appreciate the “ability to execute” combined with actual execution.
Several of the technologies in the Fusion Middleware stack just can’t be found elsewhere. Start with jRockit, the real-time JVM that dominates all of the performance records (see here, here, here and here for example.) Add reliable cross-platform, multi-portal session clustering with single sign-on support via Coherence*Web, and the ability to globally load-balance a single application across multiple data centers. Top it off with end-to-end operational monitoring. Wow!

Posted in tech | 1 Comment »

New blog domain, same great content!

Posted by rbpasker on July 15, 2008

Now that has added self-service subdomains, you can now read this blog at: . i would have added, as well, but WordPress wants $10 for each separate domain, and it didn’t seem worth it.

Note that this is in addition to . both will work, but in case I decide to change blogging systems, its probably better to use for web and RSS .

Posted in tech | 1 Comment »

You Might Need Messaging If…

Posted by rbpasker on June 16, 2008

I recently gave a presentation to the technical management and architects at a Very Large Web Property on messaging systems, AKA Message-Oriented Middleware, AKA Enterprise Services Bus, etc.

This was not meant to be an introduction, because they already have messaging systems in use. Rather, I wrote this presentation (in about 15 minutes) as a springboard to remind everyone what messaging system are capable of, so we could talk further about how to capitalize on the products they were already using.

Posted in tech | 3 Comments »

T3Server, Tengah, BEA WLS, and now: Oracle WebLogic

Posted by rbpasker on June 12, 2008

According to this article, it looks like the B E and A have finally been purged from WebLogic.

BEA did everything in its power to conceal the fact that none of its other revenue-generating products ever amounted to much of anything.

With this widely expected move crowning WebLogic Application Server as Oracle’s go-forward appserver product, while “continuing to support” (shorthand for “silently kill”; see “PeopleSoft” and “Seibel”) every other revenue-generating product, Oracle tells us what we already knew from its last 8 years of near-stagnant revenue numbers : BEA couldn’t develop a product from scratch to save its life (literally).

That is not to say anything negative whatsoever about any of the individuals people who worked on the rest of the products: BEA had many talented engineers, but the culture was so political and full of fear, that everyone was always more worried about their next paycheck and pleasing the powers that be, rather than striving to build the best thing they could. And many BEA executives I knew who were talented and well connected in the organization were eventually jettisoned because of eventual clashes inside the power structure, only to be replaced by plodders. That’s no way to run a company.

The other non-surprise in the article is that Oracle is keeping JRockit. What an awesome piece of technology. The open secret about JRockit is that BEA barely paid anything it, either in acquisition costs (“BEA Acquires Appeal Virtual Machines”) or in ongoing development. Think about it: For a company that wouldn’t budge an inch on its $10K/CPU app server licenses, JRockit doesn’t generate a single cent in direct revenue. How did that happen? Intel paid for it. Lock. Stock. And Barrel.

Intel (an investor in WebLogic, Inc.) was concerned that Sun would poorly support Java on x86 architectures in favor of Sun’s own SPARC, so they funded BEA’s acquisition and ongoing development of a superlative Java platform for Intel hardware. Besides the fact that it was free to BEA, the other pieces of information crucial to understanding the JRockit’s success inside the company are: unlike most of the other products, it didn’t have any internal competition; it was located in Stockholm, Sweden, far away from the trenches in San Jose; and it has fantastically talented engineers and management. Certainly JRockit was crucial to the ongoing success of BEA’s Java “own the whole stack” strategy, but would BEA, who famously would only acquire companies that could be accretive within a year of acquisition, have continued to sink tens of millions of dollars per year into a non-revenue generating product?

At one point in time (before I turned 40 and started balding!), I had shoulder length hair. At the time of the acquisition, I told my colleagues that I would shave my head when “BEA Systems” changed its name to “WebLogic.” I guess that was pretty arrogant, but the point was that WebLogic would become the most important brand in BEA’s toolbox, and that nobody would remember its up-until-then flagship product “Tuxedo” or its CORBA-based successor “M3” (now called “Weblogic Enterprise”).

I don’t think there’s much chance that Oracle, one of the strongest brands in the technology world, will change its name to WebLogic, but there’s little likelihood that the product will continue on as “BEA WebLogic.”

Posted in work | 2 Comments »

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