What if Vast Storage Became Dramatically Less Expensive?
by Josh Anderson
TORONTO, ONTARIO – Despite the latest and greatest technology revolutionizing in compute architecture, some things remain constant. And perhaps the most constant ingredient is the end-user. So CapRE’s Second Annual Canadian Data Center Summit included a panel titled The End-User Approach to On-Prem, Hybrid, the Cloud, and Tomorrow’s Compute Needs and Initiatives that honed in on various topics affecting the decisions of end-user. One of the first questions asked to the panel was, what would be the impact on business if vast storage became dramatically less expensive?
“Everyone is competing on the speed of response to their customers. and the main bottleneck still is storage,” replied Sergey Polak, P. Eng., LEED AP, Director – Critical Facilities, CBRE Limited | IBM Canada Account. “We’ve been running away from storage with virtualization and then the Cloud and containers and now I throw up my hands with AI. AI storage is so lost in the mix. But it’ll sort itself out. It’s sort of like a fog of uncertainty at the moment.”
“At the end of the day you’ve got compute networking and storage that are distributed in interesting ways,” he continued. “And what we’d really like is, finally, highly available systems. Which are, don’t miss a packet. Don’t let a packet just disappear. Don’t miss a block — you don’t want to lose data. And don’t miss a step. I think micro-transactions will be the norm, identified and managed at a data center and an enterprise level. So that these things are routinely just happening at scale.”
Next, Sean Farney, Global Director for Infrastructure & Operations at The Boston Consulting Group offered his opinion. “I think the point I’m seeing for businesspeople is agility. Because at the end of the day, the Cloud is just a data center, right?” he asked the room. “It’s an old industry joke – once the Cloud is here, you’re not going to need a data center anymore. But the Cloud is just a bunch of data centers in different places, whether you manage them directly or not.
“In the enterprise space, specifically professional services and other service industries, the agility factor of the Cloud is what’s driving it,” he stressed. “And the ability to procure, for example, the statistic that I always use, an 86% reduction in procurement time and time to deliver your storage solutions for customer engagement, Cloud vs. traditional, etc. Those kinds of numbers are what keeps the business very exciting. That’s a big, sexy, quantifiable, competitive number that you can go up and say, This is why we’re doing it, this is why it makes us competitive.”
“So yes it’s a lot of bits and bytes and attached storage and all of those things, but at the end of the day it enables the business to do something faster, which is respond and compete for customers,” concluded Farney. “That, versus the old days when you maybe built it and did it all in your own data center. Now you have someone else, one of the hyperscale guys who does this for a living and it’s their value proposition and they can do it much faster.”
For more coverage of this panel discussion, check out a previous CapRE Insider Report: Belden’s Henry Franc Talks “Unique Hybridization” and Client Concerns at Toronto Data Center Summit
Banner Photo (L-R): Sergey Polak, P. Eng., LEED AP, Director – Critical Facilities, CBRE Limited | IBM Canada Account & Sean Farney, Global Director for Infrastructure & Operations at The Boston Consulting Group