Two well-known Joyent engineers leave as company rejiggers strategy

Two Joyent higher-ups have left the company in the past two months. Mark Cavage, Joyent’s former vice president of engineering and key developer of its Manta object storage service (which the company open sourced last week), left Joyent in early October, according to a Twitter post. Ben Rockwood, Joyent’s former director of cloud operations, left the company last week and is joining configuration-management startup Chef as director of operations and IT, according to Rockwood’s personal blog.

Rockwood spent over eight years at [company]Joyent[/company] and detailed his time there in a thoughtful post that covers how Joyent founders “saw promise in the Solaris Containers (zones) technology” and started a cloud company before [company]Amazon[/company] brought the cloud to the mainstream. From the post:

But my time has come to an end. Joyent isn’t the company today that it was when I joined it. And, rightly so. I love the team I’ve built there and the things I’ve been a part of and our core technology solutions which kept us relevant throughout it all…. but its time for me to move on.

Joyent’s CEO Scott Hammond wrote the following in an email to Gigaom regarding the moves: “Both Mark and Ben have been at Joyent for many years and played an integral role in the development of Joyent’s technology. We wish them nothing but the best in their new endeavors. And now that SDC and Manta are open sourced, we fully expect to see them continue contributing to the community and look forward to working with them.”

The departures come as Joyent is trying to distinguish itself amid a crowded cloud market, including a push in open source and an emphasis on containers.

Last week, Joyent made headlines by open sourcing its SmartDataCenter and Manta technologies. That project has been taking place over roughly three years, according to Joyent founder and former CTO Jason Hoffman. Hoffman is now [company]Ericsson[/company]’s vice president of cloud.

Regarding the move to open source, Joyent CTO Bryan Cantrill wrote in a blog post, “This is not an act of altruism: it is a business decision — if a multifaceted one that we believe has benefits beyond the balance sheet.”

In late October, Joyent took in a $15 million funding round and rejiggered its business strategy to focus on the use of container technology in its cloud infrastructure. The company has used containers in its own environment for roughly a decade, and with companies like [company]Docker[/company] and [company]Google[/company] popularizing containers in the past year, Joyent is hoping to pick up some steam by publicizing its own skills.

Story updated with statement from Joyent CEO Scott Hammond