“No, we are not a storage company anymore. We are a data management company now.“
I was reading a Forbes article interviewing NetApp’s CIO, Bill Miller. It was titled:
NetApp’s CIO Helps Drive Company’s Shift From Data Storage To Data Management
I was fairly surprised about the time it took for that mindset shift messaging from storage to data management. I am sure that NetApp has been doing that for years internally.
To me, the writing has been in the wall for years. But weak perception of storage, at least in this part of Asia, still lingers as that clunky, behind the glassed walls and crufty closets, noisy box of full of hard disk drives lodged with snakes and snakes of orange, turquoise or white cables. 😉
The article may come as a revelation to some, but the world of storage has changed indefinitely. The blurring of the lines began when software defined storage, or even earlier in the form of storage virtualization, took form. I even came up with my definition a couple of years ago about the changing face of storage framework. Instead of calling it data management, I called the new storage framework, the Data Services Platform.
So, this is my version of the storage technology platform of today. This is the Data Services Platform I have been touting to many for the last couple of years. It is not just storage technology anymore; it is much more than that.
[Preamble: I was a delegate of Storage Field Day 12. My expenses, travel and accommodation were paid for by GestaltIT, the organizer and I was not obligated to blog or promote the technologies presented in this event]
In Day 2 of Storage Field Day 12, I and the other delegates were hustled to NetApp’s Sunnyvale campus headquarters. That was a homecoming for me, and it was a bit ironic too.
Just 8 months ago, I was NetApp Malaysia Country Manager. That country sales lead role was my second stint with NetApp. I lasted almost 1 year.
17 years ago, my first stint with NetApp was the employee #2 in Malaysia as an SE. That SE stint went by quickly for 5 1/2 years, and I loved that time. Those Fall Classics NetApp used to have at the Batcave and the Fortress of Solitude left a mark with me, and the experiences still are as vivid as ever.
Despite what has happened in both stints and even outside the circle, I am still one of NetApp’s active cheerleaders in the Asia Pacific region. I even got accused by being biased as a community leader in the SNIA Malaysia Facebook page (unofficial but recognized by SNIA), because I was supposed to be neutral. I have put in 10 years to promote the storage technology community with SNIA Malaysia. [To the guy named Stanley, my response was be “Too bad, pick a religion“.]
The highlight of the SFD12 NetApp visit was of course, having lunch with Dave Hitz, one of the co-founders and the one still remaining. But throughout the presentations, I was unimpressed.
For me, the only one which stood out was CloudSync. I have read about CloudSync since NetApp Insight 2016 and yes, it’s a nice little piece of data shipping service between on-premise and AWS cloud.
Here’s how CloudSync looks like:
Simple and affordable Disaster Recovery? Sounds oxymoronic, right?
I have thronged the small medium businesses (SMBs) space in the past few months. I have seen many SMBs resort to the cheapest form they can get their hands on. It could be a Synology here or a QNAP there, and that’s their backup plan. That’s their DR plan. When disaster strikes, they just shrug their shoulders and accept their fate. It could be a human error, accidental data deletion, virus infection, data corruption and recently, RANSOMware! But these SMBs do not have the IT resources to deal with the challenges these “disasters” bring.
Recently I attended a Business Continuity Institute forum organized by the Malaysian Chapter. Several vendors and practitioners spoke about the organization’s preparedness and readiness for DR. And I would like to stress the words “preparedness” and “readiness”. In the infrastructure world, we often put redundancy into the DR planning, and this means additional cost. SMBs cannot afford this redundancy. Furthermore, larger organizations have BC and DR coordinators who are dedicated for the purpose of BC and DR. SMBs probably has a person who double up an the IT administrator.
However, for IT folks, virtualization and cloud technologies are beginning to germinate a new generation of DR solutions. DR solutions which are able to address the simplicity of replication and backup, and at the same time affordable. Many are beginning to offer DR-as-a-Service and indeed, DR-as-a-Service has become a Gartner Magic Quadrant category. Here’s a look at the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for DR-as-a-Service.
And during these few months, I have encountered 3 vendors in this space. They are sitting in the Visionaries quadrant. One came to town and started smashing laptops to jazz up their show (I am not going to name that vendor). Another kept sending me weird emails, sounding kind of sleazy like “Got time for a quick call?”