The Band's Back Together: Woz Joins Startup Primary Data

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who had been mysterious about his next assignment, has joined virtalization startup Primary Data as its first chief scientist.

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Steve Wozniak, David Flynn, Rick White and Lance Smith are onto their next adventure together.

Wozniak, who had been mysterious about his next assignment following a five-year stint as chief scientist of next-gen solid-state storage maker Fusion-io, has joined startup Primary Data and its co-founder, Flynn, as its first chief scientist. Co-C-levels White and Smith, now also at Primary Data, also had worked with Woz at Fusion-io five years ago.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company came out of stealth mode Nov. 19 to make the announcement onstage via Wozniak and CEO Flynn at the DEMO Fall 2014 conference at the Convention Center.

As Primary Data's chief scientist, Wozniak will become the fledgling company's front man on technology vision and architecture and will evangelize the Primary Data story as he meets technology innovators and potential customers around the globe.

Job Will Be Similar to That at Fusion-io

Woz's job will be similar to what he did with Salt Lake City-based Fusion-io, another company Flynn helped start back in 2008. Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer in the mid-1970s, served as a key technical adviser to the Fusion-io research and development group from February 2009 until the company was acquired for $1.1 billion by SanDisk last June.

Primary Data is developing data virtualization packages that transform data center architectures by matching data demands with storage supply across a single global data space. Using Primary Data, applications, servers and clients gain the ability to transparently access data while it is intelligently migrated in real time between direct-attached, network-attached, private and public cloud storage to deliver unprecedented manageability, performance and efficiency.

The Primary Data platform features an intelligent policy engine that automatically places data on the right resources across file, block and object storage to meet evolving application requirements in real time. Go here for more information.

"Innovations like wearables, digital assistants and the Internet of things are making computing more and more transparent in our lives, and for technology to remain accessible, we need to ensure data remains seamless as it serves us information," Wozniak said. "Primary Data uses data virtualization to dynamically place data anywhere as applications demand. I'm excited to share our data virtualization platform with the world."

Primary Data Decouples App Data From Storage

Just like server virtualization decouples computing from an underlying server infrastructure, the Primary Data virtualization platform decouples application data from the underlying storage infrastructure to bring dynamic data mobility to the enterprise for the first time.

"Woz has a unique way of seeing the world through the eyes of both an engineer and a visionary, and his energy, curiosity and excitement about technology is inspiring," Flynn said. "At Fusion-io, he helped us showcase the breakthroughs possible by adding flash in the enterprise. We're excited to have him on the team at Primary Data as we focus on how data virtualization can deliver intelligent data mobility that evolves with the needs of modern enterprises."

Wozniak's resume is one of the more impressive in all of IT. He has been a Silicon Valley icon since the 1970s who helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple's first line of products after co-founding Apple Computer Inc. with Steve Jobs in 1976. He engineered the Apple I personal computer as well as the Apple II personal computer.

As a lifelong supporter of education and technology, he speaks frequently about engineering and innovation at events around the world.

"Working to develop disruptive technology is always exciting, but it's even more exciting when you can team up with a talented group of friends to achieve those goals together," said Rick White, Primary Data co-founder and chief marketing officer. "With Woz on the team along with Lance [Smith] and David, we now have the band back together."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...