9 Comments

Summary:

We’ve all heard about the brain drain at VMware. Now we know where some of those brains are headed — to Datrium, the startup funded and founded by VMware co-founder Diane Greene.

dianegreene2

Updated 7/16 – Since publishing our report, two sources have told us that Greene’s company isn’t named Datrium. An anonymous comment left on the post also disputed the name of Greene’s company. However, we went back to our original sources, who affirmed that the name of the company is indeed Datrium.

However, Datrium Inc. is another company co-founded by Data Domain co-founder Brian Biles, who has teamed up with Ganesh V and Boris Weismann, both of VMware. They are building a scale-out storage offering with a focus on the service provider market. In comparison, Greene’s company is focused on virtual storage with cloud & service providers as target customers and it has lured VMware alumni — Lin, Nelson and Balkansky. The company so far has been self funded by Greene.

We are continuing to investigate and will update the post with latest information. Meanwhile, we regret and apologize for any confusion caused by our reporting and the final report.

The original post continues below.

Everyone who is in the know knows that VMware former CEO Diane Greene is working on something. Now we know its name: Datrium Storage. Oh, and it’s attacking virtualized storage — an interesting choice for someone deposed from the company she co-founded by Joe Tucci, the chief executive of EMC and the undisputed king of storage.

VMware campus, Palo Alto, Calif.

VMware campus, Palo Alto, Calif.

Other than a passing comment in a recent Wall Street Journal story about her investment in Cumulus Networks, Greene and everyone else has been tight-lipped about Datrium.

The 56-year old Greene is part of the Silicon Valley elite and is close to investors such as Andreessen Horowitz,  the venture firm co-founded by Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen. She has been an active angel investor. Before starting VMware in 1998, Greene held technical leadership positions at Silicon Graphics, Tandem Computers, and Sybase, and was Chief Executive Officer of VXtreme. She sits on the board of Intuit. In January 2012 joined Google’s board of directors, a perch that gives her good view into the technology and infrastructure trends.

What we know is that the new company is quietly pilfering VMware and is picking off key talent. Talent like former VMware SVP of cloud infrastructure Bogomil Balkansky, who recently left the mothership to join Datrium. Other high-profile defectors include Mike Nelson, one of the key technologists behind VMware’s VMotion and who was named one of two inaugural VMware Fellows last year.

Other former VMware hands — including Matt Ginzton, a former senior staff engineer, and Patrick Lin, a senior product manager who left VMware a few years ago for Jive Software — are also at the startup.  A quick check of LinkedIn shows that Brian Biles, VP and co-founder of Data Domain and once the VP of product management at EMC, is also a co-founder of Datrium Inc., which we’re betting is one and the same as Datrium Storage.

If Datrium Storage is indeed what it seems — a startup dedicated to virtualized storage — it could be seen as big-time payback by Greene, who in a stunning move was ousted from VMware, the  company she co-founded, and replaced by Paul Maritz. Word is that Greene is funding Datrium.

We’re still looking to find someone — anyone — to comment on this story. When we do we will update accordingly.

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  1. alexgulakov2 Monday, July 15, 2013

    I will gladly comment on this story. :)

    You’re welcome, Barb!

    1. why thank you, alex!

  2. I really don’t want to be that troll-type guy, but Andreessen Horowitz is called Andreessen Horowitz, not A16z. A16z is a shorthand way of writing it, borrowed from the shorthand way of writing internationalisation (i18n). By stating “A16z, the venture firm co-founded by Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen” entirely misses the point of the abbreviated form, rather just state “…such as Andreessen Horowitz…” and save the internet some valuable bytes :)

    1. You’re right. We should have spelled it out. We have now done so. Thanks for the head’s up.

  3. RoomWithView Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Please verify your source. There are some grossly incorrect statements in this article. The company Diane recently co-founded is not Datrium. Period.

    1. ^^ You’re correct

    2. Thanks for your comment– we are looking into this. We will update the story (and you) after we have explored the matter further. Again appreciate your heads up!

    3. Totally agree, RoomWithView is correct

  4. Here is a news flash, Tintri has been doing this since its inception in 2008.

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