David Scott, senior vice president and general manager for HP Storage, is responsible for the long-term growth and profitability of the company's $4 billion storage technology business. Here he talks about the future of the storage market, the impact of changing technology models and HP's relevance in the current scenario, while taking a dig at the competition.
With recent buzzwords like software defined datacenters (SDDC) and software-defined storage (SDS), how do you see the storage market evolving from here and how is HP positioned in that?
This continues to be a time with a significant amount of turmoil in terms of architectural directions and that turmoil is good as it imbibes a whole set of opportunities that fundamentally exists. The concept of moving toward the delivery of IT-as-a-Service through virtualization and private cloud is clearly understood now. But there are some emerging areas like the impact of solid state or flash-based technology on the storage industry. This has tremendous potential for impact on customers from a performance perspective and also from a long term cost perspective.
A second area is the concept of moving towards SDDC and how storage plays within that. There are a couple of different approaches to this as it isn't only about SDS, which is just one category. Another concept — which we call service refined — depends on whether the discussion is about storage that is service level optimized or storage that is cost level optimized.
If you want storage to be cost optimized, then the idea is to leverage industry standard technologies and convert them into storage systems for the software-defined play. That's an area where we are in a very strong leadership position. We are also in the service-refined storage play, which is about allocating storage, orchestrating it, and managing it from a virtual perspective, without having to understand the underlying physical asset, to deliver really terrific response times in a multi-tenant environment. We also have very good solutions for that and are extremely well positioned in that space too.
You talked about storage being either cost-optimized or service-optimized. Are these two mutually exclusive?
It's all a continuum. It is not that it's not service level optimized if it is cost optimized. It may be able to provide excellent service level characteristics, but it may not be service level optimized. You have to choose which shade of gray you want to exist in. A lot of people would love to have their cake and eat it. But, there is a choice you will have to make.
So, there will be a trade off one will have to make.
Correct. We call it the SLA optimized technology when it is a service refined storage and SDS when you just want to leverage commodity technology.
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