How Datacore Software is building a platform for software-defined storage

Dave Zabrowski, CEO of Datacore Software, on its inorganic growth, and why India is important in its mission.

It's been four years since Dave Zabrowski was appointed CEO of DataCore Software to design its next-generation platform of software-defined solutions for block, file and object storage.

Datacore, headquartered in Florida, develops software-defined storage solutions that eliminates hardware and vendor lock-in, giving the IT departments of more than 10,000 mid-market enterprises flexibility—while making storage efficient, and available.

Its clients are enterprises from the healthcare, education, and government industries, and include cloud-service providers. Zabrowski was previously founder and CEO of Cloud Cruiser, an analytics company that HPE acquired in 2017.

Since his appointment at Datacore, the company has built its global R&D centre in Bengaluru, and made a couple of acquisitions, namely Caringo, a pioneer in the object storage market, and MayaData, the developer of OpenEBS and MayaStor.

Datacore's R&D centre in Bengaluru is headed by Vani Sharma, Vice President - Products, DataCore, and employs more than 100 engineers.

The R&D centre began operations in 2020 by catering to clients across the United States, Europe, and West Asia. Since then, DataCore has expanded the facility into a fully-functional centre of excellence.

"We now have seven functions represented, including finance, HR, marketing, product management, training, and customer support," said Zabrowski, who was in India last year to inaugurate the Bengaluru centre. The India team is a third of Datacore's global team.

Zabrowski says he joined DataCore as there was a unique opportunity to build out a platform company to fundamentally change the storage industry. "The vision is to basically deliver the entire solution stacks across the spectrum of storage — from block to file to object to backup, and now to containers, and to deliver that under one umbrella." It has raised $95 million to date.

In January 2021, Datacore acquired Caringo for its flagship product, Swarm, which provides hyperscale data storage, access, and analysis at petabyte scale, while eliminating hardware dependencies.

"Caringo has the industry's best hybrid object solution. We rebranded that to DataCore Swarm," Zabrowski told EnterpriseStory.

A year before the Caringo acquisition, Datacore had invested in MayaData that included funding, technology licensing, transfer of the DataCore container team to MayaData, and seats on the board of directors for DataCore’s CEO and primary investors. In November 2021, Datacore completed the MayaData buyout.

"The container market is driven by Kubernetes open source stuff... by what's called the CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation), an open source community," Zabrowski said.

"They have ensured that the container space is going to be an open source-led solution. Given that containers are the most cost-effective, agile, and the fastest way to deploy applications, we felt like it was going to be a high growth market," he explained.

The OpenEBS platform, developed by MayaData, has seen advancements in capabilities, including MayaStor, the super-high-performance engine. "We've integrated MayaData into the company, and the combined forces are going to be a leader in the container space," Zabrowski said. Datacore's Bengaluru centre includes engineers from MayaData, he added.

In terms of technology shifts, Datacore sees a large market need for ransomware solutions. "A few years ago, everybody knew about ransomware, but were hoping they didn't get hit by it. Now, it's not a question. It's 'When?' and 'How bad?'"

Its data protection solution has features like a time machine, which helps trace the first detection of ransomware. "You go back to the moment before that happened. And, you basically take that time machine, and reset your infrastructure based upon what it was right before that event," Zabrowski explains.


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