Steven HetzlerDr. Steven R. Hetzler is an IBM Fellow at IBM’s Almaden Research Center (San Jose, Calif.), where he manages the Cloud Data Architecture Research group. He has spent over 25 years in data storage research and development. (Steve’s page at IBM Research).

Most recently he and his team are developing highly reliable and economical storage system architectures for cloud applications and novel storage systems for tackling the big data explosion. The combinde hardware/software team is curretly working on cloud storage projects based on new erasure codes we have inveted.

Steve has performed significant analysis of the reliability of solid state storage. He created both the Touch Rate perfoamnce metric and Chasm Analysis, a methodology for analyzing market potential for storage technologies using economic data. Previously, he initiated work on the IP storage protocol that is now known as iSCSI, which he later named. The group under his management developed the concept from an idea to the first specification before joining with Cisco to bring the work to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). His group developed the first working iSCSI demonstrations, including the first direct network-attached DVD movie multiplex.

Steven currently has 77 issued patents for inventions covering a wide range of topics — including data storage systems and architecture, optics, error correction coding and power management. His most notable patents include split-data field recording and the No-ID(TM) headerless sector format, which have been used by nearly all magnetic hard-disk-drive manufacturers for a number of years. He also pioneered the first adaptive power technology for disk drives.


Steven was educated at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, Calif.), where he received his Ph.D. and Masters degrees in Applied Physics in 1986 and 1982 respectively. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Physics in 1980 from Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.). He joined IBM Research in November 1985 and was named an IBM Fellow in 1998. He is a Senior member of the IEEE, and a member of the American Physical Society.

musings on data storage