Day 5 here in Dubai, for GITEX 2016. This is our final day.... my feet thank you.


I have decided to have a look around and check and understand where the world is going in terms of being connected, and how rapidly

it is moving forward to that goal. And the questions I had in mind were:

- What is not connected?

- Am I SMART if I am not connected?

- What is not yet generating data?

- What is not demanding Analytics?


So here are a few lines about my experience and what I expect to happen for our business.

I think it is really difficult to answer to the question: what is not connected? Because more and more devices are connected. We all know
that, and this starts with us. But here I am not considering human and his sevral 10s of devices, but really those billion of devices which
are appearing to "simplify" our lives.

And this is really interesting what I discovered.


Let's start with a small number of those new things:




A smart lightning system combining WiFi, video surveillance, parking management, and so on.

I found also an interesting number of drones of all size to do transportation, and surveillance for instance. 
I do not forget all goodies you can wear such as shoes, watches, clothes, bikes, you name it.


It is also interesting to see the evolution of connected cars. You control them from a smartphone, get all sorts of reports,
start/stop them remotly, record your trips and spendings, limit speed for your kids, and so much more.

By the way, I liked very much the local police car: a connected Mc Laren Smiley Wink





So not all is yet connected but the world is working on it.


Does this prevent us being SMART?

Certainly not, but it seems that this is the buzz word to use is SMART: SMARTphone, SMARTcities, SMARTradios... What is next?




smart radio.PNG


SMART does not really represent the device itself, but the things you can do with it. SMART defines the use of a certain intelligence,
and more and more selfmanaged, autonomous components do integrate some. I have seen also that Artificial Intelligence is associated with some

connected devices.Perhaps bringing them faster on the SMART side of things.

We are not that far from Terminator... If this is so, I am happy not to be considered as a SMART person...


That is really amazing to see all those new devices with a connection, hoping for our business to generate a huge amount of data.

I am sure they will.


I have also discussed with a company which is doing VR systems to help understand the body and its internals.

But you would ask: where is that connected?

Their expectations is to get direct patient data from MRI into their systems in order not to represent a generic patient but yourself.

In my blog Big Data Analytics Can Help You Find Big Answers, I have explored the relation between the amount of data to correlate and Analytics.

This VR tool is just a great other component here: imagine the possibilities when it comes to display a combination of DNA, blood, MRI analysis
into a single VR 3D and interactive display?

There is no limit but time, computing and price to what we can do today.

At least our imagination is endless.


So to my original question: am I still SMART if I am not connected?, I would answer that in our evolving world no.


And every single component will generate data and will do some kind of data analysis.

The data streams seem endless.

The Analytics possibilities are promising, but will demand a such big amout of resources that I am not sure we can sustain the load today.

But at NetApp we are working hard on it, to make businesses SMART, to define what SMART IT is.


Thank you GITEX 2016 for all those great experiences and amazing demonstrations. 


From Jean-François Marie

Head of Product & Solutions Marketing EMEA



3D car.jpg


Day 4 at GITEX 2016 here in Dubai is again a source of interesting experiences.

Today I have decided to explore a bit more the 3D printing features and future, and let me tell you this is surprising.

Just have a look at that 3D printed autonomous car on the picture above. This provides us with a quick view of large objects
being 3D printed today.

And there are many of them: it could be simple toys and components for cars, planes, phones, replacement parts, etc.


3d prints.PNG


I also met the ATLAB guys. They have really a nice initiative to enable innovation. They use cheap 3D printing to allow any
school to help pupils to bring their dreams to life. And there is now a Gulf 3D printing Olympiad to which
you can register at:

What I see here is that by simplifying and democratizing the hardware you remove inhibition and let your ideas go. Excellent!


So if you can print a toys, small pieces, cars, what prevent printing mechanical parts such as this one below? Nothing !!


 3D part.PNG


So imagine a near future where our customers print their disk arrays... We will enter an era in which hardware will be at the plastic price!!

It will be more than a commodity world in which we are already in.


So yes, storage hardware is a commodity, we know that. The real value is in what helps build the next generation data centers, or what we can
call the ZTDC, Zero Touch Data Center.

It is software APIs driven, which a combination of DevOps technologies, enhanced end to end automation.

At NetApp, our Data Fabric vision embraces completely this new philosophy. It is Data Management anywhere, anytime, anyway.

Our new components, plug-ins and devices are ready to be consume this way.


So if you are a fan of Apps, APIs and development come an see what we are doing. Participate in one of our hackaton, and build
the ZTS apps (Zero Touch Storage applications) of tomorrow.


From Jean-François Marie

Head of Product & Solutions Marketing EMEA







Yet another day at GITEX 2016, and I must admit that there is always a way to find really cool stuff happening over here in Dubai.

Today, on my way to meet a customer, and by chance, I stopped by the Etisalat booth when they just announced their new phone.

No it was not an Apple show...

It is the thinnest phone in the world with only 1,6 cm in thickness. Really amazing.


But the raising technology you see the most is Virtual Reality!

I do not know if you managed to watch that incredible series of Iron Man movies featuring phantasmagoric virtual reality designs of all
kind of fancy things. I thought it was just not close to happen. I must admit that I was wrong.

It is here and now!


Virtual Reality combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) connects Virtual to Reality.

As I explained rapidly in my previous blog, Earth is not flat it's round, Virtual reality has brought a lot to gaming.

And we have seen a great evolution in the quality of the design (3D, range of colors, contrats, ...), of the interactions (movement, water drops,
wind...). Look at those guys having a virtual trip in 4D (3D + move):





On our booth we have an interesting VR experience allowing you do draw around you in 4D. This is really cool stuff, and provides
you with a unique experience about how it is about when you wear those glasses. Believe me, quite rapidly you forget them.
You start experiencing another reality.


That new reality combined with AI has changed fundamentally the gaming experience, but also our lives when it comes to order online,

interact with cars, and so on. So finally VR has changed Virtual to become Real!


See the World in Augmented Reality.

The first fully self-contained, holographic computer! Interact with high definition holograms in your real world.


augmented reality.png


See how to learn from the body inside. You can cut and remove the different layers, move the parts and go inside by just moving your head


3D human.PNG


Have a look at the what may be a policeman of tomorrow:




And I feel like it is the same for IT.

Some years ago, virtualization has started in IT. I am not speaking about Mainframes which provided so much virtual features we have still
a hard time to make with modern IT, but I am referring to compute virtualization. It took all of us time to embrace it to make it the new normal
which it is today.


Now it is virtual everything: CPU, network, power, storage, etc. What if interesting is that it took us far less time to move in that direction.
And of the reason why is that we are getting use to that chance pace, and to virtual everything even at home.

The new normal starts to be virtual Data Centers, and this becomes our new reality.


So yes Virtual Reality has changed fundamentally our Reality. And I am sure this is just a start.

Anyway, I hope you really enjoyed the reading of this virtual newspaper!


From Jean-François Marie

Head of Product & Solutions Marketing EMEA


flat earth.jpg



For centuries, is what of the global knowledge that Earth was flat.


The idea of a spherical Earth appeared in Greek philosophy with Pythagoras (6th century BC).

Aristotle provided evidence for the spherical shape of the Earth on empirical grounds by around 330 BC.

We needed great minds and breaking through thinkers to break what was a fact.


My second day at GITEX 2016 provided me with this interesting feeling that we are going through a similar
transformation. Remember a while ago, all pictures were black and white, all videos were without voice, digital
sensors were 2D. And I could name a lot more.

We moved to color, ultraHD, enhanced audio, and 3D+ type of sensors generating tons of data.

And there are still a huge amount of new ideas and thinking that need to be changed.

Here some: screens are flat, virtual reality is only virtual, etc.


Look at those samples:

UltraHD OLED ultra thin and curved screens





The world is changing, and is not flat anymore!


And IT is going through a similar change. Ideas from the past need ARE replaced by new ones, that may be frightening.

And the pace of change has increased dramtically from years to months !

But is that not exciting ?

Some months ago, cloud was considered as a slank language, and now the message is : do not fear the Cloud !


It is like Virtual Reality. It was only fun for games but it is now very important to visualize events not visible with a traditional human eyes
such a nuclear reactions. Thus the Cloud! This is real...


Today,I was lucky enough to meet a wide variety of IT players and the questions were around inetresting themes:

  • How do we do things differently?
  • How to we build Cloud Market Place type of business?
  • How do we help our customers having a great experience when going to the Cloud?
  • How do I change the conversation to a business one?
  • etc.

Interestingly enough, not a single hardware discussion on feeds and speeds… well I need to forget the good all days!!!

Who cares really§ Storage is a commodity, and moving forward as a Data Management company, it is all about software
defined, APIs, apps… really the next generation data center.


And the good news is that NetApp is ready for that. All we do is API oriented, we have the strongest alliances
and partner ecosystem to count on and to build the Data Fabric for the future of the Data Center which is NOW!


Let’s move forward and let’s build an IT which is not flat anymore!


From Jean-François Marie

Head of Product & Solutions Marketing EMEA




AlSalam Al 3aukoum from @Gitex2016 here in hot Dubai (more than 35 degrees Celsius outside).


In Dubaï, everything pushes you to think big all the time: largest airport in the world, highest number of luxury
hotels, palaces and housing, and as you probably know, one of the largest IT show in the world with almost 150,000 visitors:
Gitex (spell it with an French [i] and not an English I [aï]).


This year theme is “re-imagining realities”!

What a better fit for us with our Data Fabric vision. We help our customers and partners to re-imaging the way they build IT in a real world.

It is really amazing and fascinating.


I had a look around guided by an experienced local fellow Hadrien, and I must admit that it is a massive show. There is all
you need to build your Data Center, and perhaps should I say, your Next Generation Data Center.

Obviously, we play a big role here as the largest Data Management standalone company out there.


I also took the benefit of the tour to try to see how much of the current big trends are covered.

As an evidence I was asking myself if IoT was something that big. And it is not surprised to see that it is a connected show to build a
connected world.

There is an exciting project here leveraging the SMART CITY concept: it the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority.




It does reflect what could be an achievement with auto regulated water, electricity, cooling, etc. Inspiring, isn’t it !


If you are not convince then I would encourage you to come and join the show.

Then stop by the NetApp / SolidFire / Splunk / Schlumberger joint booth CLD-21 in Hall 6.


From Jean-François Marie

Head of Product & Solutions Marketing EMEA