All around the world, storage geeks, management, and analysts are gearing up for Netapp Insight 2016. In just a few short weeks, Las Vegas NV (Sept. 26-29, 2016), and Berlin Germany (Nov. 14-17, 2016) will be painted blue in lights, and the sound of shoes adorned with snazzy red SolidFire socks will be on their way to the first session. The halls will be rumbling with thousands of conversations about Data Fabric, Non-disruptive Operations, All Flash FAS, and of course the Cloud.
Insight is also when Netapp announces the winner of their Innovation Award! While the many thousands of customers are all doing amazing projects, the Innovation Award nominees were selected by a panel of Netapp engineers and executives for undertaking endeavors this year which go above and beyond in terms of creativity and use of technology. The key categories for judging were Flexibility, Business Results, and Simplicity. Though each of the 4 companies were vastly different, the trend among them all was Flash!
While none of the top selection were utilizing Netapp’s EF Series, a leader in ultra-low latency storage, many on the short list certainly were.
To me, the stand out innovation here is by Shanghai’s FESCO Cloud, which utilized All Flash FAS and NetApp Private Storage, to bring online a new cloud Human Resources offering for startup companies in China.
Why is this innovative?
Well, let’s take a step back. In America, we have a few brands that are so commonplace that have become representative for the entire industry, just look at Kleenex, Google, & Fedex. From company names to every day nouns and verbs.
Imagine if you were the primary brand for all human resources in China. You already had 30,000 customers including Bose, Huawei, Alibaba , and 85% of the Fortune Global 500. On top of that, you managed 600,000 service employees, 300,000 staff in Shanghai, and ownership of a multitude of endeavors such as job placement companies, medical insurance management companies, and investment firms.
This is a mountain of data and compute, and it’ll keep growing!
China’s cloud growth has been over 30% year over year (1), and by next year there will be over 1.87 zettabytes of cloud traffic throughout APAC (2). This is a market embracing cloud technologies and pioneering innovation.
FESCO is dealing with a new type of worker and executive. Previously, corporations and companies with a history in China had a set way of doing things. They were more adept at dealing with the paperwork and processes, taxes, regulations, immigration, etc. Startups & a younger workforce would rather to jump into the work the company was founded for, with the back office operations off their plate.
FESCO, through social media familiar user interfaces, tight WeChat integrations, and gamification analytics are bringing in a new era of Human Resources. Everything in their new startup employee self-help platform (e-HR) is geared towards an internet-enabled millennial audience. Making employee information management, attendance, salary, performance management, and medical insurance easy both for employer and employees.
With a dynamic amount of computing needs, a hybrid cloud is the perfect way to handle the ebbs and flows of requests, and NetApp Private Storage with All Flash FAS is the perfect way to enable a hybrid cloud with the Data Fabric
FESCO is embracing NetApp’s Data Fabric design principals:
• Control – Provide proper ownership and governance of data no matter where it may be located.
• Choice – Limiting cloud vendor lock-in by having data portability
• Integration – Each layer of the stack operating as one
• Access – Easy to get to data whether in a datacenter, at headquarters, or on the internet.
• Consistency – Being able to utilize standard tools and processes for management of your systems and data
The analyst firm 451 research reported last year (3) that 68% of companies which were formerly solely public cloud hosted, migrated their applications back to hosted-private or on-premises private clouds towards a hybrid methodology. Data portability and ownership are key!
NetApp Private Storage gives you the best of both clouds: Private for data sovereignty, and Public for unlimited compute scalability.
To just scratch the surface of Cloud Fault tolerance and data portability, the demonstration at NetApp Insight 2015 by @NetoFrom Brazil ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UluLv_YXx-o ) clearly illustrates that NetApp, and their DataFabric vision are years ahead of all their competitors in bringing this together.
With NPS, customers in China such as FESCO, can choose between a localized National Cloud of AWS (operated by SINNET) and Azure for Netapp Private Storage.
• Azure ExpressRoute connectivity is either China North (Beijing) or China East (Shanghai) regions, with connectivity through ChinaTelecom to a number of datacenters. http://www.windowsazure.cn/home/features/expressroute/
• AWS DirectConnect connectivity is currently only in CIDS Jichuang IDC or Sinnet Jiuxianqiao IDC, both in Beijing. https://aws.amazon.com/directconnect/details/
Luckily, throughout the US and Europe, we have many more presence locations through Equinix to AWS, Azure, Google Apps, SoftLayer, and others. Additionally, we can utilize NPS for Office 365.
FESCO is flourishing with a fresh startup culture and mindset, as is their latest cloud offering. Like NetApp, they are often voted as one of the best places to work, and do good for the community. FESCO allows 2-3 days off a month to volunteer to charities such as children’s homes. The heart of a happy employee shows in the quality of the product, dedication to the customer, and the innovation that truly drives a company forward to success! FESCO and Netapp are a perfect partnership!
P.S. I hope to see all of you at Netapp Insight 2016! Come check out the #NetappATeam Panel discussion Wed at 1-2PM
48798-1 – BOF: NetApp Data Fabric – Walk the Line with the A-Team
This session will leverage the skills and experience of the NetApp® A-team, providing the customer with a varied view from strategic vendors, partners and NetApp on the Data Fabric Vision. Come and listen to the NetApp A-team discuss their view on data fabric, ask the questions that have been bugging you and learn how NetApp Data Fabric can help the way your business grows.
(1) BuddeComm Intelligence Report – Cloud Technology Trends and Statistics -2015 – budde.com
(2) Cisco project dc-cloud traffic – 2013 – zdnet
(3) 451 Research, Public Cloud Repatriation, 2015
All Images are courtesy of their respective trademark holders, Netapp, Equinix, or FESCO Addeco.