Part One of an Interview with Tom Chalker, CEO and Founder Esotera, Senior Associate Cloud Ventures
What led you to create Esotera?
Way back in 2004 I had this inspiration on a new architecture for distributed storage. I was thinking about what was wrong with the Napster file sharing model and thought, if we assumed the computers were always on and we applied cryptology in a different way it could be incredibly secure and scalable. It was such a simple idea and yet so powerful. So I found a partner and launched the company to get this thing out there.
What is the core innovation of the Esotera Storage Solution for the cloud? What’s the special sauce?
You need to understand random numbers. Did you ever write an economics exam where you were issued a table of random numbers and had to do some kind of Monte Carlo simulation? You got a sheet of paper with several columns of 6 digit numbers. They all looked completely random, and yet that entire sheet was created and could be exactly re-created from a single unique seed number. That’s the concept of pseudo-random sequences. They look random but they’re reproducible – if you know the seed. Now imagine you took a data file, chopped it into equally sized, encrypted, anonymous blocks and used the numbers on that sheet of paper to decide where to put each block across a group of servers. Then you tore up the sheet.
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