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Joyent Gets New CEO, Preps Cloud Tools

Henry Wasik joins Joyent from Dell, where he lead networking unit; cloud software gets upgrade in early 2013.

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Joyent, the "resilient" cloud based on Joyent's own version of the former Sun Microsystems Solaris, recently announced a new version of its cloud software, Joyent7. It also said it has appointed a new president and CEO, Henry Wasik, former CEO of Force10 Networks.

Wasik was named CEO of the cloud infrastructure-as-a-service provider on Nov. 7. His former company, Force10, was acquired by Dell in August 2011, with Wasik serving as head of the Dell Force10 unit. Force10 was founded to build 10-Gb and 40-Gb Ethernet switches. Wasik served as CEO for eight years, until he left to join Joyent.

Previously he was senior VP of voice networks and applications software at Alcatel, with annual revenue of $700 million and a staff of 1,000. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in industrial management. He previously worked for startups Mostek and InteCom.

Joyent, a San Francisco-based specialist in resilient cloud infrastructure, builds heavy instrumentation into its Joyent7 system software using a Solaris utility, DTrace. DTrace collects data on different parts of a system and can detect when a part is performing abnormally. SmartOS also uses the ZFS file system, which provides its own confirmation that a file sent arrived at its proper destination.

[ Want to learn more about why some observers call Joyent the "resilient" cloud? See Joyent's Cloud Competes With Google, Amazon. ]

DTrace and ZFS became part of Solaris, then an open source version of Solaris, Illumos, on which Joyent's own SmartOS and Joyent7 are based. Joyent runs its own cloud infrastructure on Joyent7 at several locations and will install it on premises for a customer planning to offer cloud services, such as Spanish telecommunications company Telifonica and Bharti Airtel, the largest telecom in India.

Jason Hoffman, founder and CTO of Joyent, described in an interview new features in Joyent7, which he said is slated for release in early 2013. These include:

-- New de-bugging and performance tools for Node.js for diagnosing Node.js code. Joyent includes key contributors to the Node.js language, a version of JavaScript for running server commands.

-- A new unified directory service, written in Node.js, for high performance user management, replication and synchronization of user identification.

-- Added billing and financial management in Joyent7's reporting capabilities.

-- Fuller representation of cloud operations on a reporting dashboard. A toolkit provides more command line tools for system admins and operators, which enable automated operations through scripting.

-- The ability for any Joyent7-based cloud to provision NFS-based storage, a standard feature of Solaris environments, through an API automated process. The NFS storage is roughly equivalent to Amazon Web Services S3 object storage.

-- The capability for Joyent7 clouds to invoke built-in APIs for image management, security groups and workflow.

The updated cloud system "is for people who want to be a service provider, like us," said Hoffman in a visit to InformationWeek's office. Joyent operates a combination of its software and x86 hardware for partners in Europe, Russia, Asia and South America who are providing cloud-based services.

The Joyent staff includes Bryan Cantrill, former distinguished engineer at Sun, who co-designed and implemented DTrace.

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