Key Takeaways from the 2016 Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference

By Michael Richtberg, VP of Strategic Business Development, SoftNAS, Inc.

Keynote Address

This year’s event was well attended…again. Dave Russell, Robert Naegle and all other Gartner executives highlighted change and the need to adapt to the new digital reality that enables running efficient businesses. Some of the best sessions targeted topics like software defined infrastructure, cloud and hybrid. In fact, most of the session themes pivot around these topics.

As with any paradigm shift, the feeling of being overwhelmed sets in. Gartner highlights the tendency to seek stability and how we’re all frankly just trying to keep up with what’s going on now. Adding new adventures into new operational models adds to the “to-do” list.

One of the messages repeated again this year highlighted the need to renovate the core. What exactly does this mean? To get different results, they emphasize doing things differently rather than simply iteratively. Getting unfair advantage in the industries we all work in means thinking differently. Doing the same thing, or simply iterating, results in iterative business results. If your competitors are changing their core and doing things differently then you may soon fall way behind.

Author Peter Hinssen’s keynote on day one used a powerful reminder of just how fast companies can become irrelevant or uncompetitive. He highlighted that the top five worldwide companies have all been replaced over the past decades with technology leaders like Amazon, Facebook, Google and other modern powerhouses. He captured the point by showing the campus entrance sign at Facebook – a sign that once showed the Sun Microsystems logo. To remind employees, they left the sign, but turned it around so Facebook log faces the incoming traffic and campus inhabitants see the back which still has the original Sun Microsystems logo. You can think of numerous brands that have been “changed” because they didn’t change… like Sears or Kodak.

Bi-Modal IT

The sometimes controversial “Bi-Modal IT” model Gartner uses shows the contrast between staying the course (seeking stability) for Mode 1 organizations and innovative problem solvers looking for differentiating change characterized by Mode 2. Pragmatically, they understand you can’t go from Mode 1 to Mode 2, but organizations can create projects that “shift the core” to leverage new platforms that enable better, faster business outcomes.

Getting from Mode 1 to Mode 2 can seem unattainable. The recreation of assets just to make use of new technology creates real tension when there are so many priorities tugging on the budget strings in IT. Time and again, we find that technological change occurs at the pace of economic affordability. Projects with the greatest opportunity for high ROI usually get the most attention. Makes sense, right?

At SoftNAS, we provide a path to agile infrastructure by leveraging the capacity to consume storage as a flexible platform. Yes, you’ve heard that you can get “storage” from cloud providers, but if you need the traditional options for storing unstructured data, then you most likely need protocols like CIFS, SMB, or NFS. Recreating applications to use object native storage makes the cloud transition a re-engineering project instead of a way to leverage your assets (your data) in capacity rich environments like public cloud platforms at AWS or Azure. Even the traditional storage players will show you the options of using a conventional NAS/SAN stack on one side and the new world being cloud or object native application stacks on the other with a story about creating a “fabric” to bridge the two.

Gartner predicts that 96% of customers using cloud services will also be using hybrid by 2018. This further underscores the need to change at a reasonable pace and that nothing is absolute. Being able to make this happen starts with a baseline of compute and storage to get the “data” to a place where public compute can become useful. After all, without data, how can you leverage the rest of the stack offered by public cloud platforms.

SoftNAS offers our customers a shortcut to becoming Mode 2 capable without the application restructuring expense. Leveraging the software based virtual storage appliance model, we use the wide variety of compute instances and the expansive cloud capacity to create a rapid ROI solution that retains the NAS standards for moving to a public cloud platform.

gartner bi-modal it

Copyright Gartner. Reproduced with the permission of Gartner, 2016

We echo the messages of Gartner about getting to greater agility and innovation. If you’re tired of the forklift upgrades and want to leverage the flexible capacity of cloud hosted infrastructure, consider making a change that grows as your needs change. As a successful business partner of major industry players, we understand your challenges and we want to help you make the transition as smoothly as possible.

Meet the SoftNAS Team at the 2016 AWS Summit in Chicago

aws summit

The next AWS Summit takes place in a few weeks in Chicago from April 18 – April 19. The SoftNAS team had a great time at the AWS Summit Chicago in 2015 and we’re excited to attend the event again. There has been a lot going on at SoftNAS the last couple of months that we are hoping to share with you including:

  • SoftNAS® UltraFast™ – We will be showcasing our new UltraFast product and taking registrations for the UltraFast Technology Preview Program. It can take weeks or even months to move from on-premises data to the cloud. UltraFast accelerates data migration and cuts the amount of time it takes to move data to the cloud.
  • Flexible Consumption Pricing (FCP) on AWS – Announced less than 2 weeks ago, FCP is a new metered pricing model developed by Amazon Web Services and SoftNAS was 1 of 4 launch partners. Get started with SoftNAS Cloud NAS on  AWS at only $.12 per TB-hour for any storage amount and on any EC2 instance size. Well even email you a $100 AWS credit to get started.

aws summit credit

aws summit drone giveaway

Come meet the SoftNAS team in booth #523, at McCormick Place West

What is SoftNAS UltraFast?

SoftNAS UltraFast is a software-defined virtual appliance that provides intelligent, self-tuning data acceleration designed to address the real-world problems around data migration from on-premises to the cloud: latency, congestion, poor QoS, and slow data replication, without changing the applications, networking, or storage systems. SoftNAS UltraFast will be an add-on product to SoftNAS core products: SoftNAS Cloud NAS and SoftNAS for Service Providers. You can learn more about SoftNAS UltraFast here.

What is Flexible Consumption Pricing (FCP)?

FCP is a pricing feature of the AWS Marketplace that enables customers to be charged for the software they use along one of four dimensions: users, data, bandwidth, or hosts. SoftNAS Cloud NAS charges based on data and is now available at $0.12 per TB-hour, makes it even easier to move to the cloud. You can learn more about how SoftNAS FCP works by clicking here.

If you can’t attend, why not download some of our resources below to learn more about the benefits of SoftNAS Cloud NAS on AWS:

We hope to see you there!


Storage Reflections by SoftNAS on theCube at #reInvent2014

CRN released its 10 Storage Predictions for 2015 a few days ago, and if there’s anything we can learn from such decisive subheads as “Storage Revenue: 2015 Will See Growth, Or Not,” it’s that the future of the cloud market is really up in the air (with no end to terrible cloud puns in sight).

There are, however, some clear cloud trends that are proving to be more than a passing fad, including the notable rise of Docker containers, as Forrester validates in its own 2015 predictions.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the cloud wars speculation, but with so much ambiguity, you might want to stay grounded with SoftNAS’ interview with theCube in which SoftNAS CEO Rick Braddy discusses actual use cases–with SoftNAS’ own nod to Docker–and cloud storage trends that were definitively occurring at the end of 2014 during re:Invent 2014.