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 AWS re:Invent 2016!

aws re:invent 2016 softnas

We’re looking forward to attending another exciting AWS re:Invent conference from November 29th to December 1st! SoftNAS will be in Booth #844 at the expo — come say hello! As the premier AWS event of the year, we’re proud to support the event as a Bronze Sponsor.

Will you be at re:Invent this year? Drop us a line, and let’s meet up! While you are at the SoftNAS booth, you can:

  • Try SoftNAS Stop by the SoftNAS booth and let our team walk you through how to use SoftNAS. See how easy it is to get your storage up and running in minutes.
  • Speak to our Solutions Architects — Our SAs will be available to answer any and all questions you might have. Have concerns about cloud storage? Let us answer your questions! Attendees will walk away with actionable strategies to extend AWS’ native storage capabilities with SoftNAS.
  • Win a Drone! — Let us scan your badge at the event for a chance to win one of 6 X5C-1 Quadcopter drones or one of two DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopters ($1,100 value)!


DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter drone softnas

We’re looking forward to a great discussion! Try a free trial of SoftNAS below:

softnas cloud aws free trial

If you can’t make the event, but are interested in learning more about SoftNAS on AWS, check out the resources below:

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!


Seamless Data Integration, Everywhere – Meet SoftNAS at AWS re:Invent


Meet SoftNAS at AWS re:Invent this week and learn how SoftNAS is solving difficult cloud storage and data management problems. SoftNAS will be showcasing:

AWS re:Invent
Sands Expo Center, Booth #334
The Venetian, Las Vegas
October 6-9, 2015

Hope to see you there
– SoftNAS team


Make Your Storage Fly @ VMworld – Win One of 100’s of Electric Paper Airplanes



The SoftNAS team is here all week at VMworld 2015. We have lots of exciting news to share, including:

If these announcements weren’t exciting enough, then you could be in with a chance to win one of these geeky electric paper airplane conversion kits.
airplane combined

Come meet the SoftNAS team in booth #2347, Moscone Center, San Francisco

Try SoftNAS:
Learn more:
Twitter: @SoftNAS


Hope to see you there
– SoftNAS team

Demystify Your Cloud Storage Strategy – Meet SoftNAS at VMworld

The SoftNAS team will be present at VMworld next week, Aug 30th to Sept 2nd. There has been a lot going on at SoftNAS HQ the last couple of months and we are looking forward to sharing these exciting updates with you. For example:

Come meet the SoftNAS team in booth #2347, Moscone Center, San Francisco

Try SoftNAS:
Learn more:
Twitter: @SoftNAS