Interview with John Spiers, NexGen Storage

Yesterday, Louisville, Colorado-based NexGen Storage ( announced a Series A round of funding for its efforts to develop new, solid state-based storage products. We caught up with John Spiers, CEO of the firm, to get some more insight into the firm and its plans.

Congrats on funding! What's the idea behind NexGen Storage?

John Spiers: The company was founded by the former founders of LeftHand Networks. All of the technical founders of LeftHand are involved in NexGen Storage. What we have is a vision of a next generation architecture, which leverages solid state storage technology. Our belief is that all storage systems now are built around rotating disks, and are architected for those disks. However, the dynamics of solid state changes how people are using storage, and changes their capabilities and architecture. We believe we will set a new standard for solid state storage-based SAN technology.

When did solid state technology finally get to the point where it made sense, from a capability and cost perspective, for you to start the company?

John Spiers: It was really about a year ago, when we started working with several solid state suppliers, when we started to do work with them, and even fix their problems. The technology has matured enough that with the right software layers, you can develop enterprise class, and very reliable storage solutions, which can take advantage of that technology.

How difficult was it for you to find funding for a hardware startup?

John Spiers: Certainly, having the reputation as the founders of LeftHand--with LeftHand just being acquired by HP--was a very good position. We were self funded for a year, and are looking to minimize our dilution going forward. We raised a small amount of capital to get the product to market, with getting our first product out to market this year and getting some customer validation. We'll raise a larger round later to ramp up our sales, once we do that.

You mentioned you are hiring locally. What kinds of positions are you hiring?

John Spiers: We're hiring predominately engineers. Specifically, we've already hired some senior architects and coders. We’re now looking for people in test engineering.

What's the big goal for the next few months?

John Spiers: The top goal is get our product into customer's hands for validation, and generate our first sales this year.



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