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VMblog Expert Interview: Tony Craythorne Talks KALEAO Transition to Bamboo Systems and Beyond


KALEAO has announced that they are transitioning the company to become Bamboo Systems.  They've received new funding, a new management team, and they are poised to deliver the first new server architecture to challenge Intel's dominance in the data center market.

To find out more, VMblog sat down with the company's CEO, Tony Craythorne.

VMblog:  KALEAO has transitioned to become Bamboo Systems.  What sparked the change of name?  And are there additional changes in your offerings? 

Tony Craythorne:  KALEAO was established in 2015 and made its debut out of stealth mode, quite successfully, in 2016.  KALEAO's goal was to deliver the most dense yet power-efficient server in the market.  And KALEAO made tremendous progress but frankly, was ahead of its time.  I was brought on board as CEO in early 2019 and have been working on restructuring to Bamboo Systems.

As for the name - Bamboo, it is a plant that self-regenerates from its own roots and never needs to be replanted. Bamboo is the symbol of regeneration and sustainability and encompassed all that we wanted KALEAO to be going forward.  And so, we are now Bamboo Systems.

VMblog:  Do you have a new management team?

Craythorne:  Yes, we do.  As previously mentioned, I'm the CEO and my experience includes positions at Komprise, Nexsan, Brocade, and HDS. We also have Stewart Gallacher, as COO, Mike Ford, as CFO whose experience includes positions at Phillips, and Broadcom. Our new executive Chairman is Dr. Geoff Barrall, founder of companies such as Connected Data, Drobo, BlueArc, and Network Alliance, and is currently CTO at Hitachi Vantara, and John Goodacre, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer has stayed on and made the transition from KALEAO, as his history and experience with the company and in the computer science community is invaluable.

VMblog:  You also announced pre-series A funding.  What does pre-series mean?

Craythorne:  We raised what is essentially a seed round to fund our restructuring and further development, led by Seraphim Capital. Their Space Tech Fund is investing in very data dense companies, and they believe addressing the issues of power demands while meeting the compute and storage needs of these organizations is a pressing issue.  Additionally, we have hired an experienced commercial management team to lead the organization.

VMblog:  Can you tell us about your offering?

Craythorne:  The benefits of low power chip designs are dominating the compute ecosystem and growing towards the data center. Bamboo is the first server being designed for next generation data centers, where power is measured in kilowatt-hours not GHz or Xeon cores. Using the mobile industry's design philosophy, Bamboo has developed a server architecture that utilizes COTS ARM processors in a highly dense configuration.

VMblog:  What are the pain points that Bamboo Systems is addressing?

Craythorne:  The server industry is massive and growing and is dominated by Intel technology that has a 95%+ market share. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are transforming the requirements for enterprise-class servers and computing and the Intel architecture is struggling to meet these changes in workload and the available power required to run them.  While modern compute workloads are changing fast, Intel's server architecture is not evolving and is not the answer for modern workloads. Couple this with the fact that legacy server architecture has caused the cost of operating data centers to far exceed the cost to build them, and we have a server market with several pain points just waiting to be solved.

VMblog:  And Bamboo Systems is about to solve this server quandary?

Craythorne:  Yes, because as other ARM server vendors have fallen into the trap of following the Intel model, creating more powerful processors simply plugged into an Intel socket. To meet the needs of the next generation of data centers, new highly parallel, low power architectures are required. Using the mobile industry's design philosophy, Bamboo has developed a server architecture that uses one quarter of the power of an equivalent Intel-based system at one third of the cost. 

Bamboo Systems was created to take advantage of a growing ecosystem of market leaders investing in ARM platforms.

VMblog:  Let's talk about that power savings number you just mentioned.  Is that possible using one quarter of the power of an equivalent Intel system?

Craythorne:  Yes, and we stand behind that. Bamboo is the only server designed to deliver hyperscale performance at one quarter of the power of today's Intel servers.

We all know that power is an issue for any size data center, and the goal of Bamboo is to enable enterprises to achieve their power and cooling goals at any scale. Bamboo's server architecture that utilizes COTS ARM processors in a highly dense configuration that delivers a magnitude reduction in power consumption, using one quarter the power of an equivalent Intel-based system, at one third the cost.   We're calling Bamboo Systems the developers of "The ARM Server for the Modern Data Center." 

VMblog:  When will the Bamboo server be generally available?

Craythorne:  It's a very exciting time at Bamboo Systems! We are ready to deliver our product, 100% available through the channel, in early 2020.  Stay tuned!

Published Wednesday, December 04, 2019 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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