Even within Flash, there are so many different options. It's like your LCD screen. If you want LCD screen for mobility, it has to be of a particular size. Similarly, Flash needs to be appropriate for the application. If the requirement for Flash is to accelerate a particular application, the type of Flash and the place where you put the Flash is going to be very different. That's when you want an overall systematic improvement in performance. The reason I say this is, Flash is not a single solution. There are so many categories of Flash that tends to be useful for customers - Flash which is on the server side, Flash which is on the controllers, Flash which is on the discs. And this is what NetApp brings to differentiate. This is what we have been working on the past several years. - how to make Flash a comprehensive portfolio of solutions, which can be appropriately delivered to the customer, according to their requirements and their needs; rather than making it into one shoe that fits all problem.
Flash is certainly an important thing which a lot of customers are paying attention to. The second aspect which I believe is also seeing a lot of importance is in terms of operations and management. Purely because of the variety of technologies which are available is becoming increasingly difficult for IT operations to manage this. How to effectively handle this and manage this? That's another aspect where we see a lot of customers showing a lot of concerns as well as technologies coming out which helps better operate and manage the infrastructure, and to use the existing infrastructure better.
So where does cloud come into the picture?
Cloud is more of a consumption model, it's not much of a technology. Cloud has a different set of requirements. It is essentially the same technology that we use as Flash or network-based storage systems or whatever it is.
Today about 175 service providers are deployed on data technology. We are offering storage services using NetApp devices. We work very closely with them as well as the operations and management. Once again, cloud becomes an absolutely important space where operations and management are extremely key. The reason being, it's all about economies of scale in cloud. How can you use a single equipment to service multiple clients 24/7?
To manage this the moment you put a manual management and the manual operations for this, it screws up the entire equation. Therefore, my only point of operations and management being important for customers see a lot more value for the cloud service providers than for enterprise customers. So cloud has been something we have been aggressively pursuing from the beginning.
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