As the members of the SanDisk® team returned to McCarran Airport, we had a chance to reflect on the week’s events at the Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure and Operations Management Conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas.
It’s clear that more than ever, IT planners have been asking Gartner analysts about cloud computing, virtualization and the Software Defined Data Center. At the same time, they’re still learning about flash storage technologies and the many ways that solid-state storage can improve performance and reduce costs and complexity as they explore these initiatives.
Something New: “Bimodal IT”
A new idea that we heard from Gartner was the idea of “bimodal IT,” that is, the idea that IT organizations now have to support two types of initiatives – the traditional and the exploratory. In traditional “Mode 1” IT operations, planning cycles are longer, processes are more precisely proscribed, and failure is not an option. In the exploratory “Mode 2” IT, DevOps and agile are the norm, and occasionally “failing fast” is accepted as a part of the cost of exploring new possibilities. The key to success is to support both modes, and to connect them appropriately.
What’s exciting for us is that SanDisk’s enterprise hardware and software technology plays a role in both modes. For traditional Mode 1 IT planning, increasing performance and reducing costs in traditional storage lies at the heart of our solid-state drives and PCIe flash accelerators. For the Mode 2 innovators exploring big data projects, NoSQL databases, and more agile virtualization; our new ZetaScale, FlashSoft and ION Accelerator products enable flash to support business-transforming innovations.
Flash Technologies Evolving from Mode 2 to Mode 1
It’s also exciting for us to see our innovations in the exploratory Mode 2 starting to become part of traditional Mode 1 IT planning. Just as enterprise solid state drives seemed radical not long ago, our new software and systems offerings are now earning consideration for “traditional” IT planning.
A good example of this evolution from Mode 2 to Mode 1 was the presentation by Mike Campling, storage and virtualization architect at the Borgata Casino Hotel and Spa. The Borgata is a SanDisk customer, and in his presentation, Mike focused on the use of solid-state technology in his servers to virtualize business-critical database systems, and to do so as cost-effectively as possible. By using FlashSoft software to enable solid-state caches in his VMware vSphere servers, he was able to deliver flash performance for virtualization without a refresh to his existing servers or storage.
This year we learned a lot from the IT managers we met at the conference, in addition to the Gartner analysts. Whether the conversation was about Mode 2 innovation, or Mode 1 cost savings, it’s increasingly clear that IT professionals are exploring the role that solid state-storage technology can play in their infrastructure. As we leave Las Vegas, we are as excited as ever to help IT professionals get the answers to their questions about flash storage.