On July 30, 2013, the Wikibon community welcomed Steve Newell, sales engineer for co-location and IaaS provider Voonami. Voonami is a company positioned to capitalize on the future, assuming that CIOs are ready to move in that direction.
Different needs for different markets
Cloud providers of different types have enjoyed success at both the top and the bottom of the market. For top-of-market firms, using cloud to enable scale beyond what is reasonable in-house is becoming more common, particularly as these organizations take steps to reduce their overall capital IT expenditures. Amazon’s continuing success is testament to the success of cloud in the top tier.
At the lower end of the market, many SMBs have turned to one-off cloud services to make it easier to start and operate their businesses. These organizations often use services such as DropBox, Office 365/Google, and one of the many cloud-based backup providers to run their small businesses. They don’t want to invest tens-of-thousands of dollars in IT infrastructure to solve basic needs, so they’ve turned to the cloud to help them get going.
The bulging middle and emerging solutions
Obviously, plenty of large enterprises and SMBs have yet to even think about cloud. In addition, there is a vast mid-market in which many CIOs have considered cloud-based services for some of the same reasons as their larger and smaller counterparts. These organizations tend to operate private data centers with relatively limited IT staff, who often have to wear multiple hats. This results in enough breadth of skills to meet immediate needs, but often not enough depth to take things further. Organizations in this space can’t just add staff every day, so existing personnel needs to take on ever-increasing amounts of work.
Such solutions can pave the way for CIOs to begin to get out of the infrastructure business, or at least jettison some infrastructure without having to completely re-architect the environment from the ground up. Hybrid cloud solutions like the one provided by Voonami make it possible for CIOs to ease their way into the cloud without having to take a forklift, costly approach. Most CIOs operate organizations that support non-IT lines of business. In other words, the company isn’t selling clouds or IT services. The more infrastructure that IT can “make someone else’s problem”, the easier it is for the IT staff to focus on the underlying business.
Simplification isn’t just for CIOs
CIOs need to be looking for ways to simplify the environment as much as possible to alleviate the constant burden that seems to befall IT staffers. Voonami itself took this approach and now provides customers with a platform that can help CIOs shift workloads without modification into Voonami’s cloud.
Voonami’s own journey included some of the same challenges that face midmarket CIOs every day. Voonami was spending an inordinate amount of time managing storage and storage performance needs for its customers and was also running into capacity issues. Rather than simply stick with the same solution they’d been using, Voonami acquired a pair of Tegile hybrid storage arrays.
Prior to the Tegile acquisition, a Voonami engineer was spending upwards of one-third of his time directly managing storage performance issues for clients. Once the new hybrid solution was deployed, this engineer’s time on these tasks plummeted to around 5% of his time. That translates into lower overall costs for Voonami – primarily cost avoidance since Voonami can postpone having to add resources – which translates into lower costs for customers.
All-inclusive is the new black
In addition, Voonami’s Tegile acquisition was less expensive up front. In addition, the hybrid array vendors bundles all of its enterprise class, value-add features, including deduplication and replication. Moreover, thanks to the Tegile array’s replication capability, Voonami is able to provide customers with a new product offering. If Voonami customers also choose Tegile, Voonami can be a replication partner for them. This can provide organizations with a robust disaster-recovery offering without having to roll their own.
Action Item: The takeaway here is clear. Hybrid storage hybrid cloud opportunities can allow for a streamlining of support, eliminating much of the effort of having to constantly optimize environments. This can enable CIOS to focus more on the business and less on technology. CIOs making critical investment decisions must consider new ways of thinking and ensure that selected solutions can meet as many long-term needs as possible.