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Nasuni co-founder departs, old job split into three

It's all change in the cloudy upstart world

Rob Mason, the founder, CTO and EVP for engineering at Nasuni, has left the company he started up with CEO Andres Rodriguez.

Nasuni is a cloud storage gateway supplier and was founded in 2008. It has had a total of $53m in funding: $8m in 2009; $15m in 2010; $20m in 2012; and $10m in 2014.

Nasuni's business grows as enterprises transfer storage to public clouds such as those available from Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Its Cloud NAS offering is available in Microsoft's Azure marketplace, providing an on-premises filer with Azure back-end.

At the end of March Nasuni promoted David Shaw to Chief Science Officer, "complementing the efforts of the office of the CTO," while Russell Neufeld was promoted to Chief Technology Officer to replace Mason. Matt McDonald was promoted to VP Engineering. Thus all of Mason's areas of responsibility are now covered.

Why did Mason walk? Andres Rodriguez said: "The strategy [is to] target every possible file workload in the enterprise [with] a unified file system for all the files. It is the size of the organization and the client base that has changed. Rob's style is more of a platoon leader, with every decision having to go through him."

"That was invaluable in the early days but with more clients and more demands around engineering, he was not happy with the job and his style was becoming a bottleneck. Rob and I had been discussing a transition for the better part of a year. He is so incredibly good at what he does but ultimately he wanted to go back to do core development."

Why three replacements?

"I decided to split his role into three roles which has helped tons to increase ... our internal technical bandwidth. Matt took over as VP Engineering and heads development/customer issues, Russ took over as CTO and is more of the public face (especially with our cloud providers) and he also leads all of our back-end operations, including the Nasuni Operations Center. David Shaw became CSO and leads the UniFS architecture (stability) and security. All three of them have been working with the company since its inception and with me for the last 15 years. Rob became a technical advisor to the team and remains engaged on an as-needed basis."

And is business doing okay?

Rodriguez said: "We are doubling the business YoY every single quarter. In April we had a joint $2m win with Pure Storage where we beat EMC for a large medical insurance company in Florida. Pure takes the high performance blocks (applications). Nasuni takes all the files (documents and images) with VMs running directly on Pure in their two core data centers and our hardware appliances running lighter workloads at 5 additional branches. Everything synchronized with Nasuni through Microsoft Azure. That’s the future of the data centre."

El Reg was unable to contact Mason for comment.

It seems quite a coincidence that Nasuni experiences an exec-level upset at the same time as fellow cloud storage gateway startup Panzura. Must be springtime and all that new growth. ®

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