ESG's Mark Peters and Scott Sinclair sit down to discuss NVMe and Optimized Hybrid Storage Management.
Read the related ESG Blog: Talking NVMe and Optimized Hybrid Storage Management
Mark: As we sit here in the fall, I thought it would a good opportunity to catch up with some of my colleagues. I have Scott Sinclair with me here. Seeing what's going on on your beat. The storage beat. From the storage and the data management perspective, are there any, kind of, things you've seen changing over the year or a different view you have of what's going on as a result of, you know, what's happened so far in 2018?
Scott: One of the big trends that we had early in the year is the rise of NVMe which, you know, most people know what NVMe is now but it's essentially a data protocol designed to talk to storage that's designed for flash. You know, we've been using SAS, we've been using SATA which is designed for disc and so it's a next, significant step on our way to an all-flash storage. To a true all-flash data center. You know? Essentially where the pipe is now designed for the endpoint and now that's transitioning to the fabric. There's a term NVMe over fabrics. There's a specification out there. We've seen the launch of the NVMe over fiber channel fabric. There's talk over, you know, different technologies and how do we get NVMe over IP? And so we're going to see those conversations start to emerge. We're still going to see innovation from where NVMe base support is gonna...or NVMe over fabric base support, excuse me, is going to start emerging from the move and more operating systems. More and more failover technology are going to start supporting it. So we're going to see that technology continue to emerge.
Moving forward, I think one of the other big topics is transitioning to the Cloud and the public Cloud is huge, it's growing, it provides tremendous benefits. On-premises also provides tremendous benefits. Organizations are figuring out that both are good and are working towards a hybrid environment, and more and more on-premises vendors are finding out the right way to be successful is not to ignore the Cloud but to figure out how to embrace it and how to become leaders in helping their customers optimize these hybrid Cloud environments. So we're starting to see some innovation there and this is an area where I expect us to see more and more announcements.
Mark: Some innovation in terms of what goes where or how to determine that? Is that what you mean?
Scott: You know, actually, I think what you're hitting on is exactly where people will be innovating. I think where the innovation that's happening now is just easing the placement of data and apps in either place. I think right now, the questions that you need to ask or the help to figure out what actually needs to live in both places is an area where it's a significant opportunity for IT vendors, on-premise vendors, storage vendors to help their customers figure that out. And it's something that the tools that we've had from traditional IT, from managing data centers, don't align themselves very well with figuring out what makes sense on the Cloud. The Cloud has a different cost paradigm for how workloads are charged, but essentially also data center planning often takes place in an aggregate level. How much headroom do I have already deployed? Will this workload fit? Should I add more in terms of performance or capacity or networking? When you move to the Cloud, you start paying per workload based on a different set of criteria and often that sort of complexity, that paradigm shift, gets people into trouble.
Mark: All right. Summarizing that, then. So NVMe, big deal and certainly a focus of lots of announcements. By the way, quick specific question on that. You talked a lot about it being full flash and for what's next as well, I assume, it could be...
Scott: Oh, absolutely.
Mark: ...new forms of solid state as those appear?
Scott: Essentially, NVMe is the foundation that allows storage to evolve to what we call storage class memory or memory-based storage technology and I think that is going to be a very interesting question. To see how those technologies evolve over the next two, three, four, five years. Of where they evolve, how they're placed, and how we can really maximize the performance of data within the data center.
Mark: All right. Now on the Cloud thing, in summary, we're beginning to see a lot more capability on placement and even movement, but that's not the same as optimized management or dynamic management. And that's where you think things will be moving?
Scott: Exactly. I think we've been focusing very much on the pure logistics of how do we move data? How do we make that easy? And once those foundational things are put in place, I think organizations will start to look at intelligence to figure out how best to advise their clients on what to move.
Mark: Okay. All right, well we'll talk more about that next time but for now, thank you very much and thank you for watching.
Scott: Thank you, Mark.