If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Ralph Ronzio in person yet, you’re in luck: There’s no shortage of HD 4K Ralph footage on the web to introduce you to this charismatic Puritan. From Pure’s Digital Bytes to Ralph’s own YouTube channel, Retro Ralph, there are plenty of opportunities to see him in action.
But what’s Ralph’s origin story, and what brought him to Pure? It’s time to get to know the man behind the screen…
Who is Retro Ralph?
He started his career as a post-sales implementation engineer, quickly realizing he’d rather be in front of people, not stuck behind the scenes. With that, he rapidly made the move into pre-sales engineering and it proved a perfect fit. “I really enjoyed articulating how to apply certain technologies to solve complex problems and did this for eight years before making the decision to get into leadership.”
When Pure started making lots of noise in the industry, he answered the call. “They had lofty goals to reinvent the entire data storage landscape, and that sounded exciting. I wanted to be a part of it.” Since then, he’s been able to help as many people as possible—and he’s anything but behind the scenes.
Scoring Big Wins for Pure
Part of getting the word out about Pure is creating content for our YouTube channel and other social media platforms. It’s opened him up to a broader audience and the chance to make a bigger impact. “In a pre-sales role, you’re typically assigned a territory. Your reach is usually limited to that territory. But in my current role, I produce content that could be seen by potentially millions of people.”
This keeps him on his toes—and keeps Pure’s technical content on the bleeding edge. “These platforms are evolving every day and the way people consume the content is also rapidly changing. In my role, I get to pick the platforms that can have the most impact, reach the most people, and get maximum exposure for the company.”
Tech Is in His DNA (and Pure’s)
Before retro games and Sega consoles, Ralph got his hands on computers at an early age, fueling a passion for tech he’s still tapping into today. “My cousin was an engineer and he was always teaching me things about computers. He handed me his first computer, a Commodore 64—that’s the moment that started my obsession with technology.”
At Pure, Ralph digs that he’s not alone in that passion, with its culture of creativity and teamwork. “I always say that Pure Storage has great products, but it’s the people that make it special. You see it across every function and every business unit. It starts at the top, and leadership makes sure that this core DNA of our culture is always alive and well. In my opinion, it’s what keeps Pure, well… Pure.”
He says for those values to take root, it’s important people can be themselves at work. “In my 22+-year career, Pure has proven that this kind of corporation does exist—a place where you’re encouraged to be yourself.” The result? A culture where people are free to be creative and push the boundaries of what’s possible, and Ralph definitely embodies that.
Q: You’re obviously into tech… what’s your favorite gadget right now?
A: The iPhone 13. That camera is amazing for photos and video!
Q: Last place you visited?
A: Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL. Check out this video to hear Ralph and Sam Marraccini wax poetic about how retro gaming has come full circle:
Q: What excites you about the future—and what you do here at Pure and beyond?
A: I think advancements in artificial intelligence and the sheer accessibility of data will change every single aspect of life in the future. This can already be seen in everything from proactive recommendations when buying products online to innovative ways to deliver healthcare. AI is everywhere and, if used correctly, it has the potential to deliver great outcomes for humanity as a whole.
A Blast from the Past for Future Generations
While Ralph is clearly on the cutting edge of modern technology, he balances it with an appreciation for the old—specifically, arcade game cabinets that need a little TLC to survive for future generations.
“I wanted to revisit those childhood arcade memories, and what better way to do that than to actually build my own? Some of these old cabinets out there got destroyed, so it’s fun to restore them and sell them to someone else that’s gonna enjoy them for years to come and show their kids these old games because they’re not making any new ones.”
He’s dabbled in modern games and VR headsets, but what he’s really passionate about is keeping the OG, real deals alive and well for future generations.
“I don’t think we can stop the train of innovation, and that’s good,” he says. “It’s good for the industry, and it’s good for gaming. But I definitely don’t want the idea of retro gaming to die, because it’s a pop culture thing. Let’s kind of keep the history alive.”
Tune into Pure’s YouTube channel to hear more from Ralph and be sure to ask him his thoughts on CRT vs. LCD displays.