Microscope recently gathered together representatives from across the storage industry to take the pulse of the market and discover what the channel needs to be doing to put itself in the best position for the future. In the first part of our coverage of the roundtable debate, our panel of experts looked at the the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this second part, they talk about DevOps and cloud.
Some of the biggest increases in secondary storage are from those investing in hybrid cloud or DevOps. It seems to be more about managing data than just backup and recovery. Is that happening in the market?
Nigel Tozer: For Commvault, almost every deal involves cloud these days. In the secondary storage market, there are still a lot of organisations that want to keep operations and data on-premise, but even so, a large number that choose to stay on-premise will also replicate the data in the cloud for off-site purposes. We also see a lot of organisations choosing to back up directly to the cloud. With fast networking technologies and the ability to recover directly in the cloud, it makes perfect sense. Cloud-only customers always use the cloud for secondary storage, of course.
- Dan Chester, regional sales manager (UK & Ireland), Cloudian
- Ezat Dayeh, regional technical architect, Cohesity
- James Hall, EMEA strategist (storage), HPE
- Nicolas Maigne, senior business development manager, EMEA – storage, Micron
- Jerry Rijnbeek, director of sales engineering, EMEA & APAC, Rubrik
- Andy Corcoran, UK sales director, channel, Dell
- Mathias Grobet, managing partner, Velocity Business Design
- Chris James, marketing director, EMEA, Virtual Instruments
- Bob Plumridge, CTO and member of board of directors, SNIA Europe
- Nigel Tozer, solutions marketing director, EMEA, Commvault
There are lots of choices for the channel to present to customers, and they seem to be increasing. Does that make it harder for partners?
Andy Corcoran: The channel in the UK is fairly mature, and I think we can be really confident that they still focus on what the problem is rather than just saying hyper-converged is the answer. I think they will always continue to do that, which is why we agree that primary storage around traditional NAS and SAN can’t disappear. It will be those new workloads that drive the move towards the new generation of storage architectures, whether that be software-defined datacentres or anything else. I’m confident that channel partners will keep close enough to their customers to make sure the requirements fit.
Have you seen some people checking out of that hotel and choosing to take data back on-premise after having been in the cloud?
Ezat Dayeh: It usually happens when somebody in the boardroom says, ‘I heard a lot about this cloud stuff. It sounds really good. Let’s do it.’ Making the move because it’s fashionable, without studying the needs of the organisation and looking for solutions and technologies that serve it best, is far from ideal. It’s not a utopia for everything, but marketing around the cloud is so good, it makes it look like the perfect solution for all organisations. That’s how businesses end up wanting to repatriate from the cloud.
Is the channel able to talk about DevOps?
Andy Corcoran: I think they want to do the same level of consulting around it that they would want for the GDPR conversation. A lot of partners see the advantage of providing a message to their customers around transformational storage, whatever sort of workload they might be referring to.
In the third and final part of our coverage of the MicroScope storage roundtable, the discussion turned to storage hardware and flash, and we find out how vendors are helping their channel partners to prepare for the future.