Transforming the Data Centre

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

for some.


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



Looking at what drives decisions in organisations usually falls into two camps - Risk and Opportunity.

Which you could translate to

  • Risks - Outages and Cost
  • Opportunity - Speed and Growth

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
  • Integrated Solutions
  • Flash
  • Software Defined 

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

on EVO:RAIL.On-the-Fast-Track-The-NetApp-Integrated-EVO-RAIL-Solution

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.


Mass, Space, Time and the Data Fabric


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.


Sept 2014 341.JPG



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

cloud solutions.


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

and Cloud.


The Data Fabric - Transforming the Datacentre