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July 21, 2015

Q&A: Zadara Storage Bringing VPSA OPaaS (On-Premise-as-a-Service) Storage to VMworld 2015 - Booth #2511

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As part of VMblog's live VMworld 2015 coverage coming up next month, we're getting our schedule ready to learn as much as we can, as quickly as we can.  And I know show attendees are doing the same.  With so many exhibitors, how do you know who to get on your calendar and which booths to visit?  

This year, VMblog is adding Zadara Storage to its must see list.  Last year at VMworld, we had a great conversation with the team over there, and we're excited to see what's new this year.  The company has been a pioneer provider of enterprise storage-as-a-service (STaaS), delivering high-performance, highly available and predictable (QoS) file and block storage, in a pay-as-you-go model for on-premise deployment and via global service providers.

Last week, I spoke with the company to find out more about their upcoming sponsorship of VMworld 2015 and what we could expect.

VMblog:  I understand that Zadara Storage is sponsoring the upcoming VMworld 2015 US event.  How can folks find you? 

Zadara Storage:  Booth #2511. This year we are a Silver-level sponsor, with a 20x10 booth, our biggest ever!

VMblog:  And is there anything interesting or unique about this year's booth setup?

Zadara Storage:  Yes! We decided to use the entire booth as a theater. We've found in previous years at VMworld and other shows that our story is compelling and many people want to hear it.

VMblog:  So when an attendee does hear your compelling story at your booth, what message about your product should they take back with them to sell their boss on your technology?

Zadara Storage:  "Stop Buying Storage." We don't mean that tongue-in-cheek. With our VPSA OPaaS (On-Premise as a Service), customers get private storage in their own data centers, using a cloud business models that relieves them of the headaches of storage ownership AND saves them money. That leaves no good reason to continue doing things the old way.

VMblog:  With so many exhibitors, why should an attendee put Zadara Storage on their MUST SEE list this year?

Zadara Storage:  We are the only ones who offer on-premises storage the way customers want to have it:

  • without having to worry about maintenance and upkeep,
  • by paying only for what they're using (as opposed to paying for what they have installed),
  • by giving customers the power to grow - or shrink - their infrastructure on demand,
  • and with no refresh cycle every few years.

VMblog:  What do you like most about sponsoring VMworld?  

Zadara Storage:  VMworld is a premier enterprise conference where real users of IT come to learn about the latest offerings and to make decisions about their future purchases. We love the fact that we can have conversations with visitors about their actual challenges and to present them with our approach to solving those problems.

VMblog:  Can you give VMblog readers a sneak peek as to what you will be showing off at your booth this year?

Zadara Storage:  Have you even seen a full-fledged SAN/NAS array created from scratch in 90 seconds? If you visit our booth #2511, you will.

VMblog:  And if you would, please explain to readers what makes your product unique.

Zadara Storage:  We are unique in a number of important ways:

  • Only Zadara provides on-premises storage using a cloud business model (no up-front cost, and fully elastic up and down)
  • Only Zadara provides the same storage both on-premises and in the cloud. This means one can automatically replicate their data to and from the cloud, e.g., for disaster recovery
  • Only Zadara provides on-demand, multi-tenant storage arrays where each array is fully and perfectly isolated from - and managed independently of - all other arrays.

VMblog:  Most VMworld attendees enjoy a good giveaway or trade show tchotchke.  Are you guys giving away anything special or interesting this year?

Zadara Storage:  Anyone who sits down to see the brief presentation in our booth-sized theater will be treated to a freebie. 

VMblog:  Does your company have any speaking sessions during the show?  

Zadara Storage:  Yes, two kinds. First, we will have live presentations in our booth every 30 minutes. These will be short (about 5 minutes long) and to the point, and attendees will receive gifts. Second, our CEO, Nelson Nahum, will speak on The Cube on the show floor. Tune in to siliconangle.tv during the show. 

VMblog:  What are you guys looking forward to most at VMworld this year?

Zadara Storage:  Real conversations with real users of IT. This is what get us up in the morning. Sometimes the conversations lead to a business relationship, sometimes they don't. But we always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. 

VMblog:  Since you guys are regulars at VMworld, what keeps you coming back for more?  

Zadara Storage:  We have sponsored every VMworld since Zadara launched its service. Simply put, what brings us back every year is the business we generate at the show. We always meet new potential customers at the show, and in most cases they end up signing up for our service. Cal Poly is one example of a customer we first met at VMworld. It was a chance encounter that has turned into a great relationship. 

VMblog:  What do you remember about your first VMworld?  

Zadara Storage:  [Noam Shendar, COO] My first VMworld was in 2007, 4 years before Zadara was founded. I remember vividly how vibrant it was. People were excited to be there - which was a big departure from most IT shows of the time.

VMblog:  What would you say to prospective attendees who are thinking about attending VMworld but aren't sure if it's worth it or not?

Zadara Storage:  Don't miss VMworld. It's a place with real technology, real solutions, and an opportunity to ask and get answers for tough questions.

VMblog:  What do you think we need to do collectively as an ecosystem to strengthen the industry?

Zadara Storage:  We need to make it easier and easier for customers to procure IT. This means service models with zero up-front costs, on-demand resources, and true elasticity, both upward and downward. It also means keeping solutions open such that customers can at any time choose based on what they need at the moment. If customers know they are free to change their minds, they are much more likely to buy, and more quickly.

VMblog:  As a company, what do you hope to come away with from exhibiting at VMworld this year?  

Zadara Storage:  Success to us is long-term relationships. We are subscription service and depend on customer longevity. Our goal at VMworld is therefore to strike relationships that will last for a long time based on the value and service we provide our customers every single day.

VMblog:  Finally, do you have any tips for first time attendees of VMworld that you'd like to share?

Zadara Storage:  Bring a sweatshirt. San Francisco in the summer can be surprisingly brisk.


Thanks again to Zadara Storage for speaking with VMblog about the upcoming VMworld show.  Don't miss out on visiting with these guys if you're attending VMworld.  See their technology first hand, sit thru a presentation, and get a freebie!  Visit them at booth #2511. 

David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, VMblog.com. And co-founded CloudCow.com, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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