…Infrastructure Compatibility and VMware Cloud on AWS

Much of the discussion when it comes to moving workloads from on-premises data centers to cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is about the need to lift and shift VMs. The problem is that much of the discussion is about what happens after the lift and shift, in terms of the operational and cost-side of running VMs in IaaS. What has been missing is the discussion of how to get those VMs into the cloud in the first place. I can always easily tell who has actually attempted the shift and who hasn’t by asking them about the difficulties of converting on-premises VMs to cloud VMs. If the company gets into details about all the different conversion options (data migration, VM conversions, compatible hypervisors) and the issues around each, then I know they have actually made the conversion attempt. It’s no wonder that companies that are looking at leveraging cloud resources in a hybrid cloud configuration value infrastructure compatibility. I’ve been writing about these types of configurations for several years. In my 2017 Hybrid Cloud study, I asked companies the question “What is or likely will be the main objective of your organization’s hybrid cloud strategy?” The most commonly cited answer was common infrastructure compatibility, with 31% of respondents. In the same study, 91% of companies expect to have at least half their applications and workloads on-premises in five years. Only 7% said they expected most, if not all, of their workloads will run in the cloud in five years. With this need for on-premises infrastructure compatibility, it’s no wonder that the AWS VMware Cloud on AWS solution from VMware has been gaining momentum. It’s a pairing of the dominant on-premises hypervisor in VMware with the leading public cloud IaaS provider in Amazon Web Services. VMware Cloud on AWS is vSphere running directly on Amazon EC2 elastic, bare-metal infrastructure, along with vSAN for storage and NSX for networking. This solution is the purest form of infrastructure compatibility between on-premises and cloud, running the VMware solution within the AWS data centers, which results in a cloud IaaS environment that is compatible with the on-premises infrastructure at both the VM and management level. This is one of the easiest ways for on-premises VMware customers to get into the cloud, with little or no conversion, yet still have high bandwidth, low latency access to cloud services from AWS. VMware recently made several new announcements about VMware Cloud on AWS, including: To read the complete article, CLICK...

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ESG in Conversation with ‘Coz’ at Pure Accelerate (Video)

John Colgrove (universally known as ‘Coz’) is one of the founders at Pure – that alone makes him interesting. But he also happens to be a genuinely interesting person; so when I got a chance to interview him at the recent Pure Accelerate event, naturally I took it. I wanted to avoid the obvious “tell us about the products, Coz” (if you want to know about the happenings at the company and the event, you can see ESG’s On Location video and other blogs by Bob Laliberte, Scott Sinclair, and Mike Leone)….and so instead in just 5 minutes or so we manage to touch on the motivation of the company founders, the satisfaction of Pure implementations that deliver real value to humanity and not just to balance sheets, and the future – or at least semantic longevity! – of the storage and data industries. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Will AI Keep Pure “growing like a bat out of hell”?
May31

Will AI Keep Pure “growing like a bat out of hell”?

Having accelerated from start-up to top-five vendor in the red-hot flash array market, Pure Storage is looking for new heights to scale. While it still has plenty of opportunity remaining in the storage segment, it is trying to broaden its horizons with a number of new initiatives, including a data-centric architecture, storage as a service and one of the latest buzzword-bingo catchphrases, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). “We were ahead of the market in all-flash,” said Pure Storage CEO Charlie Giancarlo in the earnings call earlier this month. “We were ahead of the market with NVMe. And we’re ahead of the market with AI.” At last week’s PURE//ACCELERATE 2018, its third annual customer/partner event, the company continued its AI push, which first surfaced with the NVIDIA partnership in March. It also made a number of other announcements intended to broaden its reach beyond just faster, smaller, less-complex and more-energy-efficient storage, which has fuelled its meteoric rise, including 40% year-over-year revenue growth last quarter.. “We’re guiding generally to 30+% year-on-year. We aspire to grow just as fast as we possibly can. Part of that is the market, part of that is one’s ability as a public company to scale without wanting to sacrifice quality,” said Giancarlo. “Last year was a great milestone for the company. We also have $1 billion in the bank. We are cash flow positive and are growing like a bat out of hell,” he added. “We’re not just enterprise storage. We’re in a very great place.” Pure faces stiff competition in its core business, the c (7%). However, it’s even further behind in the overall enterprise storage market, which rang up sales of $13.6 billion in Q4, compared to AFA’s $1.9 billion. Although it is looking at a total addressable market of $35 billion, the lights are much brighter in the AI segment, which is expected to generate $1.2 trillion in economic value this year, up 70% from 2017, and projected to add just under $4 trillion by 2022. “The interest in AI by corporations is just off the charts,” said Giancarlo in a recent interview. “At Pure, we are able to…feed GPUs, high speed applications, and AI environments — at the speed they want that data to provide the intelligence companies want to make their businesses better.” He said since AI is all about crunching huge amounts of data, older, tiered storage systems that rank data by age aren’t nimble enough to grant researchers quick access to even the oldest data sets. “These days, people want access to data, whether it was last week or last year or last decade,” Giancarlo said. Pure...

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Pure Accelerate: The Future is Now

As we have watched the flash storage industry evolve over the past several years, vendors tend to follow one of two different approaches. The first approach is often one that tries to time the market and figure out when to make the transition. This approach tends to involve tiers of storage infrastructure, where more emergent technologies are more expensive and targeted at higher value workloads, while the established technologies are delivered to the masses. As time goes on, technology vendors figure out how to balance the transition. And we in the industry debate things like the cost benefit tradeoffs of the different options. Pure Storage seems to be taking a second approach to flash. Instead of focusing on how to balance different offerings and time the market transition, Pure emphasizes accelerating the delivery of new innovations in flash. Pure’s approach pushes the envelope, pushing new flash innovations out quickly while extending its flash technology into an ever-broader set of customers and workloads. One example of this approach was Pure’s launch of FlashBlade, all-flash storage for both file and object data, a couple years ago, back when many in the industry doubted that flash could ever be effective for large capacity unstructured data stores. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)
May10

DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: During one of my Dell Technologies World 2018 briefings last week I had to stop part way through and explain that I meant digital transformation, not Dell Technologies, when I used the DT acronym. The business phenomenon digital transformation (AKA digitization or Industry 4.0) and its related technologies — cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security — is literally an extinction-level event — it’s ‘go digital or die’. While clarifying acronym anomalies is not a unique experience, it made me think of the greatest challenge I see facing Dell: how will the biggest IT infrastructure vendor — i.e. products and services — continue to prosper when the customer focus is moving to business outcomes, and not the bits and bytes that facilitate those outcomes? The answer is “better than everyone else.” I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say Dell is better-positioned than every other vendor out there. That’s not to say countless companies won’t provide one or more superior offerings in the fast-emerging software-driven, cloud-first IT environment, but that when it comes down to the vendor to trust most — and most often — it will probably come down to Dell. During his opening keynote to the approximately 14,000 customers, partners, employees, media and analysts in attendence — and an estimated 35,000 online — Michael Dell talked in generalities, stressing digital (along with IT, workforce and security) transformation  and the latest buzzword trifecta — AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and NN (neural networks), ‘Make It Real’ (the event’s DT theme), and how “our customers are using technology to change the world for the better, whether through a reimagined process or a reimagined industry.” He noted that since starting the company 34 years ago, it had grown to over a trillion dollars in revenues and a trillion customer successes but all that is “absolutely noting compared to what’s ahead.” The DT future — with or without Dell — is incredibly bright: spending on related hardware, software and services is expected to reach approximately $1.3 trillion in 2018, a 16.8% year-over-year increase, and continue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9% through 2021 to more than $2.1 trillion. And the reasons so much money is being thrown at DT initiatives are equally compelling, as Dell (along with Intel and the Enterprise Strategy Group) told us in survey data released last month: -transformed companies are 22x more likely to get new products and services to market ahead of the competition; -81% of firms (4,000 were surveyed) agree if they do not embrace IT Transformation, their companies will no...

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