The changing face of storage

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.

Readers of my blog or the many end users and partners who have worked with me, know that I have constantly preached the 8 data integration points. The 8 data integration points are:

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

These 8 points apply aptly to the Data Services Platform I am sharing here. The volume, the variety and the velocity (borrowing the 3V’s buzzword of the description of Big Data) of storage technology have been massive and impactful, and the time is NOW to change our conversation piece about storage.

You see, how we talk about and speak about storage impact our industry. The cloud is wiping away the face of storage technology. It has made storage technology to become invisible, brandless, and technology blind. Many users and administrators of cloud storage don’t see the proprietary and open storage technology standards, specifications and protocols that go into the beautiful architecture of data storage, data mobility and data locality. Effectively, it is slowly masking the foundation of data and storage technology and how data is moved from the HPC processing complexes, to data archives, to new advent of data analytics driving new insights.Data storage architectures are driving the advancement of machine learning, AI, self-driving cars, super computing and so much more.

Yet, I believe storage has not been given the worthy recognition which it rightfully deserves.

It is time for the storage networking professionals and practitioners to educate the end users and the partners and all, that storage isn’t, and shouldn’t be just storage anymore. Storage technology is much, much more than what it used to be. It is a data management platform; it is a Data Services Platform.

I hope and wish this is a clarion call to all. Have a great day!

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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