Mark Weber of NetApp: Favorite Buzz Word? – “Big Data”

WashingtonExec had the opportunity to interview Mark Weber, President of NetApp US Public Sector and avid Hokie Football fan. NetApp is the largest storage provider to the federal government. Naturally Weber discussed with WashingtonExec the benefits of new storage innovations, including green technology, “big data” and data consolidation.

WashingtonExec:  Could you tell me a little about your background and what led you to NetApp?

Mark Weber: NetApp has the best talent in the business – the best people and an incredible culture that is focused on innovation and creating the best of breed products.  We have been listed as one of the top companies to work for the last five years by Fortune Magazine – if you have to go to work NetApp is an unbelievable place to be.

WashingtonExec:  What did you do before NetApp?

Mark Weber: I’m a twenty-five plus year IT sales leader – I worked for Sun Microsystems for 13 years, I worked for HP for 7 years and I’m in my 8th year at NetApp.

WashingtonExec: When Vivek Kundra left the White House in August he left a lot of initiatives like data center consolidation on the table.  What has NetApp’s involvement with these initiatives been and what will you be doing in the future?

Mark Weber: NetApp is the largest storage provider to the federal government so obviously these initiatives matter to us a great deal.  We’re on board with the top IT priorities Vivek put forth for the government – and are looking forward to additional guidance and vision from Steven VanRoekel. Consolidation is required and long overdue and we at NetApp pride ourselves on storage efficiency which is key to the consolidation efforts. It is great news for us that federal agencies are trying to be more efficient and consolidate because that’s what NetApp does, we give you the best value for the storage hence why we are the number one storage player in the federal government.

WashingtonExec:  Drawing off of that, with people wanting to create less government waste and more transparency – what are your thoughts on green technology?

Mark Weber: NetApp has efficient products that can help customers do more for less. If you have less to plug in you have fewer things to power meaning lowered overall power consumption.  We’ve won many, many green awards in California and in our Research Triangle location down in Raleigh.  We’re focused on green technology and bringing the most efficient data center products to the market.  It’s a core competency of NetApp’s and fits nicely into federal IT initiatives.

WashingtonExec:  I hear a lot of stuff about cloud computing, mobility, social media, cyber security – do you have a particular favorite buzz word or anything like that?

Mark Weber: For me the big buzz term right now is big data.  How you manage lots of data and lots of storage is a very complex thing – big data leads you to ideas on how to be efficient with large amounts of information. The government faces many big data related challenges with the growing use of full motion video and various other data intensive activities. Recently, we announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has selected NetApp to provide the storage foundation for its Sequoia supercomputer. Sequoia, which will be deployed in 2012 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California, is expected to be one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. This is one example of how more and more organizations in the federal sector are taking advantage of the immense computing power that big data technology provides.

WashingtonExec:  I’m sure being the President of NetApp’s US Public Sector takes a lot of your time – what do you do with your spare time?

Mark Weber: I have five children and a wife of 25 years so obviously that is my number one focus.  I do coach high school baseball so that takes up a lot of time. I do stuff with my kids and am active in the community.  I’m on the Business School Board at Catholic University and also on a board at Virginia Tech.

WashingtonExec: What is one of your favorite spots in Virginia?

Mark Weber: In Lane Stadium watching Virginia Tech win.

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