Oops, excuse me but your silo is showing

It is the morning that the SNIA Global Steering Committee reporting session is starting soon. I am in the office extremely early waiting for my turn to share the happenings in SNIA Malaysia.

And of late, I have been getting a lot of calls to catch up on hot technologies, notably All Flash Storage arrays and hyper-converged infrastructure. Even though I am now working for Interica, a company that focuses on Oil & Gas exploration and production software, my free coffee sessions with folks from the IT side have not diminished. And I recalled a week back in mid-March where I had coffee overdose!

Flash storage and hyperconvergence are HOT! Despite the hypes and frenzies of both flash storage and hyperconvergence, I still believe that integrating either or, or both, still have an effect that many IT managers overlook. The effect is a data silo.

We have to approach this by looking at the entire data landscape. And I advise many IT managers, and even IT architects to look from the perspective of ILM and how data moves and permeates across the organization.

Information Lifecyle Management (ILM) was a big buzzword back in early 2000. It was so big that StorageTek (acquired by Sun Microsystems) wanted to trademark the term “Information Lifecycle Management”. Eventually, like all hypes and buzzwords in the IT industry, ILM has gone into anonymity. Yet, the concepts of ILM have its merits and I have always use them to define my approach in designing storage and data solutions.

From cradle to grave, data is a living entity within any organization and even further extending into networks of partners and suppliers. . But the storage containers such as all flash arrays and hyperconvergence introduce a new perspective into data management and data movement within the organization and beyond. That perspective is both a boon and a bane, and IT managers and IT architects must ask themselves and the technology vendors that supply these solutions how they fit into the data landscape of the organization. Not the other way around. Let’s not get caught up too much in the hype and buzz of these cool technologies.

I have always used these 7 points as anchors in my mind when I discuss, review or even design a solution. These are:

  • Availability
  • Performance
  • Protection
  • Accessibility
  • Management
  • Security
  • Compliance

And these 7 points have served me well for the past 15 years.

A recent executive session with NetApp CTO, Jay Kidd, (He was in Malaysia on March 11, 2015) showed that NetApp got it right. NetApp calls it the Data Fabric. I would not call NetApp Data Fabric strategy perfect and it does seem to have some flaws to it, for now.

But what is important was the Data Fabric strategy drives the mindset of its technology marketing and the NetApp solution sales force. And customers who are level headed would understand why NetApp’s Data Fabric strategy made perfect sense. They are just not “box pushers”!

(On a side note, the Data Fabric “imperfections” I am still curious are SteelStore (acquired from Riverbed) and NetApp EVO:RAIL.)

Having said what’s on my mind, I urge readers to bring this thought back to your IT environment and think about how hot technologies such as all flash arrays or hyper-converged infrastructure can cause ripple or waves in the data landscape.

Otherwise, pardon me, I will say “Excuse me, but your silo is showing …” 😉

About cfheoh

I am a technology blogger with 20+ years of IT experience. I write heavily on technologies related to storage networking and data management because that is my area of interest and expertise. I introduce technologies with the objectives to get readers to *know the facts*, and use that knowledge to cut through the marketing hypes, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and other fancy stuff. Only then, there will be progress. I am involved in SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) and as of October 2013, I have been appointed as SNIA South Asia & SNIA Malaysia non-voting representation to SNIA Technical Council. I was previously the Chairman of SNIA Malaysia until Dec 2012. As of August 2015, I am returning to NetApp to be the Country Manager of Malaysia & Brunei. Given my present position, I am not obligated to write about my employer and its technology, but I am indeed subjected to Social Media Guidelines of the company. Therefore, I would like to make a disclaimer that what I write is my personal opinion, and mine alone. Therefore, I am responsible for what I say and write and this statement indemnify my employer from any damages.
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2 Responses to Oops, excuse me but your silo is showing

  1. azuan says:

    Hi,

    Did you mind to share with me Simplivity country manager / representative at Malaysia. I need to meet them.

    • cfheoh says:

      Hi Azuan

      There is no Simplivity rep in Malaysia. They have a distributor.

      However, if you are interested in an alternative, and cheaper solution, please contact me at +60 12 3138 239.

      Thanks
      /Chin-Fah

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