SoftIron Names Kenneth Van Alstyne CTO

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Richmond, VA – October 5th, 2021 – SoftIron Ltd., maker of purpose-built data infrastructure solutions, today announced the appointment of Kenneth Van Alstyne to the position of Chief Technology Officer. Van Alstyne will be tasked with building out SoftIron’s technology strategy and roadmap as the company advances its mission to re-engineer performance and efficiency in modern data infrastructure through its task-specific, open source-based solutions.

“‘Edge first’ type architectures are exacerbating the challenges of performance, simplicity and efficiency, adding yet more pressure to already complex data infrastructures” said Phil Straw, CEO of SoftIron. “In adding Kenny to the SoftIron team, we are bringing a tremendous amount of experience from some of the most sensitive and challenging IT environments in existence – where solving such challenges are critical for success. As we pursue our ambition to bring performance-oriented, turn-key open source solutions to all modern forms of data infrastructure, Kenny’s breadth of experience and knowledge will bring extraordinary value to our customers and ensure that we optimize our technological vision for long term success.”
“A lot of companies talk about innovation, but SoftIron is redefining what that looks like on multiple fronts, at a time when the world needs new solutions,” said Kenneth Van Alstyne, newly appointed Chief Technology Officer for SoftIron. “A lot of companies are playing with software optimization for proprietary codebases, using commodity hardware platforms and calling that ‘innovation’. SoftIron is taking a more fundamental approach by starting quite literally at square one and asking, ‘what is really best for the customer?’. It starts by eliminating vendor lock-in through open source (for example Ceph software- defined storage) and culminates in a ‘task-specific’ approach that engineers the hardware to specifically optimize the performance and resilience of that task. As a previous end-user of SoftIron’s solutions, I was blown away by the performance I saw relative to what is available for highly sensitive, mission-critical computing workloads. It’s a great honor to be a part of a team that challenges conventional thinking and I look forward to making a contribution to a new class of data infrastructure tools for an exciting age of computing.”
Van Alstyne brings nearly 20 years of experience spanning a wide range of computing topics from Unix Administration, Storage Area Networking (SAN), High Performance Computing (HPC), systems architecture, cloud services, operating system development, and more. Prior to joining SoftIron, Van Alstyne was the Chief Architect at Peraton in the Cloud and Application Services Group where he was the lead developer (and one of two named inventors) of CloudSeed, a hyper-converged software-defined storage, compute, and network software platform that powers the Peraton Horizon Cloud. His experience includes working at such organizations as the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), where he was tasked with solving the day-to-day challenges that arise due to the nature of the environment. He also worked with QinetiQ North America, where he worked with the Naval Research Laboratory, the Naval Oceanographic Office, and the National Coastal Data Development Center, and also with Knight Point Systems, where he worked as a Storage Area Network Architect on contract with the Department of Homeland Security as a subcontractor under CSC. Van Alstyne holds several system and methodology patents.
About SoftIron
SoftIron is the world leader in task-specific appliances for scale-out data center solutions. Their superior, purpose-built hardware is designed, developed, and assembled in California, and they are the only manufacturer to offer auditable provenance. SoftIron’s HyperDrive® software-defined, enterprise storage portfolio runs at wire-speed and is custom-designed to optimize Ceph. HyperSwitch™ is their line of next-generation, top-of-rack switches built to maximize the performance and flexibility of SONiC. HyperCast™ is their high-density, concurrent 4K transcoding solution, for multi-screen, multi-format delivery. SoftIron unlocks greater business value for enterprises by delivering best-in-class products, free from software and hardware lock-in.