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Ensuring business continuity and building opportunities

Jennifer O'Brien | Dec. 19, 2014
Who says storage can't be sexy?

"But the only way in which we can adopt the cattle architecture is by re-architecting the application such that the resiliency exists within that. So we need to have conversations with customers and frame it that way."

Indeed, industry experts agree that future application architectures should use cattle, but pets with strong configuration management are viable and still needed. King said there's still confusion, particularly around the storage platform.

'We're confused as an industry about what actually is the right fi t for the right platform at the right time -- and I believe it's a hybrid world. We need to slowly move to a third platform architecture as we re-architect our applications. But that's going to take time. We cannot ignore the pets discussion; that we have a SLA and we have a duty of care to our organisation that we just cannot lift and shift. So they're the two diametrically opposed conversations we're having, but it's starting to resonate," he said, adding customers need to look at Cloud where it makes sense.

With disruptive times, comes massive change, agreed NetApp's Swinbourne. He said the partner's conversation no longer happens solely with the IT department. The new power centre is the C-level executive and not just the CIO, but the CMO, and often times the IT department is a roadblock when talking about the storage platform and overall IT infrastructure.

"The IT department, in some businesses, are the people holding the business back saying, 'you can't to do this' and forcing a lot of that public hyper scale of Cloud adoption out of frustration and cultural problems inside customer organisations. Time and time again I see customers use hyper scalers to solve what essentially is a cultural problem in their business."

Partners need to ask the customer where the information is living.

"You need to think about how you're going to look back on seven years of records. You need to think about cost control -- and that's the changing role of the reseller. It is shifting who we engage with inside businesses and how we engage with businesses. If we're talking to IT and we don't have any other relationships, we're talking to the wrong people."

EMC's Sillence said with the trends including Cloud, Big Data, and BYOD reshaping the industry, there's enormous opportunity for channel partners.

"With massive disruption, which is going on in our industry right now, comes massive opportunity."

Customers don't buy storage and then consider what workloads they are going to deploy -- instead they buy a storage platform to meet the needs of their application workloads.

"The criteria for selecting a given technology can largely be simplified into two key 'continuums.' One has performance at one end and capacity at the other. This generally leads to a discussion around $/IO versus $/GB. The other continuum relates to the service level required, with continuous availability at one end and traditional backup and archive at the other. Somewhere in between those two extremes you would have traditional Snap technology and continuous data protection. Once an application has been plotted on those two axes, it is much easier to map the requirements to a specific technology and can enable an informed discussion about the suitability of on premise or off premise provisioning," he said.


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