“In the Studio,” Nutanix’s Dheeraj Pandey is Making Computing and Storage Converge

Editor’s Note: Semil Shah (@semil) is currently an EIR with Javelin Venture Partners.

“In the Studio” continues this week by welcoming a computer science student from UT-Austin, originally from India, who began his career in industry at Trilogy and then, upon moving to Silicon Valley after the first bubble, took on roles at Oracle and Aster Data (where he was VP Engineering) before reuniting with a former colleague to cofound his first company, which could be one of the fastest-growing enterprise appliance companies ever.

Dheeraj Pandey, the CEO and co-founder of Nutanix, has experienced one of the Valley’s classic entrepreneurial journeys, an immigrant who came to America to pursue his academic passions in computer science, dabbled in a few industry-related jobs, observed the first Valley bubble as a quiet engineer, and after gaining managerial experience at a large data company that had a nice outcome, finally emerged as a cofounder of a new company. Pandey and his cofounder learned from their earlier experiences that the convergence of a few key trends — flash storage, improved network speeds, rising costs of storage area networks — would provide a rare opportunity to consolidate storage and computing, which had traditionally been kept far apart and was complex to manage. With Nutanix, the company offered software-defined storage placed inside commodity hardware, though part of the company’s plan is to offer these technologies through the cloud.

Nutanix is currently at that middle-stage startup phase, where the proof-of-concept has been proven out (quite well, in fact) and customers are lining up. Moving forward, as Pandey explains in this video, he and his team will focus on both product and key functional areas to make sure they ramp up as quickly as possible to maintain their growth. This video discussion would be of interest to any technologist currently working in large enterprise IT companies who has initial thoughts about starting a company one day, especially as Pandey recalls the progression of his thinking that led to the creation and formation of his first startup.