In this ESG On Location Video, ESG's Mark Peters and Terri McClure report from NetApp Analyst Day 2017 in Boulder, CO. Also interviewerd is Dale Degen, Director of Product and Solutions Marketing.
Announcer: The following is an ESG on location video.
Mark: Hi and welcome to NetApp's Analyst Day here once again in Boulder, Colorado. Beautiful sunny day right now as befits the 25th anniversary of NetApp, a pretty impressive thing I'm gonna write more about in my blog because not many companies make that. Now, I will say the event and not surprisingly was kicked off by George Kurian, extremely feisty. Of course, he has a lot to be pleased about. Not just if you like the relaunch of the company that we've come here to hear about but really some pretty impressive numbers for NetApp in the last quarter or so.
We heard a lot...there's too much to go into all the detail about revamping so much of the company. The brand which we now see is data driven, sales and support which is that much more disciplined, integration with the Cloud, a whole new Cloud business unit and of course, the renewed products as well. Perhaps most important amongst that product set, certainly for NetApp within the industry as a whole is its launch, some might say, "At last." Of an HCI. Here to talk about that and its importance is Terri McClure.
Terri: Thank you, Mark. As Mark said, the HCI announcement today was probably one of the more significant things that NetApp announced and it's a very welcome announcement from them and here's why. When we went out and we talked to global IT decision makers about their infrastructure plans, 44% of the people said that HCI would give them the best chance to be able to transform their infrastructure to deliver IT as a service and become more Cloud like. Another 29% said that either CI or HCI would play a role. It's important for NetApp to have a play here because their customers will be looking to them to build on the success of their Flex Pod relationships and expand witch HCI and create a foundation for delivering IT as a service.
So I was lucky enough to catch up today with Dale Degen to ask him a little bit about the HCI announcement.
Dale: Today we announced NetApp HCI, enterprise scale hyper converge solution. And so, I'm excited to talk about it because it really up levels the game of HCI to the next generation offerings with guaranteed performance for all workloads, flexible deployment of independent compute and scale, the automated infrastructure capabilities brought out by our API driven solution. All that on top of the NetApp data fabric allowing people to really take the value of their data across the entire organization.
When we look at the first-generation offerings out there, they really fill the gap for small virtualization clusters. Made it simple, focused on architectural design points that were focused on that gap. With that, when they try to bring it into the data center at enterprise scale, there's architectural limitations in these first-generation offerings that just are difficult to really utilize on an economic viewpoint across the entire data center.
And so, what I see in that is a lack of performance control which prevents consolidation of tier one workloads. And if there is applications in the data center that first generation offerings are utilized on, they're usually in silos on those applications. You'll have a finely tuned silo for VDI, one for Sequel Database and so on and so on. And as you look around the data center, all of a sudden, you've gotta pile of siloes which is what nobody wants.
One of our best differentiators for NetApp HCI is bringing in the guaranteed quality of service from the Solid Fire Storage background that we brought into this solution. It allows you to set a minimum, maximum and burst level of performance and provision it dynamically between all your individual workloads. This prevents a 100% any noise neighbor type solutions and really brings about the next generation of HCI.
Mark: So thanks to Dale and Terri for their commentary. Now, as we said, HCI, whilst important, is just one of the myriad things that happened here. there were all sorts of other things and we'll cover that in our separate blogs and in the other commentary but the one thing I wanted you to focus on as we close this out is the longevity. 25 years is pretty impressive. Now, how do you get to that stage as a company? I think you have to have three things. You have to have a vision, you have to have execution. Looks like NetApp has both of those improving right now. And you have to be comfortable with change. Maybe 25 years in NetApp is still the right name for the company but it no longer should stand for network appliance. Perhaps now it's network application.