On the first day of Dell EMC World 2017 in Las Vegas a few important announcements were made. It covered both product announcements and other industry developments. I’ll try to cover a few that stood out to me, and how they will impact the people that run the IT infrastructure. This workforce transformation as Dell EMC calls it, might be more challenging than simply making a system a bit faster with flash.
Moving your data and applications to the cloud isn’t the easiest of tasks, if you want to do it right. There’s a multitude of decisions to make. Some you’ll get wrong, which might make you reconsider your cloud operating model or cloud provider. Which brings the next question: are you locked-in at your cloud provider? Can you move your data between clouds?
One start-up that attempts to make the move to the cloud and moving between clouds easier, is Elastifile. An Israeli company, founded in 2013 with its first version of the product out in Q4-2016, it created the Elastifile Cross-Cloud Data Fabric. Their objective: bring cloud-like efficiency to the on-premises cloud, and facilitate a easy lift-and-shift into the hybrid cloud.
There’s no denying that off-premises cloud services are growing. Just look at the year-to-year growth of big public cloud providers. There’s big potential if you focus on two aspects of cloud. The first is speeding up access to data that is potentially not located in the same city or even geographic area. The second is supporting new protocols and storage methodologies that are suited for cloud native applications. One player in this area of IT is Avere, which aims to connect on-premises storage and compute to their siblings in the cloud.
When the news about the Dell and EMC merger became public last year, I was somewhat skeptical. I’ve had some really sketchy experiences with Dell servers and storage products, so it didn’t feel like a step forward. At the same time there was the organizational and support aspect. Mergers usually result in confusion for both sales processes and us people in the field having to glue all the products together. Not something I was looking forward to.
Lo and behold: I got an invite from the EMC Elect program to attend DellEMCWorld in Austin, Texas! This was my chance to fly over there and experience the merger announcements firsthand, plus ask questions. So I did! And I have to say: I was impressed.
A long, long time ago when public cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) was still relatively new I was doing some contract work for a big international company. One of the tasks for the department was an IaaS proof of concept: does offloading servers to the public cloud result in cost savings? Long story short: the PoC was halted after several months because the AWS IaaS offering was prohibitively expensive and inflexible. We had enough systems and data to keep a team of qualified engineers busy and to get good purchasing discounts. An additional problem was the very rigid service catalog: there weren’t that many flavors of machines available back then and custom machines were either not possible or even more expensive.
Fast forward to 2016 and I’m looking into public/private/on-premises IaaS again for a different company. Prices have dropped, but there are still some things to keep in mind when considering a move to the public cloud IaaS models.
Several years ago cloud computing became the hottest thing in IT. You couldn’t read an article or product description without being smothered with ‘cloud’ every other sentence. In fact, many organizations renamed their product and service offerings to include cloud. If you didn’t have ‘cloud products and services’, you were going to lose business.
I’ve noticed that there’s still a surprising amount of IT people that don’t fully comprehend what cloud computing means. Is it a location or a concept? Are there different types and layers of cloud computing? Lets see if we can explain a few of the more common options…
The Connected Data / File Transporter presentation kicked off with a rather interesting look at the cloud computing market of today, more specifically the economics of public cloud and the other drawbacks it has. Many of us have seen “the cloud” grow over the past years and still, the marketing behind it is aggressive. Most industry events are still fully focused on “moving to the cloud”: EMC World 2015 was all about the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and how to move to it, companies I talk with still “want to move to the public cloud because unicorns” and if you open a random IT magazine you’ll see clouds every other page paragraph line.
Something I noticed the past couple of years is the big difference between the adoption of public cloud in the US versus Europe: I feel that the US is more eager to jump into a cloud than us Europeans. Sure, people use cloud services over here as well: I use Dropbox privately to share some files with friends and I also store some (garbage) emails at Gmail. Talk with a relatively small company and there’s a big chance they use some type of cloud service like Office365, just because the TCO of running that infrastructure for themselves doesn’t add up. But have that same conversation with a larger company and it’s a different story.
Storage Field Day 6, Day 1! The day before was spent acclimatizing to the 9 hours of time travel but on Wednesday it was finally about to begin. I had a general idea of what was waiting for me: first of all it’s going to be an exchausting, challenging but also fun week, and also: 99% of Americans likes stroopwafels. So armed with a bag of them I headed to the SFD6 breakfast briefing. Stephen laid out the ground rules, explained the newbies what was about to happen and off we went to the first vendors of the week: Avere, StorMagic and Tegile.