2018 SDC EMEA Speakers

For further information about being a speaker and how to submit your presentation abstract please see the call for presentations page.



Bill Bollengier - Director of Application Engineering, Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG), Intel® Corporation

Bill Bollengier is a Director of Application Engineering  in Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group in California. He has been at Intel for 17 years, including having spent four years working in Taiwan and China with an array of ecosystem partners. Bill has an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree from Stanford University.  


Idan Burstein - Storage Architect, Mellanox Technologies


Mark Carlson - Principal Engineer, Industry Standards, Toshiba

Mark has more than 35 years of experience with Networking and Storage development and more than 18 years experience with Java technology. Mark was one of the authors of the CDMI Cloud Storage standard. He has spoken at numerous industry forums and events. He is the co-chair of the SNIA Cloud Storage and Object Drive technical working groups, and serves as co-chair on the SNIA Technical Council.

Behnam Eliyahu - EMEA AE Lead, Non-volatile memory Solutions Group (NSG), Intel® Corporation

Behnam Eliyahu is an Application Engineer in the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG). He is responsible for technical enabling and support of flash storage (SSDs) and non-volatile memory and storage (Intel® Optane™) for EMEA customers.

His responsibilities include escalation for field representatives, direct coverage of key customers, design-win activities, product trainings, support of product qualification and validation, support of solution development and sustaining support of SSDs after launch. He works with storage innovators/OEMs/ISVs to help driving the storage transition to PCI Express, NVMe-based 3D NAND flash products, Optane™, and supporting the ever expanding scale up and scale out storage needs. Prior to that, he was an enterprise SSD firmware team lead in NSG design center in Longmont, Colorado. His team developed the flash translation layer for both 2D and 3D NAND technologies for the PCIe product line.  

Dr Michael Factor - IBM Fellow, Storage and Systems, IBM Haifa Research Lab

Dr. Michael Factor leads work to define the loading, management, storing and use of data in the cloud, and while in Research and always looking to the future to define the next generation of IBM Cloud technologies, he and his team are grounded in the present. They have delivered production technology into IBM Cloud to support services such as IBM Analytics Engine, Message Hub, and IBM Cloud Object Storage.

Verly Gafni-Hoek - Inbound Product Manager, Toshiba Israel

Verly is the NVMe-oF Inbound Product Manager in Toshiba Israel Storage Design Center. She has over 10 years' experience in developing real-time software and algorithms, out of which 5 years focusing on storage appliances and virtualization. Verly holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University.


Dr. Amit Golander - Technical Director, NetApp

Dr. Amit Golander is a Technical Director at NetApp, where he leads the development of the Plexistor PM-based software. Amit is a technology leadership expert with Product and BD skills forged at Plexistor, Tonian and IBM. Amit has a rich R&D background, leading global software and hardware technical teams since 2000 and composing over 60 papers and patents. Amit holds a PhD in Computer Architecture and diverse work experience in Storage, Servers and Networking.

Max Gurtovoy, Storage Drivers Team Leader, Mellanox Technologies

Leading R&D team that focus on RDMA based storage solutions such as: NVMe-oF, iSER and SRP in Mellanox Technologies R&D center in Israel.

I have more than 5 years of experience with storage and networking development. I’m the maintainer of the storage drivers stack in Mellanox OFED package and I’m involved in Linux Kernel development community for RDMA, block and NVMe subsystems. In the past I developed iSER initiator driver for FreeBSD-11. I hold a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University.

Dr. Danny Harnik - Research Staff Member, IBM Research Haifa

Danny is a researcher at the cloud storage group at IBM's Haifa Labs. His current research interests include cloud storage and large scale storage systems in general, compression and deduplication, and also security, privacy and cryptography. Danny completed my Ph.D. in 2006 in the field of cryptography Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. He has published over 25 academic papers and filed over 30 patents in the realm of storage systems.


Yaron Klein - Technical Leader, System & Software Architecture, Toshiba Israel

Yaron is a technical leader, in-charge of system and software architecture in Toshiba Israel Design Center. He has more than 25 years’ experience in storage, networking and real-time systems. In the past he was involved in IETF iSCSI effort, as well as designing storage solutions. Following design of several flash based caching products, he is now engaged with NVMe over Fabric based storage solutions. Yaron holds B.Sc and M.Sc in Electronic Engineering from Tel-Aviv University.


Dr. Ioannis Koltsidas - Researcher/Engineer, IBM

Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) Koltsidas is a Research Staff Member  at the IBM Research Lab in Zurich, Switzerland. In his current role he is leading a team of researchers doing research on next-generation Flash-enabled storage systems and cold storage systems built on LTFS-based tape storage. His interests also include Storage Class Memory integration as well as distributed scale-out file storage (GPFS, HDFS) and extensions thereof. Some of the latest projects he has been involved in include the IBM FlashSystem, the IBM Easy Tier Server for the DS8000 series and the IBM Spectrum Archive (a.k.a. LTFS Enterprise Edition). Ioannis received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, where he was a member of the Database Group at the School of Informatics. Prior to that, Ioannis completed his undergraduate studies at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in Athens, Greece, where he majored in Computer Science.

Andrew Kowles - Principal Engineer, Global Firmware, Seagate Technology

Andy Kowles is an electrical and software engineer and 15+ year veteran of the HDD industry. One of the early designers of Media Cache and DM-SMR, he has been involved with SMR from the very beginning. He has over a dozen US patents, most of them related to SMR and Tiered storage devices.


Seongyong Lee - SSD Product Planning Engineer, Samsung Electronics

Seongyong works as a Storage Product Planning Engineer in the headquarters of Samsung Electronics in South Korea. He has eight years of experience in SSD and Mobile storage and his current focus areas are SSD ecosystem analysis and enabling along with technical product planning.

Alex McDonald - SNIA Technical Council

Alex joined NetApp in 2005, after more than 40 years in a variety of roles with some of the best known names in the software industry. With a background in software development, support, sales and a period as an independent consultant, Alex is now part of NetApp’s CTO Office that supports industry activities and promotes technology & standards based solutions, with a particular interest in storage software. He is currently chair of the SNIA CSI (Cloud Storage Initiative), vice-chair of the SNIA ESF (Ethernet Storage Forum) and co-chair of the SNIA SSSI (Solid State Storage Initiative), and a major contributor to SNIA’s extensive library of web-based education.

Dr. J Metz - R&D Engineer, Office of the CTO, Cisco Systems

J is currently an R&D Engineer for the Office of the CTO for the Compute and Server Group for Cisco Systems, but has a broad and eclectic background of both academic, corporate, and industry experience. He is an award-winning public speaker, author, and contributor to industry trade publications. He has been active in industry standards, with membership on the Board of Directors for the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA), Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), and the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) Promoter’s Board. He received his Ph.D from the University of Georgia.

Mark Rabinovich - CTO, Visuality Systems

Mark has spent 35 years in software development with last 14 years devoted to Visuality Systems. Previously the head of R&D department, Mark today oversees the technological aspects of the company as CTO and Architect.Prior to joining Visuality Systems, Mark managed the completion of three large scale development projects. Mark holds an MD in Electronics.

Anu Rao - Product Line Manager, Data Center Group, Intel® Corporation

Anu Rao is the Product Line Manager for storage software in Data Center Group, Intel® Corporation. Anu helps customers ease into and adopt open source storage software like Storage Performance Development Kit (SPDK) and Intelligent Software Acceleration-Library (ISA-L).  

Kristian Vatto - SSD Product Manager, Samsung Semiconductor Europe

Kristian has been working in the SSD industry since 2012 when he started as an SSD reviewer at well-respected AnandTech.com, testing and analyzing nearly every SSD on the market. In 2016 Kristian joined Samsung Semiconductor Europe and is now responsible for SSD product marketing in EMEA area.

Hanan Weingarten - Head of Haifa site, Toshiba Israel Design Center (TISD)

Hanan currently heads a NAND Flash controller reliability team in Haifa, responsible for generating cutting edge reliability solutions for future NAND memory devices from Toshiba. Previously, Hanan was a cofounder and CTO at DensBits Technologies, a startup company founded in 2007 that developed advanced IP and controller technology for Flash memories. DensBits' was acquired by Toshiba in March 2017. Hanan holds B.Sc, M.Sc, and Ph.D degrees from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, all in electrical engineering. Hanan's fields of expertise include Information Theory, coding, communications, and DSP.