Honoring EMC’s Core Technologies Technical Directors

How do you tell the story of a great organization like EMC? There are the big names – Egan, Marino, Ruettgers, Tucci. There are the outsized personalities – Scannell, Sakac, Burton, Dacier. There are the technical titans – Yanai, Gelsinger, Maritz. You can’t tell the EMC and EMC federation story without these epic players. But EMC isn’t about big names and glamor.


EMC’s culture is built on a principle best expressed by another technical genius – The Rock: ”Blood, Sweat, & Respect. The First Two You Give, Last One You Earn.”


I’m pleased to announce the latest EMC Core Technologies Technical Director award recipients. EMC Core Technologies recognizes technical leaders who have made a significant impact on the business through their contributions to products and solutions that help our customers.

TD 1

As you read through their contributions, you’ll see that Technical Director award recipients contributed to different products and solutions in very different ways. Despite the differences, they have one thing in common: when things needed to get done, they picked up a shovel and worked until things were right.


*NOTE: All TD recipients with a ’*’ earned the TD honor in previous cycles.


Scott Auchmoody – Scott, a founder of Avamar, has helped transform the backup industry. Prior to Avamar, the “state of the art” in backup was writing full backup images that backup storage deduplicated. Avamar created an end-to-end deduplication from client to backup storage. This architecture minimized server, production storage, network, and backup storage load, while also improving backup and recovery times. Subsequently, Scott played a central role in integrating Avamar and Data Domain. After that he, led the development EMC’s next-generation VMware backup and recovery solutions. Scott is a leading figure not just in delivering EMC’s backup solutions, but in advancing the state of the art of backup.


*Bhimsen Bhanjois – Bhim has led Data Domain replication, integration with backup software, and Data Domain Cloud Tier. Virtually every customer expects to replicate their protection data, and Data Domain’s network-optimized, flexible replication has become the standard of excellence. He also has helped Data Domain integrate with Avamar, NetWorker, RecoverPoint, and VMAX. Most recently, Bhim led the popular Data Domain Cloud Tier project. Bhim connects Data Domain to the rest of the ecosystem – from strategy to planning to execution.


Paul Bradley – Paul has been a leader in simplifying the management of VMAX systems. First, he was instrumental in streamlining the VMAX management tool stack. He led the implementation of Service-Level based management to the end-to-end process of: Planning, Provisioning, Performance Monitoring, and Protection. Second, as customers have struggled to manage large VMAX estates, Paul led the delivery of Unisphere 360 – the first data Center-wide VMAX Management and Monitoring tool. Moreover, Paul has created a new culture of simplicity of management in the Ireland Center of Excellence, so that VMAX continues to streamline its operations. The result – customers can deploy and manage VMAX for more uses at both smaller and greater scale.


Steve Bromling – Steve has been the architect and implementer for the anchor VPLEX infrastructure and functionality. Steve is responsible for the core data path of VPLEX and the distributed caching engine that deliver the active-active functionality of VPLEX. Steve has delivered changes in memory usage and layout that reduce response time variability, improve latency, and reduce hardware footprint. He also jointly created and architected MetroPoint – integrating data protection and availability – which has enabled customers to leverage the full data protection continuum. Steve has ensured that VPLEX meets our customers’ performance and functionality needs for their most business critical and valuable workloads.


*Ravi Chitloor – As one of the Chief Architects of Data Domain and an EMC Distinguished Engineer, Ravi has dramatically improved almost every part of the product. Ravi’s work in building the first system GUI enabled Data Domain to expand from NFS-based backups to being truly usable as a VTL Ravi then led Data Domain product mature into a Enterprise product in areas such as Security, RBAC, AAA, Licensing, SNMP and Reporting. By driving the creation of Data Domain Management Center, the largest customers were now able to manage multiple Data Domain systems at scale. Ravi’s leadership on mtrees and multi-tenancy APIs enabled Data Domain to expand into ITaaS/Service Providers markets and enabled Oracle admins to leverage Data Domain for direct backups. He has contributed significantly in developing Data Domain features/products such Data Domain Virtual Edition (DDVE), storage tiering, and Global Deduplication Array (GDA) as well as protection solutions like Avamar integrated with Data Domain and Protect Point (VMAX/XIO integrated with Data Domain. In his time at Data Domain, Ravi has also led supportability, quality, and testability initiatives. Today, he is part of the senior leadership team in defining the vision, strategy and roadmap of Data Domain. Ravi is responsible for the simple, reliable, secure Data Domain system that customers depend on worldwide.


Yaron Dar – Yaron has been the focal point for application intelligence in Symmetrix. Yaron’s work was the catalyst for the customer value and success of deploying Oracle databases on VMAX storage. From Oracle/VMAX data integrity validation, Oracle ASM space reclamation, integrating VMAX snapshots/clones with Oracle Enterprise Manager, and supporting SRDF Yaron has brought the best of VMAX to the Oracle environment. He has now been extending that expertise to cross-EMC solutions – e.g. ProtectPoint for VMAX with Oracle – tying together VMAX, Data Domain, and Oracle for industry leading data protection. Yaron also works directly with sales teams and customers to ensure that the engineering integration translates into customer value. The result of Yaron’s work is the exceptionally successful deployments of Oracle on VMAX across the globe.


*Rob Fair – Rob leads the protocols for Data Domain. Rob led the creation of Data Domain’s VTL interface. He worked on the SCSI target daemon that enabled Data Domain to connect to backup applications as a VTL and FC- BOOST device, and ultimately as a block-storage target for ProtectPoint. After that, Rob has been instrumental in Data Domain securely connecting to customers’ environments, especially focused on enhancing and supporting NFS. Rob has helped connect the value of Data Domain to our customers, regardless of their preferred environment and networking technology.


Mike Fishman – Mike, through development and acquisition, has helped EMC solve customers’ data protection and midrange storage challenges. As CTO of EMC’s Data Protection team, Mike was responsible for the extremely successful EMC Disk Backup Library VTL solutions. He was also instrumental to the creation of the EMC Data Protection portfolio – working on the acquisitions of Legato (now NetWorker), Avamar, and Data Domain. In the mid-range storage, Mike was part of the due diligence for Isilon and XtremIO. Mike’s development and M&A activity have enabled EMC to lead the industry in addressing customer’s data storage and protection challenges.


Terry Hahn – Terry is a systems management expert who has made it easy for customers to manage one, two, or dozens of Data Domain systems. The work began with laying the infrastructure for storing, processing, and reporting historical system data, so that we can help customers understand changes in their system’s behavior. Terry then applied that infrastructure to helping customers manage and address issues in their replication performance. To help customers manage at scale, Terry architected the original Data Domain Management Center. Recently, Terry has spearheaded the Data Domain Secure Multi-Tenancy work that is deployed across hundreds of customers and systems worldwide. Terry exemplifies both the increasing commitment and value in helping customers manage our systems.


*Mahesh Kamat – As one of the Chief Architects of Data Domain, Mahesh leads the Data Domain System Architecture and Design. Data Domain is the heart of our customers’ data protection solutions. Initially, Mahesh was a core member of the team that doubled Data Domain performance and capacity every year, while enhancing the Data Invulnerability Architecture. Scalable performance and reliable storage makes Data Domain the “storage of last resort” for so many backup customers. Today, Mahesh has led DDFS to improve support for random I/O, which has enabled support for Avamar backups, VM-image backups with disaster recovery, and ProtectPoint. He has been a catalyst for the delivery of Data Domain Virtual Edition, Data Domain Cloud Tier, and core Data Domain OS and system enhancements. Mahesh also mentors the senior engineering community so that Data Domain can continue to innovate and scale. Mahesh is responsible for Data Domain’s industry-leading performance, flexibility and reliability.


Anton Kucherov – Anton leads major initiatives that deliver strategic, innovative solutions for our XtremIO customers. With the importance of copy data management to our customers, it is critical that XtremIO can create and delete snapshots with minimal effects on the system. Anton led snapshot performance improvements that have helped some of our largest and most innovative customers. Anton is known for delivering simple, innovative solutions for complex system-wide problems. He’s also enabled XtremIO to expand its innovation and delivery capacity by growing and mentoring the team in the US. Anton is a technical leader, innovative engineer, and pragmatic problem solver who delivers critical value to our most strategic customers.


Brian Lake – Brian has been responsible for the core functionality, feature enhancements, and stability of VPLEX – a product that keeps thousands of customers’ systems online and available. Brian’s leadership on the VPLEX platform delivered a stable, reliable, high-performance system that customers deploy in front of mission-critical VMAX, XtremIO, and VNX systems. Brian’s performance work has delivered scale for all workloads – from small I/O to large, sequential I/O. Finally, his innovation on MetroPoint enabled EMC to deliver a unique and successful integration of data protection and availability. Brian’s work has helped VPLEX become a trusted solution for customers’ availability challenges across their entire environment.


Amit Lieberman – Amit has been a technical leader and innovation engine for Data Protection Adviser (DPA). Data protection customers depend on DPA to understand and monitor their end-to-end data protection environment. With DPA 6, Amit brought together the replication and backup architectures to provide an end-to-end view of their protection environment. Amit was also crucial in delivering high-performance, clustering, and real-time analytics in the DPA 6 line. He also worked on integrating DPA and ViPR-SRM. The result is that EMC delivers a more comprehensive, more reliable, more scalable, more flexible view of data protection for our customers.


Kobi Luz – Kobi a key leader of the XtremIO R&D Organization.  He’s been driving the core development of latest releases. Kobi led the XtremIO 4.0 release and helped deliver major technical with cross team integration. This includes adding non-disruptive cluster upgrade, native RecoverPoint support for DR, AppSync integration for Copy Data Management. Just as importantly, Kobi has helped expand the organization to enable XtremIO to continue its hypergrowth, while also being one of the core team members for resolving the most complex of technical challenges. Kobi both innovates and delivers for XtremIO’s customers.


John Madden – John’s technical leadership has been instrumental to some of EMC’s most dramatic transformations. John was a member of the “Open Symmetrix” team, that added SCSI and Fibre connectors to Symmetrix. This brought EMC from mainframe-only to open systems. John then led the team that enabled customers to manage their own Symmetrix. For example, the SRDF control scripts enabled customers to manage their own SRDF DR operations, instead of having to call EMC support to make changes for them. Most recently, John was a key influencer on further simplifying VMAX management with FAST-VP and SLO based provisioning. The unique longevity and success of the Symmetrix platform in the storage industry has been due to leaders like John Madden driving internal disruption.


Owen Martin – Owen has been at the heart of some of the most differentiated storage functionality in the industry. First, Owen led the radical shift in the provisioning and consumption of enterprise storage with the creation of Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST). The majority of VMAX customers use FAST to automatically place data in the most effective tier of storage. As the storage market continues to create differentiated tiers of storage – non-volatile memory, flash, disk, cloud – FAST will simplify and optimize customer environments. Owen was also critical to the SLO (Service Level Objective) based provisioning that streamlines the deployment and management of VMAX storage. Owen’s contributions have made VMAX a uniquely powerful, optimized, and simple-to-manage storage system.


*George Mathew – George’s work on the Data Domain File System has helped it solve even more customers’ protection challenges. As the lead for Directory Manager(DM) 2.0, George led the work on multi-threading DM and improving Garbage Collection enumeration. The result – Data Domain achieved the incredible goal of supporting 1 Billion files. This enables customers to use Data Domain for file archiving. George also led DDFS support for HA. George continues to evolve the Data Domain into a system that solves customers’ next generation protection challenges.


Steve Morley – Steve was a major driving force behind the MCx re-architecture delivered in VNX2 and carried forward into Unity.  Steve had significant development contributions in all three areas of MCx: DRAM Cache, SSD Cache, and RAID.  His systems thinking, development experience and internal knowledge of the entire IO stack helped identify bottlenecks and engineer multi-core improvements – including multi-core IO scheduling across the entire data path stack.  He also drove support for enhanced drive queuing and data path throttling mechanisms.  These improvements allowed VNX2 and Unity systems to scale performance at an impressive 96% linearity with CPU core count. MCx and Steve’s work on it are directly responsible for the multi-billion dollar success of VNX2.


Peter Puhov – Peter has delivered many significant contributions to Midrange products.  He architected and delivered the FBE infrastructure, a framework for building stackable system components, and leveraged it to deliver the multi-core infrastructure for the RAID component of MCx. This framework is now also being used in Unity to implement Mapped RAID. In addition, Peter helped architect and deliver Controller Based Encryption in VNX2.  He also pioneered work in predictive analytics of disk failures to improve data availability and system drive performance.  He has been a leader in development best practices, setting the bar for high-quality maintainable code.  As a result of Peter’s work, thousands of customers can depend on VNX and Unity for high-performance, scalable, reliable storage.


*Naveen Rastogi – Naveen is an expert when it comes to systems management and customer advocacy. He has made customers’ data protection simpler, both with his work on Data Domain and on ProtectPoint. Naveen delivered the core management infrastructure that still provides the basis for how all system management is done. Naveen was also instrumental in developing the Data Domain Global Deduplication Appliance, enabling customers to scale their Data Domain. More recently, Naveen spearheaded the Data Domain’s support for ProtectPoint – enabling industry-leading high-performance backups directly from VMAX to Data Domain. After that, Naveen led the entire ProtectPoint for XtremIO project. From simplifying daily management, to enabling customers to manage at scale, to reducing the complexity and overhead of backup, Naveen simplifies customers’ backup challenges. Today Naveen is driving Data Domain RESTful APIs as the vanguard of the “Simplification” movement.


Tony Rodriguez – Tony has consistently led EMC into new markets and technologies to solve new customer challenges. Tony was one of the original architects of EMC Atmos – our initial foray into object storage. The highly scalable and resilient architecture enabled Atmos to become an industry-leading product which still provides the foundations of some of largest customers’ global applications. Subsequently, Tony has led EMC’s efforts in critical acquisitions, next-generation interconnects, and the future of networking. Tony has helped create not only new products, but entirely new solutions and markets.


Zvi Schneider – Zvi is the Chief Architect for XtremIO R&D. He led the core development of the Data Path Module, which delivers industry-leading performance, efficiency, and copy data functionality. Furthermore, Zvi works across the organization to ensure that XtremIO delivers sound designs and solutions to ensure high performance, scalability,, and reliability that customers expect from EMC. Whenever there is a challenge in XtremIO, Zvi is the ”go-to” member who can solve the problems. Zvi is one of the key contributors for XtremIO’s continued technical leadership in the market.


*Udi Shemer – As Chief Architect for RecoverPoint, Udi continues to solve customers’ data protection and replication challenges. Initially, Udi worked on RecoverPoint splitters, which efficiently extract the data from sources, so that it can replicated for protection. Udi’s work on RecoverPoint for VMAX2 continues to provide protection for mission-critical applications around the world. More recently, his work on adding replication support for VPLEX enabled customers to realize the value of continuous availability with reliable, high-performance data protection. Furthermore, Udi’s leadership on RP4VM enables customers to protect all of their VMware VMs, regardless of the underlying storage. Udi has consistently delivered solutions that enable customers to focus on their business, knowing that their data is safe.


Ed Smith – Ed has been instrumental in improving the quality and velocity of EMC’s Midrange products – constantly executing on the goal of creating end-to-end analytic-driven automated testing. For the past four years, the team has benefited from the Continuous Integration Testing that Ed spearheaded. Furthermore, the Automated Results Triage Services simplifies and accelerates the process of filing and triaging system defects found during testing. Finally, Ed has been responsible for consolidating the test results which enables analytic analysis. The result is that over that time, we’ve executed more reliably and delivered ever-higher quality products for our VNX and Unity customers – helping the bottom line for both EMC and our customers.


Erik Smith – As the lead engineer for Connectrix, Erik delivers network technology that enables customers to connect their servers to storage. By leading the Connectrix Fibre Channel and TCP/IP qualifications and technical documentation, Erik ensures that server and storage can be reliably connected by Connectrix switches. Erik is also a leading Storage Connectivity evangelist. He works with the field and customers to help architect, configure, and manage their environments – with direct meetings, industry-leading “Brass Tacks” blog, and with his highly attended EMC World sessions. He is also an industry leader in the future of storage networking, including driving the definition and acceptance of Target Driven Zoning by T11. Erik’s work continues to enable thousands of customers to reliably, securely, and rapidly access their data.


Lei Wang – Lei has helped make the mid-range team’s goal of End-to-End Automation a reality with both his architectural abilities and leadership. As EMC’s customers increasingly adopt a DevOps model for running their IT infrastructure, Lei is applying those same principles to running our automation infrastructure. As a result of his work on creating a test harness for fully automating tests, the midrange team tests early and often – improving quality and agility. Furthermore, Lei has brought together the teams across the globe on a common approach to automated testing. Lei’s work has not only resulted in higher quality releases for our customers, but in developing a Quality Engineering organization that will continue to accelerate and improve the midrange systems that our customers rely upon.


Vince Westin – As a technical evangelist for the VMAX, Vince has synthesized customer input and technical trends into fundamental product changes. Vince has been a leader in driving VMAX to adopt flash. First, he showed both the technical feasibility and customer desire for higher degrees of flash in the hybrid VMAX systems. Second, he was a key contributor to product management, engineering, and performance engineering on the capabilities of VMAX All-Flash leveraging low-write per day flash storage. Finally, he pioneered what has become the VMAX sizer tool, enabling EMC to deliver the right system for our customers’ needs. There is no one at EMC that advocates more for both our customers and the potential of our technology.


William Whitney – Bill has been critical to integrating EMC’s VNX and Unity NAS functionality into customer environments. Since the creation of NAS systems, backup and recovery has been one of the industry’s biggest challenges. Bill was instrumental in delivering EMC’s support for NDMP, the NAS industry standard for backup. He also drove file-level deduplication, compression and tiering in our NAS stack. Most recently, Bill has been driving the use of VNX’s NAS stack for VMware environments through his significant contributions to the VNX VAAI provider, enablement of the new UFS64 file system for NFS datastores and most recently the VVOL implementation. For customers who prefer running VMware over NFS for simplicity, Bill’s efforts have helped EMC support these high-profile customers.


Andy Wierzbicki – Andy embodies the role of customer advocate for mainframe. With a background in both support and engineering, Andy understands that there is nothing more mission-critical than mainframe and ensures that we exceed our customers’ expectations. First, Andy worked cross-functionally to ensure that the VMAX3 platform would meet customer reliability, performance, and response time expectations. Second, if customers hit issues, Andy leads the way on reproducing the issue so that we can diagnose, understand, and resolve the customers’ issues as quickly as possible. Mainframe still runs the core of the largest organizations in the world – Andy makes sure that VMAX delivers the quality and reliability that those organizations need.


*Doug Wilson – Doug has delivered innovative, reliable platforms for Data Domain. Doug was the lead architect for the DD2200/2500, shepherding the success of the programs from the requirements to the release. During that project, Doug was instrumental in adopting battery-backed persistent RAM, instead of NVRAM; which gave the DD2200 significant cost advantages. Koala was also EMC’s first “gray box”, and Doug brought together Data Domain, GHE, and the ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) partner. Finally, Doug helped grow technical leads to take over the DD2500 and DD2200. Doug continues to work on delivering the next-generation platforms to help our customers protect their data. Doug delivers, innovates, brings together the organization, and helps others advance their career.


*NOTE: All TD recipients with a ’*’ earned the TD honor in previous cycles.


EMC has always prided itself on its scrappiness and work ethic. Those adjectives may seem odd for a company that became and continues to be an industry titan. On the other hand, that’s exactly how EMC became what it is – fighting every day to make better, faster, more reliable products to solve our customers’ problems. That’s the ethos that we need to continue to be successful as Dell EMC. Congratulations to these Technical Director recipients. Now get back to work. 🙂


-Stephen Manley @makitadremel

2 Replies to “Honoring EMC’s Core Technologies Technical Directors”

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