In this ESG360 Video, ESG's Scott Sinclair and Mark Peters discuss current issues and trends in the world of Storage.
Read the related ESG Blog: Talking Storage
Announcer: The following is an ESG 360 Video.
Mark: I'm continuing my series of discussions where I talk with my colleagues about some of the specific areas of IT and the ecosystem that all contribute to making IT work. Today, I'm joined by Scott Sinclair. Scott, thank you for being here.
Scott: Thank you for having me.
Mark: Storage is your bailiwick. That's what you analyze. It's an easy term to throw out. For someone who doesn't understand, what does storage mean these days?
Scott: Everyone talks about data. Data's the new oil. Data's the most valuable asset that businesses have today. And storage is about protecting that data. And not just protecting it, but making it accessible. And I think that's really the new transition we're seeing is for years, the focus was on protecting the data, making sure nothing ever happened to it, making sure that it was pristine. And now businesses have realized that that data has value. And now, the emphasis on storage is not just protecting the data, which that's still paramount, but making it accessible and how do we open up data to really better enable the business.
Mark: Okay, well, that might help because the next thing I wanted to ask you was a couple of things that are going on in the storage business, could be trends, could be shifts in the vendors. It could be technologies. What are a couple of key things going on in the business?
Scott: Absolutely. So I think, you know, it's hard to talk about anything in IT right now without talking about the cloud.
Mark: Ding, ding, you win. You said it.
Scott: Public cloud, we're done. You know, it's almost like everyone has to say that. And it's true. The cloud is transformational. Everything has just gotten so difficult that organizations are looking at their own…what they have to manage, keeping IT services, better enabling the business. Everything they have to run, and they try to think, "Okay, what should we be doing and what should we pay someone else to do?" And in some sense, that's what the cloud is.
But also right now, I think organizations are finding the balance. They've started to better understand. We've seen some workloads come back from the cloud, so we've seen companies find the balance between, "Okay, what makes sense to run within our own data centers, and what makes sense to do on the cloud?" And so it's not just, "How do I use the cloud or how do I use on-premises, but how do I build an ecosystem that is essentially multi-cloud or can use all different types of clouds, but do it in a facet where they're not isolated silos."
Mark: That's interesting. So it's not about the specific technology per se, you're talking about optimizing the value of the data and putting it the places that give you the best chance to do that optimization?
Scott: Exactly. But that's not to say that we're not seeing new technologies as well. I think one of the other big technologies that's happening in storage, especially this year, is the rise of NVMe as a protocol. Once organizations are leveraging flash, everyone saw these tremendous benefits in terms of performance. Now, what organizations are looking at is once we've achieved those benefits, they started looking at the rest of the data pattern. And the protocols that we are using to talk to flash were still designed around disk, were still designed around older technologies.
So the promise of NVMe is now that data path is something designed for flash. And so now, we're seeing almost a rush to deliver NVMe across not only storage architectures, across the network as well to speed up data access.
Mark: Is it possible, maybe I should say is it still possible to get better business results as a result of doing the storage management platform optimally?
Scott: Absolutely. Companies are investing in "How can we leverage this data as an asset and how can we access it?" And part of that leverage, whether it's through DevOps, whether it's through analytics, to better understanding what your customers are doing, you know, dare I say machine learning and AI and all the new buzzwords, all that stuff requires data. And not just data to just be sitting somewhere on a tape. It actually requires data to be accessed. And the faster you can access the data, and the more data you can access, typically, the better the results, the better the decisions that come out of analytics, the better the training and the algorithms that turn into machine learning and AI, the better, you know, pretty much for everything.
So what we're seeing is data make the transition from where businesses where data was a necessity to doing business, to now, data can create business, and data can create new opportunities for companies. And so in order to get to that point, in order to get to where a company can leverage its data to create new business, to create new opportunities, the infrastructure has to be efficient enough and performant enough to enable that to happen.
Mark: All right. So we really can link business success to storage success in data management.
Mark: Scott, thank you very much for that.
Scott: Thank you.
Mark: Thanks for watching.