Interview: SoftIron, finalist of the UK IT Industry Awards

Interview: SoftIron, finalist of the UK IT Industry Awards

The UK IT Industry Awards are given to truly outstanding individuals, companies and projects in this important industry.

This year’s winners were announced during a live awards ceremony on Wednesday 9e November.

One of the finalists was SoftIron, vying for Infrastructure Innovation of the Year.

Ahead of the awards, we caught up with Kenny Van Alstyne, Chief Technology Officer at SoftIron, to find out what sets his company apart from other tech companies.

Kenny has served as SoftIron’s CTO since August 2021. Previously, as Chief Cloud Architect at US government contractor Peraton, he was responsible for inventing and developing their cloud platform. In a career spanning more than 20 years, he has gained extensive experience in developing, deploying and managing sophisticated, often mission-critical and highly sensitive cloud and data infrastructure for organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Naval Research Laboratory, the Naval Oceanographic Office. , the US military and the National Coastal Data Development Center.

Kenny’s mission at SoftIron is to bring everything he’s learned in building secure, sophisticated, and resilient clouds to the broader market in a way that radically simplifies their deployment and ownership. Van Alstyne holds several system and methodology patents and is credited for the original publication describing the procedure for using US Department of Defense smart cards on Linux.

IT: Please provide information about your business to our readers.

Kenny VanAlstyne: Founded in 2012, with the group’s headquarters here in the UK, we describe what we do as ‘manufacturing the products that underpin the next evolution of IT infrastructure’. We launched HyperCloud just a few months ago – the world’s first comprehensive technology for building and operating clouds. It is designed from the ground up and manufactured in our own facilities by us; HyperCloud is an entirely new class of cloud technology that breaks down storage, network, and compute silos. Instead, it’s a fully-integrated, fully-supported, fully turnkey intelligent cloud framework, with all the hardware and software you need to build and run a cloud, including the layers of management and service delivery that deliver a true cloud experience. The approach we’ve taken allows for extremely low-touch operations, but still provides the highest level of resiliency, all without requiring large-scale IT staff scaling.

HyperCloud can be deployed in as little as half a rack, in half a day, and – and this is so amazing – with just general IT skills, but you can also scale effectively endlessly! It is already used in critical environments today, including some with very sensitive security requirements. We truly believe that with HyperCloud, almost anyone can overcome the challenges of building and running a cloud infrastructure.

OWhat makes you different from other technology companies?

SoftIron is unique in that we design and manufacture everything ourselves – and we don’t build clouds by “composition”. Over the past few decades, the IT industry has evolved into complex, discrete silos of compute, networking, and storage, with layers upon layers of software, all delivered by a multitude of vendors, focused on parts of smaller and smaller pieces of the puzzle. Teams of discrete IT specialists are needed to tie it all together to compose something useful, secure and reliable. It’s a brick wall of complexity, and global computing is tackling it. It serves vendors, but it does not serve customers. At SoftIron, we are truly changing all that. From the ground up, we’ve reimagined what building, deploying, and managing cloud infrastructure is all about, breaking down silos and the complexity that comes with it. Our radical approach to cloud infrastructure truly frees our customers to build the hybrid and/or multi-cloud strategy that meets their goals, with the kind of reliability, availability, elasticity, and maintainability previously reserved for hyperscale cloud builders, but within the capabilities of your average IT team. And, of course, the fact that we design and manufacture everything ourselves allows us to optimize designs for low power consumption, efficient operation, saving customers a lot on their energy bills. .

Which company achievement in the past 12 months are you most proud of?

The launch of HyperCloud in September 2022 is an achievement of which I am particularly proud. We are already starting to see traction among major governments and enterprise customers and service providers around the world, who see the potential of this game-changing technology. I’m going to be cheeky and add one more: we officially opened our brand new advanced computer manufacturing site in Sydney, Australia in November. Supported by a Department of Defense Innovation Grant, it is the first-ever component-level IT infrastructure manufacturing facility in Australia, and will produce HyperCloud ICT components.

What are you working on this year?

We are continuing HyperCloud’s development and go-to-market strategy, working with customers and strategic partners globally to succeed together, expanding its capabilities while growing our business worldwide to meet the demand it creates.

Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?

Especially after the pandemic years, the awards are a fantastic opportunity to showcase the incredible ideas, innovations and efforts of our peers, and to come together to support each other. I think it’s also important to recognize the companies that actually create IT technologies, not just put them into practice. There is a rich heritage here in the UK and we are proud to be part of it. The opportunity to reconnect with friends and partners face to face is so rewarding, and we look forward to returning next year!

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