According to a recent IDC Special Study, enterprises that aren’t digitally transforming their companies at an aggressive pace will find that by 2022, just over two-thirds of their total addressable markets will be gone. Offering the agility and speed required to match such a fast-moving business shift, the cloud is rapidly becoming the default environment for businesses that depend on technology enablement to make the jump to the cloud. Most firms are shifting their thinking to “cloud first” as they realize that hybrid and multicloud strategies are essential to their plans for digital optimization and transformation.
However, IT teams often see the opposite. Instead of spending their time on transformation, IT teams are mired in a sea of day-to-day task and interrupt-driven fire drills. These taxed technology teams are finding that their firms push to the cloud—and the resulting use of cloud services—is driving up administrative costs, adding massive complexity, and generating new storage silos.
Through its deep partnerships with the planet’s leading public cloud providers—AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud—NetApp can help firms break down data silos while simplifying the complexity of moving to the cloud, so that busy IT teams can follow through on their plans to move applications to the cloud, months or even years sooner.
Data Silo Proliferation
Way back in 1993, science fiction author William Gibson wrote, “The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed.” This observation accurately describes what customers tell us about the state of their companies’ data. Just 3 or 4 years ago, tech marketers everywhere promised that the cloud would eradicate those pesky data silos, unleashing an information torrent akin to a spring rainstorm. But it seems that those optimistic predictions were as accurate as a Texas weather forecast. In fact, the push to move data into the cloud has exacerbated the data silo problem.
We hear frequently from IT teams that moving to the cloud or modernizing their data center has more than doubled their firm’s independent data repositories, and in many cases made it even more difficult to extract unified and useful information from the various datasets spread between the cloud and data centers. Not surprisingly, the root cause of the difficulty is worried executives pushing a digital business transformation agenda that adds new applications and workflows faster than IT teams can plan for their deployment and integration.
In fact, the modern applications that business leaders are pushing are often best suited for placement on scalable cloud storage, while legacy applications are often kept on the premises because the firm’s cloud of choice lacks capable storage for these more traditional applications. In this hybrid architecture, these modern applications, often called “cloud native,” run in the cloud only on object storage, while older business-critical applications require high-performing, low-latency file shares not previously available in public clouds.
What’s more, it’s essential to keep the legacy environment and its associated data consistent with data generated by the firm’s new cloud-based applications so the company can carry out hybrid operations or undertake a “lift and shift” migration. And finally, adding to the complexity and risk, administrators often can’t be sure what data is on or connected to legacy applications in their environment. To be fair, they can often provide detailed information about the particular component they monitor; but the tools they use can’t correlate that information across the other infrastructure components, so they have no way of knowing whether changes they make are affecting other applications.
At this point, data silos and the resulting challenges in monitoring distributed data prevent companies from having insight into the bigger picture—which, ironically, is why they undertook a digital transformation in the first place.
How to Start Tackling the Issue
Nearly 2 years ago, IDC began researching data services for hybrid cloud. Their goals were to discover how organizations use and manage data in a hybrid or multicloud setup in the digital transformation era and to uncover the associated challenges and needs that companies face.
Additionally, IDC sought to understand how hybrid and multicloud deployments impact the data services ecosystem and integration strategy. Read about IDC’s report, “Worldwide Data Services for Hybrid Cloud Taxonomy,” in this press release, “NetApp Positioned to Capture Digital Transformation Opportunity with Leadership in Hybrid Cloud Data Services.”
As complexity has increased since the report was released, IDC has extended its research; they published “IDC’s Worldwide Data Services for Hybrid Cloud Vendors—Key Players Portfolio Analysis” (doc #US44266318 , September 2018) In this special study, IDC attempts to help customers make informed decisions about cloud data services to smooth the challenges they face in digital transformation. NetApp is proud to be listed as a vendor in all market categories, including six data services segments, and also to be profiled in the “Key Player in Protection and Data Location Optimization Data Services” category.
IDC found NetApp’s public cloud IaaS storage—NetApp® Cloud Volumes Service, Azure NetApp Files, and Cloud Volumes ONTAP®—to be compelling offerings for companies that are building hybrid and multicloud architectures. The company was chosen as a key player because NetApp is leveraging the right combination of technology, partnership, business model, and vision to be at the forefront of delivering integrated and consistent data services for the hybrid cloud. NetApp’s vision for data management is a data fabric that seamlessly connects different clouds, whether they are private, public, or hybrid environments.
The special study goes on to say, “[NetApp] is leveraging modern technologies and innovating rapidly to support insights across the application infrastructure stack and across deployment locations on-premise and public clouds.”