IBM Edge 2014 Tuesday Storage Recap
Day 2 at IBM Edge 2014 focused on how clients, Business Partners and IBM are working together to build smarter infrastructures to meet the business challenges discussed on Day 1 (cloud, analytics, mobile and social).
Chris O’Connor, @chrisoc_IBM, Vice President of Strategy & Engineering, IBM Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure, spoke about the need to seamlessly extend infrastructures from what organizations own today to what they’ll need in the future. He recommended two approaches:
Cloud-enable existing workloads
Think about ‘cloud first’ for new workloads
The idea is to accelerate time to market and be able to make real time actionable insights. With 70% of enterprises planning to pursue hybrid clouds by 2015, according to a 2013 report by Gartner, a two-pronged approach makes sense.
Andrea Nelson, Director of Storage Marketing at Intel collaborated Gartner’s estimate, saying an estimated 50% of organizations less than 10 years old are putting their IT infrastructures on the cloud today.
Chris spoke about the importance of standards, such as OpenStack, that help organizations quickly assemble Software Defined Systems from components, rather than building clouds a stick at a time. With new development platforms such as IBM’s Code name: BlueMix, organizations can construct enterprise-capable cloud applications faster, without having to deploy a cloud infrastructure.
Mike North, Sr. Director of Programming for the National Football League spoke about the importance of speeding up the infrastructure to enable analytics. ‘Time to truth’ is critical for analytics. With faster processing, the NFL is able to look at 100s of potential schedules and choose the one with the best potential outcomes for their constituents. IBM’s Arvind Krishna suggested that traditional analytics is like driving a car by looking at the rear view mirror – You can only see where you’ve been. Predictive analytics helps you see into the future, react faster, and achieve better business results
Maria Winans, @mariawinans, IBM VP of Social Business, spoke about how IBM and other organizations are driving people-centric engagement for new profit channels. She also spoke about the importance of analytics, saying you can’t personalize customer experiences if you can’t do the required analytics. Maria offered 3 suggestions for successful social business initiatives:
Build shared value
Protect your brand
New mobile applications offer the opportunity to improve customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, as well as generate new revenue. Rapid transformation is happening across industries and geographies. IBM estimates there will be over 1 trillion connected objects and devices by 2015. Mobile applications are enriched by cloud, analytics and social business initiatives.
Storage virtualization and Software Defined Storage
Storage virtualization is the foundation for Software Defined Storage. Virtualization provides an abstraction layer between physical storage and applications that use it. The result is a storage infrastructure that can grow and change without impacting users or applications. Software Defined Storage will be required t manage the vast amounts of data organizations expect to manage in the years ahead.
Steve ‘Woj’ Wojtowecz, @steve_woj, IBM Vice President, Storage Software Development, shared new research from ITG that analyzed storage TCO using IBM, EMC, and VMware storage management solutions. ITG highlighted 4 issues that significantly impact storage TCO:
Storage software costs
Storage administration costs
IBM Virtual Storage Center users were far more successful than their peers using EMC or VMware storage management solutions:
In large enterprises, storage TCO was 72% lower with IBM than EMC
In midsized environments, storage TCO was 35% lower with IBM than VMware storage management.
Jose Garcia, Manager of Enterprise Storage and VMware at UCLA Health System, discussed his storage transformation project. Storage virtualization enabled rapid deployment of an Electronic Health Records system that improves patient care and improves organizational efficiency. Storage virtualization also reduced storage costs and enabled rapid data growth. Improved efficiency saved enough to fund a 3rd data center that will improve resilience and flexibility.
Collaborators wanted. No Eeyores. No squirrels.
Snehal Antani from GE Capital spoke about the importance of delivering IT at market speed, and with commercial intensity. He offered a strategy of dealing with important groups of people in the organization:
Kings and Queens
Collaborators can accelerate change. Identify your collaborators and put them on a pedestal
Cynics are like Eeore in Winnie-the-Pooh. They’ll tell you why change is hard, and focus on what might go wrong. Ignore your cynics.
Kings and Queens are executives and managers who are eager to be offended. They resist change that may impact their empires. They’re a small, but vocal, group. Don’t give them a megaphone.
Snehal also pointed out that technologists can get distracted by new technology, even if it isn’t essential to simplify or accelerate IT delivery. It’s like yelling, ‘Squirrel!’ to distract dogs, as in the movie, Up. GE Capital has signs that say, ‘No Eeyores’ and ‘No squirrels’.
Bottom line: Infrastructure matters
Can the right infrastructure help you build competitive advantage? Yes, of course. Infrastructure matters.
About the author
Mike Barton is a worldwide storage marketing manager at IBM. Mike is a former IT specialist with Gartner TCO and ITIL certifications. The opinions expressed herein are his own.
ITG Management Report: Cost/Benefit Analysis of IBM Virtual Storage Center Compared to EMC Storage Virtualization Solutions
ITG Management Report: Cost/Benefit Analysis of IBM Virtual Storage Center Compared to VMware Tools for Storage Virtualization and Management
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