New Beginnings: Entrepreneur in Residence at Quantum

I am happy to share some exciting news! I am joining Quantum Corporation as Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR).

Over the past few years, I have spent the majority of my time working on, thinking about, talking about and obsessing over a single open source software project: Kubernetes (K8s). In late 2014 after seeing the project launch while I was working at Mesosphere, I was fortunate enough to help start and grow the first K8s startup (Kismatic) focused on commercial support, tools and services in order to bring K8s to the enterprise and grow the community, ecosystem, increase the maturity of the project and more. This significant early belief in and bet on K8s was grounded by a few fundamental convictions:

1) Distributed compute in many forms would continue to commoditize and become globally accessible.

2) Google would set the quality standard and radically raise the bar for distributed systems democratization and packaging by leading the development of the project.

3) Containerization would forever change how applications and platforms of the future would be designed, built and operated.

As the K8s project grew into one of the most active OSS code bases in existence and the maturity of the project progressed, I was lucky enough to start KubeCon - the Kubernetes community conference - this year, we will have over 5,000 people globally attend events in Europe and North America. KubeCon was ultimately donated to the Linux Foundation (CNCF), but in personally running the first two KubeCon events in SF and London and remaining close to the continued growth and development of the project and conference through to today, I’ve been afforded an incredibly privileged front-row-seat at how the K8s community, project, industry impact and associated evolutions in the market have synthesized as a response to user needs, use cases, new application architectures never before possible, commercial adoption and more.

It is safe to say that K8s has materially transformed how we now think about managing and operating distributed applications and systems in the cloud and in modern scale-out data centers.

Kismatic was ultimately acquired by Apprenda in May of last year and I have been honored to spend the last 9 months working at Apprenda in product and engineering leadership to help drive the formulation, design, development and go-to-market efforts around K8s-based offerings and solutions. Apprenda has a rich history of delivering platform technology to enterprise customers, accelerating and applying strong governance to the SDLC. The marriage with Kismatic was and continues to be very powerful and I am super excited to see what Sinclair Schuller and Apprenda continue to do around K8s and the associated ecosystem.

As an EIR at Quantum, I have two goals:

First, I’ll be spending part of my time alongside Bassam Tabbara (Quantum CTO via their acquisition of Bassam’s previous startup he co-founded: Symform) and his team to help grow and develop the Rook project. Rook is an extremely exciting new (4 months old, 1K+ stars on GitHub) cloud-native storage layer for container-based applications and I believe it has huge potential to solve some serious problems. The challenges facing cluster operators and app developers looking to run stateful data-intensive apps on container clusters like K8s and others are vast. Rook has the potential to be an industry standard for delivering a unified object/block/file platform with usable primitives and controls.

Second, I plan to work on developing ideas and plans around a new company that may or may not be related to Rook – stay tuned.

Over the next week, I’ll be relocating from upstate New York to the Bay Area to work on the future of distributed systems and cloud-native applications. If you are interested in chatting about Rook, K8s or other related technologies, please feel free to ping me on Twitter where I am quite active.



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