The Silicon Review
Founded in 2013, Liqid was formed to deliver hyperscale agility and economics to the masses. This is accomplished through Liqid’s core technologies – next-generation PCIe fabrics and the intelligent software that manages these fabrics. Liqid utilizes a leveraged licensing model and works with partners to speed time-to-market and drive user adoption. Liqid’s first two products include solid-state drive (SSD) technologies delivering the world’s fastest performance as well as a managed, top-of-rack PCIe switch that enables composable infrastructures and delivers it to the IT mainstream.
Candid Q&A with the Key Executive Jay Breakstone
Tell us about the first product that you launched?
The storage version of Liqid’s first product, called the Element, was quickly adopted by Kingston Technology as its primary enterprise NVMe SSD offering. This was accomplished through Liqid’s partner program and the contract was executed in early 2016. Kingston is a global leader in solid-state drive technology. Combining Liqid’s PCIe fabric and firmware technology with Kingston’s manufacturing, marketing, sales, and distribution infrastructure allowed for quick adoption and rapid success. The Liqid Powered Kingston DCP1000 SSD series delivers over 1 Million IOPS and 7 GB/s of throughput and is available and shipping today.
How successful was your first project roll out? Share the experience?
Our first product launch was a major success. We benefit from differentiated IP that enables better, faster, and cheaper storage solutions, but we have also strategically aligned with leading OEMs, like Kingston, to deliver differentiated solutions to large customer bases.
If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?
Team: The team we have assembled at Liqid is class-leading and has set the foundation, based upon decades of industry experience, for Liqid’s continued success. Team is everything. Much of where Liqid has been, and where it is heading, is a result of the incredible team we have assembled.
Technology: Not only is technology important, but the timing of that technology regarding market appetite. Liqid has done an excellent job navigating technology risk with customer demand.
Agility: Having the ability to execute quickly in an extremely fast-paced market has been crucial in Liqid’s success thus far.
Fiscal responsibility/awareness: Liqid has been very prudent about how and where we have invested our capital, allowing us to accomplish as much as we have extremely efficiently.
Investors: This is another incredibly important factor in Liqid’s success. We are fortunate to have some of the best investors a company can ask for, not only providing the capital needed, but also the insight, guidance, and connections for which an early stage company could only hope.
What do you feel are the reasons behind?
Your product popularity: Liqid’s technology is differentiated – it allows for data center architectures that are truly disruptive by enabling customers to do more with less. What previously took 2 racks of equipment can now be done with 1 rack at twice the performance – consolidation through performance and flexibility. This recipe has been validated by numerous tier-1 OEMs and ODMs and dozens of large-scale IT organizations within the first few months of product availability.
Your consistent growth as an organization: People want to be part of something exciting. Liqid employees see the vision of the company and understand how it can change the data center landscape. Having your team participate in the excitement and buzz around the technology they have helped develop is key to keeping people inspired and continuing to grow.
How do you and your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?
Liqid was founded with the vision to change the way IT platforms are deployed, managed, and consumed. Typical equipment utilization ranges from 12% on average to 30% at the very best. Liqid’s Composable Infrastructure (CI) enables the industry’s highest degree of infrastructure flexibility and can improve those metrics 3-8x by driving agility into today’s static infrastructure. As we move forward, we are more confident than ever that we will achieve this goal.
How big is your organization today? Briefly explain the organizational structure?
Liqid’s staff has been growing steadily since the company’s inception, increasing in size anywhere from 50-100% annually. As product sales continue to ramp, Liqid has plans to double headcount from its current 30 full-time team members throughout the course of 2017.
Do you have any new products ready and/or getting ready to be released into the market?
Liqid’s upcoming product release will be rack-scale solutions for composable infrastructure (CI). The Liqid Composable Infrastructure frees data centers from form factor failures, allowing IT professionals to pool and scale resources instantly. Liqid recently demoed the CI solution, including Liqid management software, at the Open Compute Project U.S. Summit 2017 in Santa Clara, CA in early March 2017. We will continue to give live demos at upcoming tradeshows in the first half of the year.
Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?
Liqid will continue focusing, as always, on building a long-term, profitable business around solving the data center’s most pressing challenges. Our goal is to continue developing and executing on our product roadmap and to provide customers with leading-edge, differentiated solutions.
Meet the Master
Jay Breakstone, Founder & CEO: Jay is the visionary behind Liqid’s innovative technology. He is responsible for providing business-focused oversight to the sales, marketing, and R&D efforts, while driving the company’s short- and long-term technological direction. With 15 years of experience in technology, he previously launched and managed the SSD program for PNY Technologies and later founded pureSilicon, an award-winning enterprise SSD company.
“Technology must be challenged, and there is always a better way.”