Don’t let your storage vendor box you in

15 September 2020

Do you like moving? Some people like to move from one house to another, just for the fun of it, or because it allows them to clean out the mess and start with a clean slate. On the other hand, moving is a very time-consuming activity that does not necessarily add much value to your life.

Doesn’t it feel the same when a storage vendor renews their portfolio and forces you to migrate your data from one of their storage boxes to another one? This no longer feels like a move you like to make, rather: it feels like being evicted.

Perhaps you are a customer of a vendor and are now compelled to migrate, even if you know this does not add value and is just a waste of time? Migrate you will, like it or not. Perhaps you can see that this challenge as an opportunity to turn the migration into a project that will bring you benefits in the short and long term. Here are some tips in choosing the right storage platform for you.

Is the platform integrated?

The storage market has been a booming market for a long time, and storage vendors expanded their portfolio through their own R&D and by acquiring specialized niche start-ups. Integrating these disparate systems is a long-term project, and actually slows down innovation in that vendor, without any promise of real integration. A lack of integration ultimately leads to a lack of capabilities. Contrast that with the strategy of NetApp, where customers can leverage the Data Fabric innovation that NetApp has been delivering consistently since 2014.

How many experts do you need?

Closely linked to the integration question is the number of technologies you need to support if your storage vendor patched together a number of different platforms. Instead of building expertise in one technology, you need to keep competence up to date on different operating systems, management systems, etc. Such a fragmented approach is a burden on your already scarce human resources. It eats up energy and time better spent on a single technology and running projects that yield a business value.

Do you have freedom of choice?

Most enterprises are undergoing a digital transformation to support new business models. One of the prerequisites to be successful in the transformation is agility of the IT department. This has been a primary driver in the use of cloud-based services. It goes without saying that the storage infrastructure needs to evolve along the same lines. Not all storage vendors are able to simplify the complexity of hybrid multi-cloud. Contrast that with NetApp, where cloud and data quality capabilities offer a unified view of data across customer premises and multiple cloud platforms. This  facilitates implementation of a consistent experience in hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. As early as 2015, NetApp understood the importance of the hybrid cloud trend and has been a market leader in that area ever since.

Is your storage vendor truly committed to software?

“Software is eating the world”, as the saying goes. That’s why many hardware vendors are now focusing more on innovation in the software area than on hardware. Yet, not every storage vendor is already advanced in this. NetApp, on the other hand, has demonstrated to be more of a software- rather than a hardware company. NetApp has been adding functionality to its software that was traditionally a hardware matter. This has allowed NetApp customers to work with lower-cost commodity hardware without compromising on functionality, and actually gaining in deployment flexibility and agility, easier technology refresh and better hybrid cloud integration capabilities.

Do you have a trusted advisor?

Choosing the storage architecture and infrastructure that best suits your needs, is no simple task. Every storage vendor will come up with their own unique selling points and it may be difficult to assess how important their claims are for your environment. Simac ICT Belgium has been assisting and advising companies for many years already. Through a series of workshops, we gain an insight into your work environment, strategy, business priorities, goals, etc. and then come up with a proposal containing different options, each with their benefits and caveats. We act as a one-stop-shop, offering independent advice on platforms, vendors and technologies. So if you are thinking of migrating, don’t go on this journey alone.

Is your storage vendor forcing you to make the risky move from one platform to another? Then don’t focus on just that one vendor and, instead, take a broader view on the market. Let us assist you to ensure this becomes a migration that gives you greater peace of mind, long term.

Let this be your last move. And let Simac be your removal company.


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