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From ‘Compulsive Connectivity’ to the Internet of Things

Zafar Anjum | April 11, 2014
In this interview with Karthik Ramarao, the NetApp APAC CTO discusses the changing storage needs of businesses in Asia.

The enterprise customers tend to have different set of perimeters in which they make sure when it comes to storage. They are looking at scalability, performance, and operations and management of this storage because it's part of a bigger shared ecosystem.

And of course price is also important but this takes a lot of significance for a CIO in an enterprise. On the SME side, it is more about the solution itself. At the end of the day, they are more interested in how the solution gets delivered to them and if they can wash their hands off the bitten bites, they are more than happy than that. It's cost at which the solution comes and it becomes a very important factor for them. There are plenty of nuances and it is important that we play.

And for a moment, I'm not saying it's not important for the enterprise, but the levels of importance are slightly different. For the SMEs, how can I help them start small? And then they grow seamlessly. And we have a lot of storage efficiency technologies, which comes as a part of our storage devices. Almost for the last twenty years, we have been improving from those technologies, which helps customers to acquire lesser storage than what they might have otherwise acquired; and yet still get the same work at the same performance levels. It means that for a similar level of performance, the customer gets a smaller budget to spare; or rather he spends a smaller factor. It might seem a little counterintuitive.

We are a storage company - we should be selling more and more for customers, but here we are instead trying to recommend that you get smaller but you are still getting that performance that you need, but you start off with a smaller footprint when it comes to both physical and cost related footprints. And I think that is the culture of NetApp. We want to make sure that the customer is getting the best bang for the buck.

In fact, there are a lot of software tools that goes on in our hardware. We are perhaps more of a software company than a hardware company from that perspective, which helps to optimize and make that similar hardware a lot more efficient. And if you look at storage it can be quite uninteresting - it's a bunch of discs together with a controller. There's nothing much you can do about it, I admit. But as a matter of fact, if you peel on it a little bit more, you can do a lot more. How can I reduce the number of spindles from what it is today, and not compromise on the performance that particular customer needs? How can I use the available hardware more efficiently, without penalizing the customer? That's been our focus all this while and we've been delivering this.

 

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