As IDC stated in their recent Cloud Market Report - Over the next 5 years Cloud Spending will grow
at a rate that is 3-5 times that of the IT Industry. By 2020 Cloud spend will reach $175Bn, an
increase of $118Bn from the $57Bn market we see today.
There is therefore one certainty - the change from older 'Traditional' Data Centre Architectures and
the inexorable drive for datacentre consolidation will continue at pace. The result will be a very
different landscape than the majority of us are used to. The old adage of 'Change is Constant' springs
to mind. As does the an old programmers moto of 'Constants Aren't, Variables won't ''
So combining the two leads me to the opinion that, Yes change will happen but there will be inertia
I was presenting at a very well organised partner event this week and out of a room of around 25 there
was 1 person that was heavily invested in cloud, realising the flexibility and choice it brought to their
business. They have several 100 applications running in the cloud. Others were less engaged and
some were struggling with the inevitable Data Management and protection questions that the
cloud discussion always highlights.
NetApp products manage and store many Hundreds of Exabytes of the worlds data. But I will be
controversial - the storage part is easy. The difficult part is the management. The big challenge,
as we all adopt cloud, will simply be the ability to manage data wherever it resides and do this
with consistency. This will require a robust answer.
If you haven't a robust answer then don't fall into the world of siloed unconnected clouds. If
you end up in that state then you will be locked into a cloud model that delivers the exact opposite
of FLEXIBILITY & CHOICE.
Looking at what drives decisions in organisations usually falls into two camps - Risk and Opportunity.
Which you could translate to
We spend vast sums managing the decisions we have made. Often described as , 'Keeping the
Lights On' and often have little time to focus the opportunity that drives growth. What are the
innovations that will drive growth and transform the Data centre ?
These four are good candidates:
Hybrid Cloud will be the dominant model for the next decade - no question in my mind.
Integrated Infrastructure gets you quickly to a best-in-class solution where the validation is
done for you. This integration extends to Apps as well. That's why you see NetApp consistently
working closely with VMware, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Ctirix, RedHat,the list goes on. Watch out
for more news on the NetApp Integrated EVO:RAIL solution and take a look at my previous BLOG
Flash is very exciting. It delivers high performance for certain workloads at an acceptable price point.
I say certain workloads because you cannot argue with the fact that all data ages, as do it's performance
requirements. Flash is not a one size fits all antidote to your storage challenges. And while I am here,
the All-Flash Datacentre is a myth. Remember Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) ? Right data,
Right Time, Right place, Right cost. That was over 10 Years ago and it makes
just as much sense today.
Software Defined Storage promises the Utopian view that everything is interchangeable. It has to be,
else choice is a pipe-dream. While the compute tier has essentially become stateless - you execute,
it's over, gone. Data on the other hand is stateful. Once I create a data set, it needs protecting, storing,
managing. Data has MASS. It is the Elephant in the room !! Any Software Defined
Storage model must apply consistent, repeatable data management capabilities independent of the
underlying hardware, which is exactly what we have done with Cloud ONTAP.
What is to be avoided are cloud solutions that result in a range of incompatible silos. I also do not
want to rewrite my apps when I move cloud providers, which I will certainly do, and if there is no clear
consistent way to move my data across clouds then why am I doing it in the first place ?
This is why I like the concept of the Data Fabric as a vehicle for visualising how my cloud will look
today and how it must be positioned for the challenges of tomorrow. Fabrics are everywhere - Finance, Air
Traffic control and, as I said in a previous Blog even Enstien had a Fabric to explain the interconnectedness
of complex elements in Space/Time.
Our Data Fabric vision is to provide data control and choice needed for the Hybrid Cloud. This is at the
heart of our strategy and governs the transition from virtualising storage to virtualising storage systems
to virtualising clouds.
Finally Transforming the Datacentre and the adoption of hybrid cloud will be about partners and
partnerships. Teamwork with our partners and alliances is the only way to deliver the next generation
While I agree that One Size Will Not Fit All - Consistency and Repeatability across the Hybrid Cloud will
be top of my 'Mandatory Requirements' list
Please view the BrightTalk Seminar recorded today for further discussion on the topic of Data Fabrics