November 8, 2004
Major gift from storage industry leader Kumar Malavalli establishes
endowed chair in storage systems
By Tim Stephens
Kumar Malavalli, cofounder of Brocade Communications and cofounder
and CEO of InMage Systems, has made a gift of $1 million to
UCSC to establish the Kumar Malavalli Endowed Chair in Storage
Systems Research at UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering.
This major gift provides valuable support for the engineering
school's Storage Systems Research Center.
"I am most excited that Mr. Malavalli, a business leader
in the field of storage networks, has chosen to support the
Storage Systems Research Center with this endowment," said
dean of engineering Steve Kang. "The future success of
the Baskin School of Engineering hinges on our close interactions
with industry in Silicon Valley and with entrepreneurial leaders
like Mr. Malavalli."
Kang announced the gift last week at the dedication ceremonies for the new Engineering 2 Building.
Darrell Long, professor of computer science and director of
the Storage Systems Research Center (SSRC), said that Malavalli's
name adds an imprimatur to the SSRC that will help to attract
further investments from companies and individuals.
"Kumar Malavalli is an immensely influential figure in
the area of storage systems and has made great contributions
to storage area networks. I am very pleased that someone who
knows as much as he does about this field and about what's going
on in the industry has decided to make such a generous contribution
to our research," said Long, who is associate dean for
research and graduate studies in the engineering school.
"This endowment will act as an anchor for the SSRC, giving
us stability and allowing us to pursue new research ventures
that are not funded under our current grants," Long said.
According to Malavalli, data storage technology has evolved
into a mainstream technology that is now affecting all walks
of life in modern society.
"All of the information that is generated in different
areas of your life and in different businesses, it all has to
be stored, moved around, replicated, and backed up. The technologies
are growing by leaps and bounds, but we still don't have an
optimal solution. More research is needed to fill the holes
that exist today to provide the best solution for society,"
Malavalli was for many years the chief technical officer of
Brocade Communications, the leading provider of storage area
networking infrastructure, which he cofounded in 1995. He is
also one of the principal architects of Fibre Channel technology,
a high-speed data transfer technology used in storage networks.
He served as chair of the ANSI T11 Technical Committee, which
established universal standards for Fibre Channel. He has also
served on the Boards of Directors of the Storage Networking
Industry Association and the Fibre Channel Industry Association.
The SSRC, started five years ago, is regarded as an international
leader in the field of storage systems research. In addition
to Long, the center's faculty include Scott Brandt and Ethan
Miller, both associate professors of computer science, as well
as other faculty from the Departments of Computer Science, Computer
Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.
"We've been working together for years, and I feel we are
one of the best groups in the world in this area of research,"
The mission of the SSRC is to improve the performance and profitability
of the data storage industry through a strong focus on the software
and systems aspects of storage. Research in the SSRC focuses
on caching, storage systems hierarchies, peta-scale storage
systems, distributed storage systems, and security and performance.
The center works with a variety of industry partners that provide
funding, equipment, and technical feedback for the center's
research programs. Malavalli said he would like to help establish
a more formal consortium of companies to work with the SSRC
on cooperative research projects.
Malavalli earned degrees in electrical engineering and physics
at the National Institute of Engineering in Mysore, India. He
worked for ITT Communications, Amdahl, Canstar, and HP before
arriving in Silicon Valley from Canada in 1995. He is currently
CEO of InMage Systems.
In February 2003, Malavalli was inducted into the Silicon Valley
Engineering Council Hall of Fame for his contributions to technology.
He also received the Gene Milligan Award for Effective Committee
Management from the InterNational Committee for Information
Technology Standards (INCITS) for chairing an INCITS committee
that developed 17 standards in the area of Storage Area Networks.
Malavalli currently invests in and mentors numerous storage
networking startups in both Silicon Valley and in India. He
also contributes substantially toward his own global vision,
which encompasses telemedicine and education. He is a member
of the Board of Directors of The Indus Entrepreneurs Silicon
Valley Chapter, and is a trustee of the American India Foundation.
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