Businesses are being inundated with data: Anil Valluri

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 21 2014, 08:09am hrs
A nexus of converging forcessocial, mobile, cloud and informationis building upon and transforming user behaviour while creating new business. Enterprise software buying is increasingly shaped by this nexus of forces, says Anil Valluri, presidentIndia & SAARC, NetApp India Marketing & Services. This Sunnyvale, California-based firm is a provider of storage systems and data management solutions for IT infrastructures; it competes with Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM and Oracle in this segment.

The consumer and employee are becoming increasingly connected, and lines between the work and personal avatars are blurring. These changes are heralding challenging yet exciting times for the technology industry, says Valluri, an accomplished IT leader with 27 years of

industry experience. Before NetApp, he worked at Artiman Ventures, a Bay Area-based venture capital firm. Prior to that, he worked at Sun

Microsystems for 11 years, his last role being vice-president and managing director where he was responsible for managing a $200 million revenue business and its expansion into newer industry segments. In a recent interaction, he talks to Sudhir Chowdhary about the new technology trends and the companys plans for the Indian market. Excerpts:

You have been releasing many Flash products over the last couple of years. How do you see Flash adoption growing in India

The adoption of Flash technology in India is one of the hottest upcoming trends in 2014 and will continue into the next year. According to an IDC estimate, the Indian enterprise storage market in 2013, excluding storage area network (SAN) and tape, was worth $200 million. Of this, the Flash storage market was worth about $20 million. Indian enterprises are deploying Flash for a wide range of workloads from virtualised servers and desktops to online transaction processing (OLTP). Organisations are integrating Flash into every area of the storage architecture from cache at the server level to all-Flash arrays. We will see its adoption fastest in sectors where massive amounts of data need to be processed very rapidly.

NetApp has sold more than 93 petabytes of flash in the market and has the industrys broadest portfolio extending from the server to the array. Our product innovation strategy is to deliver the most complete portfolio of cloud-integrated and Flash-accelerated storage and data management solutions to satisfy customer needs across any workload and any deployment modelshared or dedicated.

Tell us something about NetApp. What

defines the company

NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that help our customers accelerate business breakthroughs and achieve outstanding cost efficiency. Since 1992 we have continuously delivered path breaking innovationsand have been behind several industry firstsranging from the first storage operating system to the first Flash-based cache in an enterprise controller.

Customers around the world choose

NetApp for our go beyond approach and broad portfolio of solutions for business applications, storage for virtual servers, disk-to-disk backup, and more.

What will be the next disruptive storage application

The deluge of data inundating the enterprise and consumer IT environment demands rapid innovation in the data platform and services. It may disrupt the tier one enterprise class disk category and redefine how we use mechanical hard disks; hard disks will become de rigueur for capacity applications while flash will power performance. We believe that Flash storage will reach price equivalence with hard disks at some point in the future, but the landscape will be very diverse.

Adoption of our Flash solutions is increasing. NetApp has led in flash innovation with introduction of Flash Cache in 2009 and has shipped almost 93 petabytes of Flash storage to date, one-third in form of Flash-array. We believe that customers will deploy Flash at every layer in the stack to solve a wide variety of challenges. This market is clearly not one-size-fits-all.

We are witnessing a major industry shift toward an integrated infrastructure model that is helping simplify IT and enabling customers to focus on delivering business outcomes. Our FlexPod is helping customers accelerate IT transformation by improving efficiency and agility, while reducing risk. Cisco and NetApp have integrated the latest innovations into the FlexPod roadmap to accelerate application performance and provisioning.

The adoption of the Cisco and NetApp FlexPod integrated infrastructure solution has generated $3 billion in joint sales since its launch in 2010. FlexPod unit shipments have grown 81% year-over-year, with demand for FlexPod solutions now reaching a $2 billion annualised demand run rate globally.

What will be the key trends that will drive major IT investments in the future

The Nexus of Forces: social, mobile, cloud and information, as Gartner puts it, are proving truly disruptive, both in India and across the world. The consumer and employee are becoming increasingly connected and lines between the work and personal avatars are blurring. We believe the mega trends in India will mirror what we are seeing globally, which are: Clouds will become the dominant vision for enterprise IT architecture; according to a Nasscom report, the Indian cloud computing market is expected to reach $16 billion by 2020.

Software-defined data centres will gain acceptance: Over the next five years, APAC will experience increased market traction, to become the biggest SDN market globally.

According to Gartner, the Internet of Things (IoT) has a potential transformational effect on the data centre market. IoT will generate a huge amount of data that will need to be processed and analysed in real time.

Lastly simplicity, efficiency and non-disruptive operations will become the norm, and form the overall parameters that customers will use evaluate IT deployments.

What about the uptake of social, mobility, analytics and cloud (SMAC) in India

Customers are in transition. Changes in business today are underpinned and enabled by the macro technology forces of cloud, social, analytics, and the Internet of Things. Indias investment in all aspects of SMAC is consistently surpassing its global counterparts. The emergence of high performance and large display mobile devices has raised the expectations of enterprise mobility even higher.

What are the growth plans for the company in India

The India market presents a great opportunity for NetApp. Our go-to-market strategy is simplewe keep our customers in the centreand are today closer to them than ever before. Different segments have different needs and customers want to work with vendors who not just understand their business, but are able to deliver business disruption, and are willing to put their skin in the game, and innovate for and with them. This is what NetApp does best.

As Volkswagen India said, Volkswagen India has made huge savings and built a resilient and scalable IT infrastructure using NetApp. Recovery times have been cut from hours to minutes. It definitely is a solution which ticks all the right boxes and a few more.