05 Aug

The Future of Storage Vendors with the Public Cloud

Al Basseri wrote a very poignant editorial about the Big Iron storage vendors and their cloud offerings versus the king of the cloud, AWS.  His points are dead on for the 3 companies he listed and their ability to execute when it comes to cloud offerings, as well as hyper-converged solutions.   He also comments on their all-flash solutions for the enterprise and the lack of features throughout.

What I do find interesting is that Al Basseri is the VP of Solution Architects at Tegile Systems. He does a very good job of not making any specific claims about Tegile in his editorial. He alludes to certain feature sets that are important but certainly does not explain how his technology vendor might be positioned any better than the next company to actually provide a solution that can sit alongside what he calls a “credible cloud storage story against the maturity and power of AWS.”

So what does any storage vendor do when you look at the potential benefits the Cloud brings for each different sized organization?  They need to change the game so organizations still have need or desire to make capital expenditures.

For any new company or smaller sized business it’s pretty obvious now why it makes sense to move 100% of your operations to the cloud.  I don’t think it’s hard to make that argument when you look at the administrative and capital costs savings.  When you get into the mid sized business is where it becomes a lot more undefined.  Move your mail to the cloud?  Sure that may be easy to justify, but all of your infrastructure?

AWS and Azure are slowly but surely encroaching on what the Big Iron storage vendors are not doing very well and also to a certain extent eating away at any technology vendors that rely on its product revenue being tied to hardware that is designed to be used in a data center (that is not one of the big cloud providers).

Al Basseri certainly does not go into if Tegile is building features into its product that will allow it to interface with AWS or any other cloud vendor. Some of the Technology vendors we work with that sell products are starting to provide certain capabilities to create a “hybrid” cloud.   This is a logical extension of a product’s capabilities.

I think this is where things are going to get real interesting in the next 18 months.  As AWS / Azure get bigger and better at what they do, the hardware companies who make storage and compute solutions are going to have to get more and more creative in how they interface with them.

I will not name any names just yet , but there are some very interesting new software companies that are going to be build able to build foundations for any organization to potentially build their own hybrid cloud that may use existing hardware along with some of the big cloud providers. This would allow mid sized organizations to really start to make a Hybrid model make sense.

The point of all this is that I don’t think not having a cohesive plan on how to live alongside the Cloud Giants is a problem that all hardware & software vendors need to grapple with.

Putting a storage product at a data center who has a direct pipe to the AWS cloud is a short term approach to solving what will prove to be a much bigger challenge long term for all of the current batch of hardware vendors to solve.

Lots to look at and lots to think about, but again I do agree with alot of what Al Basseri said in his editorial.

-Dave Kluger, Principal Technology Architect


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