Bertrand Serlet, Microsoft Employee

My “Hey, how come you don’t hear about ex-Apple folks launching startups?” musing in the previous item reminded me that I never linked to this news from January. Kyle Wiggers, reporting for TechCrunch:

In December, reports suggested that Microsoft had acquired Fungible, a startup fabricating a type of data center hardware known as a data processing unit (DPU), for around $190 million. Today, Microsoft confirmed the acquisition but not the purchase price, saying that it plans to use Fungible’s tech and team to deliver “multiple DPU solutions, network innovation and hardware systems advancements.” [...]

Fungible was launched in 2016 by Bertrand Serlet, a former Apple software engineer who sold a cloud storage startup, Upthere, to Western Digital in 2017, alongside Krishna Yarlagadda and Juniper Networks co-founder Pradeep Sindhu. Fungible sold DPUs that relied on two operating systems, one open source and the other proprietary, and a microprocessor architecture called MIPS to control flash storage volumes.

“The Fungible DPU was invented in 2016 to address the most significant problems in scale-out data centers: the inefficient execution of data-centric computations within server nodes,” Fungible wrote in a statement on its website. “We are proud to be part of a company that shares Fungible’s vision and will leverage the Fungible DPU and software to enhance its storage and networking offerings.”

The Fungible team will join Microsoft’s data center infrastructure engineering teams, Bablani said.

Bertrand Serlet at Microsoft — albeit quietly — is an outcome I certainly wouldn’t have imagined circa 2006, when he skewered the then-still-in-beta Windows Vista on stage at WWDC. Maybe the funniest 4 minutes of an Apple keynote ever.

Wednesday, 8 March 2023