Are you a Major Boothroyd?

As IT grows and changes over the years it becomes apparent that we need a solution that is as adaptable as the game itself.

For years this game revolved around “FC SAN and nothing else will do” and “don’t even talk to me if you don’t support FC”.  Then iSCSI planted the flag for Ethernet protocols, drive technologies advanced and capacities got denser. So that today we find ourselves supporting a multitude of protocols in an ever increasingly complex environments. But is this now enough of a playbook, and are these the plays you want to be running??

We are all aware of Moore’s law rate change so how do we keep up and adapt with this? We are expected to stay ahead of the game but sometimes just trying to keep up is a struggle I itself.

To borrow a quote from a colleague, Alex Nicholson, “You date your servers but marry your storage.” This may seem clichéd but when you think about it, it does cover the basics, compute is transitory while data is persistent. It’s quick and easy to migrate an application between physical servers so when the time comes you can take advantage of any new advancements in processing power and RAM speeds, yet storage migration takes time and because of this there are policies in place so that more though is given to the process before data is transferred.

Live migrate and storage Vmotion are two effective ways to move data when it’s a virtual workload but what happens if it’s not, how do we move the information. The answer usually involves many meetings and POCs before the job is undertaken, which adds weeks or months to the task and by that time the goal posts may have moved. Surely there is an easier way to do this and one that doesn’t require me dragging it up to the server only to write it somewhere else.

Now let’s throw into the mix the ability to tier the data i.e. boost or constrict performance, and just when you think you have all that covered your CTO drafts a directive that we need to be “utilising the cloud more” after he read a recent Computerworld Forecast study showed that the highest rated, single most important project that  IT depts. are working on right now was Cloud; with KPMG cloud survey report also showing that 49% are using cloud to transform their business to drive cost efficiencies and he doesn’t want your business left behind. What do you do?

There are a couple of methods you can follow to help resolve all of this. One way is to go to your current supplier and ask for them to ship you several of their current boxes across their portfolio and pray to the data gods that it sates the business’ appetite until the next Megalomaniac of an application appears. Just as you wouldn’t let your insurance policy roll onto a new contract without checking what the best available deal is you wouldn’t do it with IT.  So another way is to research, evaluate, (and one I know I’m guilty of) procrastinate, but are you getting the job done? Or are you setting on the fence await a solution to magically present itself?

Today’s application builders and managers are seen by the business as saviours of the world with a license to kill, and they are being funded by the business to do so, with a conservative figure of 28% of businesses IT spend not being controlled by IT departments these LOBs are being armed to take the fight to go up against the “Ernst Stavro Blofeld” in their sector. So how can you help?

What if your IT investment made you more agile, by incorporating measurable functionality like storage efficiencies high availability and non-disruptive operations all the while giving the flexibility to craft, create and customise a hybrid cloud on your own terms as you envision it for now and future demands on the infrastructure?

What if this solution had best of breed data protection fully integrated in to the robust portfolio that not only reduced risk but cut the costs associated and increased reaction times to meet the ever demanding SLAs being stipulated by businesses?

What if this solution could incorporate all flash solutions and its benefits for key applications yet avoid the SAN Island in the data lake scenario, and actually be seamlessly amalgamated into the current infrastructure?

What if all of this had a measurable ROI that delivered in months not years?

This isn’t some DB10 prototype, with some “aftermarket” upgrades, this is available today and out of the box from NetApp.

And that box can be a virtual one as well. And when I say virtual I don’t just mean an OnPrem hypervisor, you can also get this from your Hyperscaler’s market place and deploy in minutes! And when you consider the figures from State of the Cloud Rightscale 2015 reported that 55% of Enterprises are looking at a hybrid cloud strategy and a further 10% at a single public strategy this has to be the tool of choice. Not to mention with the next version of Cloud ONTAP providing encryption, you know your data is protected.

And now here’s the clever bit – we’re not talking about creating an archipelago within an uncontrollable sea of data with a plethora of management tools. We are talking about a SINGLE OS with SINGLE management, to the point that we can now drag and drop a relationship from flash to disk to cloud. We are talking about seem less hybrid cloud architecture while remaining totally in control of your data.  This is a differentiated approach to the hybrid cloud. This is the data fabric.

Cloud may not be right for everybody and to borrow a quote from Dave Hitz when he is questioned “IS the cloud right for MY business?” he will reply with “I. Don’t. Know.” Because every business and their needs are different. But having that ability in the bag for when you may have a need or want for it is surely going to help you sleep a bit easier at night, knowing a deployment will take you minutes not months if someone comes knocking.

So now you have all the bases covered.  Before you know it line of business managers will be coming to you with a complex data management problems and before they know it you are providing them with whatever they want from an exploding key-fob to wrist-mounted dart guns to a jetpack. Just make sure they “do bring it back in one piece!”