Data management, a major challenge for CIOs

Customer experience is becoming key for businesses and this is exposing the inability of legacy storage to keep up with the business demands, Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, Pure Storage India speaks with Express Computer
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On the basis of your interactions with the Indian CIOs, since Pure Storage’s launch in the India market, what challenges do you see the Indian CIO facing with respect to storage?
One of the biggest challenges they are facing is the rapid transformation in the country towards a Digital India. Customer experience is becoming key for businesses and this is exposing the inability of legacy storage to keep up with the business demands. The shift towards a multi-cloud world is also leading to a situation where the company’s data becomes probably their next most valuable resource after their employees.

Managing the new data formats while utilising the data sitting across legacy storage platforms is another major obstacle which CIOs are staring at. Migration and technology refresh is often a nightmare which the legacy storage vendors trap them into. Not only are the costs of a lift and shift usually exorbitant and comes saddled with even more support and maintenance costs, they also take a long time to complete and usually require systems to be taken offline.

A third problem they face is how to manage the inexorable growth of data while reducing data centre costs.

Which is the single biggest trend affecting the CIO’s storage related decision making and why?
The move towards a Digital India is completely changing the expectations customers have of businesses. Customer interactions are not only 24×7, but they have to be instantaneous and accurate. This is leading to new-age applications and customer data in multiple formats. As their companies embark on a modernisation program, CIOs have to make a considered choice of data platforms to ensure the IT infrastructure is able to withstand the challenges of digital transformation. This includes ensuring that the company’s data flows seamlessly across the organisation, from on-premise to internal or public clouds without losing integrity.

Your views on HCI and how it impacts players like Pure Storage. What is your strategy to partner with HCI players and other vendors?
As a technology HCI has been there for a few years now and customers are well aware of its strengths and areas which it should be deployed. The requirements addressed by an HCI are very different than what is expected from the core storage infrastructure within a data centre. For environments which look for extreme performance, non-disruptive operations and scalability, Pure advocates a Converged Infrastructure (CI) instead with our Flashstack (our collaboration with Cisco), which uses a best-of-breed hardware approach to combine compute, storage, networking hardware, and virtualisation software into a single, integrated architecture. Organisations looking to power Tier 1 workloads look for availability, performance, and the ability to deploy applications at scale. CI buyers also tend to want flexibility to either support an all-Ethernet infrastructure or an existing Fibre Channel infrastructure.

How many patents have you filed for and what edge does it give you over your competitors?
We don’t generally talk about our patents. Of course we have them but only to protect our intellectual property. We believe it’s more important to focus on delivering on the customer experience.

What are some of the key determinants of the CIO’s storage related decision making and how have you positioned yourself to out-compete your peers in India?
Pure’s value proposition is clear, simplicity everywhere, service-defined and a focus on the customer experience. All these are designed to deliver a modern data experience for our customers so that they can achieve breakthroughs in their digital transformation journeys.

What are some of the storage offerings that you have and are designed only for India, given the unique characteristics of the Indian market?
Indian enterprises are on a similar digital transformation journey as their counterparts in other parts of the world but there are certainly unique characteristics in this market. For example, the adoption of technology in our MSME segment is genuinely astonishing. And they are being served by technology service providers that provide them with technology services that are quite sophisticated.

For Indian enterprises in general, the digital world is throwing up challenges such as continuous innovation, data security and ransomware threats etc. These are also issues which enterprises globally are facing. We are bringing our experience of handling these situations globally and helping Indian enterprises overcome the same.

Apart from offerings, what are you doing new in India compared to your global strategy to fit into the psyche of the Indian CIO / CTO and partners, SIs, resellers?
We work closely with our channel partners in India to ensure we deliver the solutions that the market needs. The Indian CIO/CTO is very knowledgeable with technology trends and what’s happening around the world and they are savvy enough to understand how to apply technology. We offer them a very viable alternative to the legacy storage vendors.

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enterprise storagePure Storage IndiaRamanujam Komanduri
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