The Silicon Review
Today’s data volumes have exposed inefficiencies of computing in legacy architecture, putting data-hungry, storage-intensive applications at risk. Until now, the only option was to throw more money at the problem by adding additional servers, SSDs and data center footprint. But that’s not solving the real problem, and it’s not helping the environment.
As the success of GPUs has proven, a purpose-built processor that accelerates specific workloads is the right approach. Pliops’ game-changing Extreme Data Processor (XDP) overcomes storage inefficiencies to massively accelerate performance and dramatically lower overall infrastructure costs. The company’s XDP turbocharges host-level functions for databases, analytics and other data-intensive applications – managing data flow from application to storage by shaping the data for optimal placement on the lowest-cost SSDs. It also delivers full-performance NVMe SSD drive failure protection and inline transparent compression. XDP is truly unique because it is the only solution that maximizes nearly all SSD-based applications in terms of performance, reliability, capacity, and efficiency using the lowest cost TLC or QLC SSDs.
Pliops exists because its founders knew there needed to be a paradigm shift in the data center to support databases, big data analytics, IoT, and artificial intelligence. The volumes of data for any one of these, much less all three, would be overwhelming to existing data center infrastructure. With the advancements in networking technology and the growing deployment of NVMe SSDs, the company’s founders realized that the CPU would become choked with data, and thus, there was an immense opportunity for a new data processor unit.
Pliops was founded in 2017 at a time when massive data growth was colliding with legacy compute and storage shortcomings. The company vision has resonated with so many in the industry, from customers (including leading hyperscalers, SaaS providers, manufacturers, and e-tailers) to technology leaders like Intel and NVIDIA. The company’s investors believe in Pliops’ vision, to the tune of $115 million to date. CRN named Pliops as one of the 10 hottest semiconductor startups in 2020 and 2021, and Gartner just included the company in three Hype Cycle Reports as well as the Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar Report. The Pliops teams in Israel, the U.S., China, and Japan are working in partnership with the world’s leading technology companies to make this vision a reality.
The company is led by a highly motivated leadership team that includes Uri Beitler (CEO and Founder), Moshe Twitto (CTO and Founder), Aryeh Mergi (Chairman and Founder), Steve Fingerhut (President and CBO) and Hadar Ron (VP of HR). We caught up with the leadership team at Pliops to learn about their company and what it is like to be a part of this growing tech innovator.
Q. How does Pliops technology make a difference in solving some of the world’s greatest challenges? What role do the Pliops employees play in helping solve these challenges?
As technology penetrates every aspect of our world, data storage requirements are doubling every three years. That’s remarkable growth, and there is no end in sight. Data is one of the most powerful tools we have to make the world a better place for ourselves and our families.
The industry is struggling with slowdowns in computing, storage and networking efficiency – and the challenge keeps getting harder. To address these inefficiencies, a revolutionary data processor was needed, but it had to be easy to deploy and scale.
The team at Pliops includes some of the brightest engineering minds in the world. They are on the front lines of a sea of change that is revolutionizing the way the world manages data. Our employees contribute directly to our innovative products. We often talk in terms of the Power of X when it comes to our technology – but this also applies to our talent. We enjoy seeing the smile that surfaces when we invite each and every one of our team to chart their future by embracing what they can do with the Power of X.
Q. Pliops employees span multiple cities and countries (over three continents). Talk a bit about your global presence. What are some of the advantages and challenges of being a global company?
Technology is global in nature, connecting us all in so many different ways. Innovation does not happen in just one corner of the world, and our global presence and perspective opens the door for learning, growth, awareness, and opportunity.
Diversity and inclusion are valued within our workplace, and we are expanding into multiple sites around the world. A diverse workforce also boosts innovation and engagement, both internally and externally.
Q. Talk about your presence specifically in the Bay Area.
While Pliops was founded in Ramat Gan, Israel and our technical bench and R&D is located there, our global business headquarters is in the Bay Area. Being in Silicon Valley positions us among experts and the most talented and successful technology workforce in the U.S. In fact, we recently moved into a new state-of-the-art office in San Jose where we have plenty of space to support our growth.
Q. It’s widely believed that technology startups are only as good as the employees they hire. How do you attract new talent and keep your employees engaged after joining?
No doubt about it, the best assets we have are our talent. We put significant efforts into ensuring that they have an outstanding candidate experience. We are proud to say that many of our best hires have resulted from our ‘bring a friend’ referral program.
It is extremely important for us to have an engaging workplace – this is reflected in the look and feel of our company, as well as in the behavior of our leadership team and extended management.
We’ve created a fast-paced, intellectually stimulating, fun environment where people are encouraged to challenge themselves – and are rewarded for their efforts. We give all of our employees flexible work options and access to the best, most up-to-date technologies, tools and platforms.
Other perks of working at Pliops include the ability to make an impact, many opportunities for career growth, giving back to the community, wellness benefits, and ongoing fun team and company events.
In our view, the three most important components that make up a positive employee experience are:
1. The human capital - we have the best people! When you work with talented, smart and motivated people, not only do you enjoy a positive and pleasant work environment, you also get inspired - and it is contagious.
2. Impact - as a startup, we can’t put people in narrowly defined roles. Our employees, in all roles, feel a sense of ownership; they get to see the bigger picture. Working here accelerates their learning process and broadens their skill sets.
3. Our employees are our most important asset - therefore, we put them at the center, and we’re constantly tuned to their needs. We provide them with the holistic environment they need - both in the professional and personal aspects.
Q. It’s often said that when people are having fun, they work better together and produce superior work. Do you believe this is true? Talk a bit about your company culture and what makes Pliops a great place to work.
It’s no secret that a positive culture and work atmosphere can magnify the growth of the company in ways one can’t imagine. It is reflected in the team’s motivation and productivity. It fosters innovation and healthy relationships – and contributes to branding and public image. One of the best things that come out of the right culture is that it helps attract and retain the brightest minds.
We have seven keys we live by to foster a great company culture:
Q. What does the future hold for Pliops? Are exciting things on the way?
As Pliops continues to innovate, we will provide the most efficient and capable data processors possible to maximize performance from compute and storage. We are relentlessly focused on helping customers transform their data center architecture and are scaling fast to match demand.
We have a robust product roadmap for next year and beyond. While our initial focus has been to win hyperscalers and superscalers, we’re expanding our customer base to include Fortune 500 and HPC.
From a human perspective, we are at 100 brilliant employees and counting, with a projection to grow the company to 200 employees by the end of 2022.