Big Blue Fellow lured aboard by Dell

RAID inventor to give Austin a good beefening


Dell has recruited IBM fellow and CTO Jai Menon to be the chief technology officer for its Enterprise Solutions Business, meaning servers, storage and networking.

Menon spent 25 years at IBM, becoming a Big Blue vet, a career which culminated as the chief technology officer (CTO) and VP for technical strategy for IBM's Systems and Technology Group. He says his responsibilities included "technical and business strategy, identifying growth opportunities, setting technical directions, university, industry and VC alliances, technical leadership, and technical vitality." He is also an IBM Fellow "responsible for doing fundamental research in systems, particularly storage systems."

Menon is a storage big hitter, having helped develop RAID at IBM San Jose, written 23 RAID papers and holding 27 RAID patents. A Wikipedia entry says he initiated IBM's SAN Volume Controller, and "He co-authored a paper on the design and architecture of cached disk controllers, now used routinely in every disk controller in the industry."

Why would he leave the charmed halls of IBM for Dell?

He's written a blog for Dell about his new role and here is an extract:

The rate and pace of change in enterprise technology today is many orders of magnitude what it was only 10 years ago and shows no signs of slowing down. Our industry is about to hit many exciting inflection points. New forms of storage like Flash are poised to completely change the storage landscape. Integrated systems of servers, storage and networking are beginning to redefine how customers buy IT.
Jai Menon

Jai Menon

The emergence of clouds is making it an imperative that we give customers seamless access to their applications and data across on-premise and cloud environments, while retaining tight policy control over performance, data, and security. These changes hold the promise of ushering in a new wave of productivity and growth for businesses and Dell is perfectly positioned to help shape their future. We have proven we can make the right bets in the past, and I am confident we will be successful and bold as we move forward.

So it’s this combination of technology transformation and the opportunity it creates for Dell which I found intriguing and when the offer came to join the company, I saw it as too good to pass up.

Menon joined Dell around the beginning of August and there has been no publicity about his move. His LinkedIn entry doesn't mention it for example, and a search on Dell's web site doesn't reveal anything.

It looks like a terrific recruitment coup by Dell, giving it the opportunity to impress the hell out of its corporate customers with boosted technology gravitas. ®

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