In order to reduce hefty storage costs and maintain performance, Cohen suggested a ground-up hybrid design that marries flash and disk to deliver the best of both. As traditional backup and disaster recovery are often costly and inefficient, he recommended the integration of the two components through a snapshot device.
Finally, Cohen believes the management of storage should be designed for the IT Generalist. It shouldn't be complex as "it is just a piece of infrastructure" that could be worked under a modern interface with automated management.
Panel Discussion #3
The final session between Dell's Malhotra and Nimble's Cohen focused on automation and solid state drive (SSD) in the enterprise.
Both speakers substantiated the thriving existence of SSD and automation. "The point I'm trying to make is that solid state is here. If somebody is still thinking that solid state doesn't go with data centre, I tend to disagree with them," Malhotra asserted. In fact, new solutions like thin provisioning are "in the genes of storage."
Malhotra shared that this is why Dell has acquired EqualLogic for US$1.4 billion in 2007—to provide virtualisation solutions in a burgeoning internet storage market.
For Cohen, the ability to migrate seamlessly from one data centre to another using automation is "almost like a saving grace because traditionally, migration was an absolute nightmare, if not an impossibility, unless you are willing to take significant downtime."
Despite security challenges self-managed systems often face, Cohen said the benefits outweigh the concerns given the right policies in place. "The reality is I think the world is changing, there is so much advantage to make what people do from a support and analytics and a diagnosis and troubleshooting perspective," he said.
He gave the example of Asia, which has been traditionally very conservative, to have a relatively high adoption rate.
The debate ended with the future of virtualisation where Piff implored the audience to deliberate about "the higher value role."
In his eyes, Piff regarded the higher value role as "moving away from managing the mechanical physical infrastructure, to understand the founder of the information that you have inside those environments."
"The whole virtualisation platform is about leveraging a huge amount of automation," he concluded.
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