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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Hammerspace Talks AWS re:Invent and Latest Cloud Survey Results

 

Hammerspace, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company dedicated to simplifying data availability across the cloud and containers, recently announced the results of a survey they took at AWS re:Invent that asked IT professionals about their current and future plans for data management in the cloud. To find out more, VMblog spoke with the company's VP of Products & Operations, Douglas Fallstrom. 

VMblog:  AWS re:Invent is one of the biggest shows in our industry, what was it like this year?

Douglas Fallstrom:  I am impressed with the scale and diversity represented at this event.  Our company, Hammerspace, had a booth in the expo hall along with more than a hundred other vendors while workshops and other activities spread across half-a-dozen casinos on the strip.  In our booth, we spoke with thousands of developers, data architects, and IT administrators representing every kind of customer you could imagine; from stock-exchanges to the government, and from hospitals to footwear.

VMblog:  Hammerspace announced the results of a survey conducted showing that data silos are a top challenge for cloud customers today.  What do you think that means?

Fallstrom:  The majority of people we engaged with at the show are looking for ways to create more value with their unstructured file and object data in the cloud for activities like analytics, business intelligence, DevOps, AI and machine learning.  We conducted a survey asking them about their cloud data management habits, including the top challenges hindering data value-creation - data discovery across data silos came out on top. 

Enterprises today struggle to cope with vast and growing amounts of unstructured file data, and the traditional approaches to managing data by managing storage doesn't scale. To achieve the agility that customers demand, it is the data users who need the ability to self-service their data management without worrying about the underlying infrastructure; they need to consume their Data-as-a-Service powered by rich, user-defined metadata.  Through metadata management, data users should have global access to their massive data estates across data centers and clouds at the highest available performance levels while keeping costs under control - all from a single namespace.

VMblog:  What other insights did the Hammerspace survey illuminate?

Fallstrom:  Interestingly, the results of this survey remain relatively consistent across industry verticals, including the broader trend of adding multi-cloud strategies to hybrid cloud deployments, with 54% of respondents reporting plans to adopt some form of multi-cloud in the next two years.

VMblog:  What do you think people are looking for when they want to solve these problems?

Fallstrom:  Customers want the ability to choose the best cloud or cloud service to suit their needs while reducing the complexity of management without compromising performance or refactoring applications. 

This sounds like asking for the best of all worlds, but these don't need to be mutually exclusive if you virtualize data, separating data from the metadata, and allow machine learning-driven automation to handle most of the data management tasks to collect telemetry and continuously optimize data across the infrastructure, all while staying true to standard, open protocols.

VMblog:  Based on your experience, do you have any predictions for 2019?

Fallstrom:  The obvious answer is that we see an acceleration towards enterprises implementing fully integrated multi-cloud environments fueled by the broad base adoption of Kubernetes. 

The less obvious parallel to that, which I believe is where Hammerspace has the most significant role to play, is that our industry begins to understand that managing data by copying it between data silos cannot sustain the agility demanded by digital transformation.  Just like servers were virtualized by VMware to improve management and scale, data must be virtualized and managed through its metadata to support a containerized multi-cloud future.

VMblog:  Where can readers go to learn more about Hammerspace?

Fallstrom:  Additional information about Hammerspace is available on www.hammerspace.com.

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Published Thursday, January 03, 2019 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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