Good Works / Sports / Startups

Side hustle alert: Why Cloudistics CEO Najaf Husain drives race cars

It's more like running a company than you'd think, he says.

Najaf Husain out on the track. (Courtesy photo)

Najaf Husain, CEO of Reston-based Cloudistics, has always been into race cars. So when he sold his last company AppAssure Software to Dell in 2012, he decided to buy one.

And so, as he built Cloudistics (founded in 2013), Husain also built up a passion as a semi-pro race car driver. The two are more similar than you’d think.

“It constantly puts you in an uncomfortable position,” Husain said, of racing. And for him that’s just like running a company — if you’re not uncomfortable you’re not growing. Husain told that many of the guys he races with in the IMSA Prototype Challenge series are business owners. This is at least partially because owning a race car is expensive, but it also, one imagines, has something to do with the unique thrills of both these challenges.

For Cloudistics, the challenge is finding a new alternative to traditional computing infrastructure. “Traditional infrastructure is dead,” Husain told That’s why so many businesses are moving to use the public cloud. And the cloud is a great option for some things, but not everything.

Husain, who’s very fond of analogies, compared the public cloud to a public swimming pool. An awesome resource, but there are probably some things you don’t want to put in there. That’s where Cloudistics comes in — bringing the power of the cloud back to on-premise.

Cloudistics is nascent, but going places. It was recently named to CNBC’s “Upstart 25” list and no wonder — since acquiring its first customer in October the company now has seven customers and is bringing in revenue. The company has a team of around 60 based in Reston and is “growing nicely,” Husain said.

We’re sure there’s a race analogy in there somewhere.


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