Interview with Russ Kennedy of Cleversafe

By Russ Kennedy (Profile)
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Tuesday, February 5th 2013
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VSM: What are some of the most compelling challenges that businesses are facing in light of the growth in Big Data?

RK: The most compelling challenges businesses face today are in capturing, managing, storing and analyzing this data that is growing exponentially and coming at them from every direction in order to positively affect their business by driving profit, volume and/or share. With the explosion of unstructured data and the variety of sources for that data today, businesses are constantly being challenged to develop methods for capturing,  preserving and making that data actively available to be able to collaborate, analyze and potentially monetize it to gain competitive advantage. Today’s businesses are also challenged at ensuring  the data is secure and always available despite component failures, network outages, security breaches, or natural disasters. These businesses also face constant pressure to stay on top of and understand constantly emerging technologies and approaches like virtualization, tiering, information dispersal, cloud computing, object-storage, etc., in order to help their organization address the challenges brought on by the rapid explosion of information.

VSM: What’s needed to overcome these challenges?

RK: In order to make this happen, these organizations will need to build a flexible infrastructure and a set of capabilities capable of meeting all of these challenges in a cost-effective manner. No one single product or vendor can solve these challenges today. IT organizations are looking for best-of-breed solutions that they can deploy in an interoperable way to deliver maximum flexibility and scope to solve these challenges. Whether it is hardware, software, operating system, network, storage or application, efficient organizations understand the need to bring these solutions together in a cohesive and comprehensive way to solve new challenges. Vendors need to bring solutions that work with a variety of leading technologies in the market to enable these organizations to establish and maintain optimum and flexible environments for capturing and analyzing information. This is particularly true in the case of storage solutions. Many computing and application processing environments must utilize data storage solutions to preserve and protect information, in some cases forever. Because they are protecting the organization’s most critical assets, storage solutions and therefore storage vendors must deliver their products with flexible and comprehensive interface capabilities.

VSM: What’s needed within the industry to make this (Ecosystem) real?

RK: Two major items are needed in the industry to make all of this possible: willing vendors that understand the need for solutions to interoperate with other technologies, and standard interfaces that enable these solutions to interoperate in a collaborative way to solve problems. The most successful vendors recognize that IT organizations want choice and the ability to bring on best-of-breed solutions develop and integrate with standard interfaces and APIs and are willing to share those interfaces and APIs with other technology vendors to ensure their products work well together.

Storage vendors play a very important role in this equation because of the fact that they are responsible for the capture and protection of critical information and they must enable a variety of other technologies to analyze and use that information for driving growth. Making it easy for applications and users to access and process information is the goal, and storage vendors that are willing to work collaboratively with other technology vendors will deliver on that goal.