Tom Phelan is co-founder and chief architect of BlueData. He earned his computer science degree from UC Berkeley and then began a long career focused on storage and systems virtualization. After cutting his teeth on UNIX internals at Altos Computer Systems, he went on to develop highly fault-tolerant storage subsystems at Stratus. At Silicon Graphics, he was a member of the team that designed and developed the XFS file system. Furthermore, he was the architect and primary developer of the Guaranteed Rate I/O (GRIO) subsystem of XFS, which he later used to optimize storage performance for the delivery of streaming data.
Tom was an early employee at VMware and as senior staff engineer was a key member of the ESX storage architecture team. During his 10-year stint at VMware, he designed and developed the ESX storage I/O load-balancing subsystem and the modular “pluggable storage architecture.” He went on to lead teams working on many key storage initiatives, such as the cloud storage gateway and vFlash. He left VMware in 2012 to join Kumar Sreekanti in founding BlueData, a software company focused on bringing the benefits of virtualization and container technology to Hadoop and big data applications.