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SSDs and an Under-virtualised Island-state

Jack Loo | July 5, 2012
Speakers at the Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium say that SSDs will replace spinning disks in five years and Singapore needs to step up its virtualisation efforts.

The Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium (IIIS) Singapore conference started off somewhat controversially when a plenary speaker declared that the technology-savvy island-state is actually under-virtualised.

Singapore is under-virtualised by 15 to 20 percentage points, according to Jim Wagstaff, managing director, of consultancy firm Jam Factory. Research from analyst firms like Forrester, IDC and Gartner support his claims, he added.

"This means that the number of virtual devices on networks in Singapore is lower than countries like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Thailand," said Wagstaff.

Attended by about 150 storage technology decision makers, managers and specialists on 29 June at the Raffles City Convention Centre, the event was jointly organised by Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and Computerworld Singapore.

In Singapore, large multinational companies account for a large majority of IT spend, but they only account for a small percentage of the companies operating in the island-state, said Wagstaff.

"The thing is that the SMBs, who form the bulk of Singapore-based companies, are the ones who have not embraced virtualisation," said Wagstaff. This means that many are not able to take the step to adopt cloud computing for their organisations. Wagstaff's view is that the virtualisation of resources is a leading indicator of cloud readiness

Wagstaff implored the members of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) who already have experienced virtualisation to explain the technological and strategic benefits of the technology to those who "have missed a step in terms of productivity gains".

Business Alignment

In order for cloud technology to take off in organisations, IT leaders need to be in complete alignment with business objectives and priorities, according to Wagstaff.

"You need to ask yourself whether what you are implementing for the next three years supports the business vision of your company," he said.

Business leaders are looking at cloud computing as a way to increase productivity, reduce cost, and mitigate risk. "So, the conversation with them is not to rain on their parade, but put on a critical thinking hat and introduce issues with a dose of reality. You need to ask whether we have thought about data integrity, the privacy issues, and even having a disaster recovery plan in the cloud," said Wagstaff.

Meanwhile, the increasing commoditisation of Solid State Drives (SSDs) is going to have a major impact on the pricing for storage offerings, in a bold prediction by Vaughan Woods, chairman, media streaming start-up Whoosha.

Woods had previously worked with a variety of storage companies, and currently also consults for several technology start-ups including those operating in the SSD space.

"In three to five years' time, you are not going to buy a spinning disk and it is all going to be dead," declared Woods.


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