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Gridstore chairman takes CEO reins

Gridstore chairman Nairman Teymourian took over as CEO today, with plans to install a utility services model for delivering hyper-convergence.

Teymourian has been Gridstore’s chairman since October. He replaces George Symons, who left soon after Teymorian joined and Gridstore closed a $19 million funding round in January. Teymourian had been general manager of Hewlett-Packard’s converged systems business for 20 months before becoming Gridstore’s chairman. He has also been CEO of Gale Technologies, Caspian Consulting, Prism Health Software and Software Reliability. All those companies were acquired by larger organizations.

But Teymourian said he plans to grow Gridstore by expanding its Microsoft Windows-based hyper-converged business.

“I believe the infrastructure market is going to be disrupted by hyper-convergence,” Teymourian said. “And we can disrupt the current hyper-covnerged players. I think the real value of hyper-convergence has yet to be delivered.”

The way to do that, he says, is through a pay-as-you-go model.

“Gridstore today has a very good product,” Teymourian said. “It’s a platform that is fully integrated with Microsoft. The value is it is simple, fast and inexpensive. It comes out of the box and delivers value fast. Our integration with Windows is unique. Plug us into a wall and we come up as a C drive in Windows. There’s no learning curve. And we’re all flash.

“But I think the world is moving towards a model where compute, network, storage and all physical hardware is going to be commoditized. Customers don’t want to buy hypervisors. What they want is that when the box arrives, they can pay for it when they use it.”

Teymourian said Gridstore will deliver hyper-convergence that costs about the same as storing data to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Gridstore will ship customers an appliance at no charge until the customer buys the Gridstore service that offers choices of hypervisor along with application, management and deployment options. “They can build a workload, deploy a workload and then with a single push of a button, they can move that workload into the public cloud,” he said. “Our plan is to support as many public clouds as possible. In a quarter or two, you’ll see a very different hyper-converged platform in the market.”

Gridstore will continue to support Windows and Hyper-V, but Teymourian said it will add support for KVM hypervisors and containers. Not VMware, though. “VMware has fundamental issues with its licensing,” he said. “People are getting tired of paying a VM tax. They want their hypervisors to be commoditized. Hype-V is free.”

Teymourian said customers will receive a Gridstore appliance and plug it into the network, but will only pay for when they use it with the software stack. He said Gridstore’s control plane can run in the cloud and customers can choose management options. They will also be able to run Gridstore as a “private cloud in a box that looks like the AWS model. Or it can be a managed service – the customer can say ‘I want to dial-up to the box wherever it is and pay for it.’”

He said the customer would not even know what hypervisor is running. Gridstore will also support bare metal hyper-converged deployments under the services option. Pricing would be set according to workloads, CPU cycles, number of VMs supported and other metrics.