5 Minutes With Brian Wink

Brian Wink

Q: Brian – tell us about your background, before you joined Panzura?

A: Prior to coming to Panzura, I had worked at NetApp for 13 years, starting when NetApp acquired my first company which we started at USC.  I had many roles at NetApp from coding engineer, to senior solutions architect to technical channel manager.

Q: When did you join Panzura and what was the one thing that told you this company was for you?

A: I joined Panzura in June of 2010, and what was interesting to me was that I could use my NetApp background of both storage and networking, but combine that with cloud and global data distribution.

Many storage companies try to be the next NetApp but their only real claim to fame is that they are a little cheaper or they use a different kind of drive.  Panzura’s approach was completely different and new – that is what drew me in.

Q: As a collaboration tool, what is the most important feature a file solution must have?  

A:  Data consistency is the top feature. Any time you are sharing data with other people, or other locations, if there is a concern that the data is not 100% consistent, then doubt is introduced and other workflows such as sending emails, calling, checking-in or checking-out must be employed. All of those methods slow down development.

Q: How has Panzura’s products helped companies adjust to the ‘new normal’ of remote work? 

A:  We really broke the barriers of geography. The norm used to be that there were first class citizens who sit in the  corporate head office, where everything is fast and seamless, and everyone else gets a second class experience.

With Panzura, no matter where you are, even in the cloud, you are always first class and always have fast and seamless access to your data.

Q: Is there such a thing as a typical day and if so, what does that look like?

A:  The only thing typical about my days is that they are always unique.  I could wake up with a particular plan and schedule for the day, only to learn that one of my customers needs something and I’m going to drop everything to get what is needed in order to keep them working in the way that they need.

Q: What do you think sets Panzura apart from its competitors? 

A: From company inception, we have always focused on what we still currently do – distributed collaboration and data sharing with remote object stores.

As a result, the core tenants of our solution were designed to handle the challenges of remote object storage. High latency networks, low bandwidth networks, not being able to reach critical components for periods of time are realities and we designed for these scenarios from the start. As a result, we now have the fastest and most durable global file system solution on the planet.

Q: Which achievement are you most proud of in your time here so far?

A: Seeing the company grow from the 10 people when I started, to the point where we have major companies relying on our technology – and at times categorizing us as a “secret weapon” or part of their critical workflows – due to how we have enabled them to shrink the globe for their workforces.

Q: What’s your superpower?

A:  My customer-first attitude – I have the ability to quickly empathize with customers and their scenarios and I use this when designing a solution for them. I will not stop until I – if I were in their shoes – would be 100% satisfied with the end result. 

I only have 2 speeds in this game, on and off; there is no in-between.  So, as long as I am able, and I can do something better for a customer, then I am going to do it.

Q: Tell us a bit about Brian Wink the person.

A:  I’m proud to say that I’ve been married for 20 years to the most beautiful woman in the world. Together we have 3 wonderful daughters and now a son-in-law and even a 3 year old grandson named Kylo. If you know anything about Star Wars that makes me Vader, which in this case I’m very proud of. 

Additionally I attended USC and I’m a huge college football fan and I love board sports.  When I’m not working I’m either with my family and friends at a game, in Mammoth or Park City snowboarding, at Lake Havasu on my boat wakeboarding or wakesurfing, or riding my electric skateboard dreaming about snowboarding and wakesurfing.

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