I wanted to share a number of thoughts with you all of which came out of an interesting evening session I attended looking at Storage 3.0 and how today’s startups see their technology and infrastructure, which got me thinking….
I have had the please of meeting Ash Ashutosh a number of times now and have to say my hat goes off to him, I would love to spend more time getting some coaching tips. Ash is the CEO and founder of Actifio (and AppIQ to name a few), a Copy Data Protection company – why is this important you may say? Really this goes down to his vision many years ago of what would happen to storage = what vmware did to server hardware – aka virtualise it, is where Ash not only saw and predicted Storage 2.0 but also 3.0.
In my opinion (BTW I am not a storage guru so some of this may be factual incorrect!) Storage 2.0 was layering software feature and bolting on modules, even 3rd party hardware that vendors had acquired and integrated. Where Storage 3.0 is now about virtualising the storage, in some cases on consumer grade disks – wow think of that my £25k additional disk shelf / magazine / stack is now only £3k full of consumer grade (normally high capacity) drives! Now granted the longevity of these disks is a lot lower but then again weigh that up against the costs, to quote – “cheap and deep storage”.
I have been saying for some time that everything will turn into software at some point, software defined networking, orchestration and now storage. Can you ever imagine within an IT department where are the costs – Infrastructure, why? Because it is complex, no one (wants to) understands it! They think it is easy! For the last 2 years I had thought (and wish I started my own business in it) if companies could make infrastructure simple and I do not mean IaaS or PaaS, provide it in a box pre-packed on a consumed basis – what would this do – firstly you have known reference architecture templates built into the orchestration layer, you deploy the CRM system in 2hrs (rather than 9 months!), ypu have the servers virtualised, you have the instant backup and recovery and then you have (wait for it) any storage you like – be it fast (Flash, FC, in memory), slow (NL-SAS), expensive (no) or cheap. Then all this is packaged into a OpEx based service – wow.
Chatting to people I was interested in a story from some ex-MIT people that have built start-ups and their views on internal infrastructure and systems is none (excluding product development etc) because you can just consume cloud based services. One person commented on all I have is wifi, a firewall and a switch! Why, to reduce the CapEx – why buy a £5k server and depreciate this over 3-5yrs when you can subscribe to a service. Just look at how facebook use their own consumer grade servers built on open source and standards – this saved them a staging $1b, Backblaze in the US did the same for their cloud back system.
This is why us as IT departments need to change into the ITaaS model, be a service provider within the company and as I always say the role of IT is changing…