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will no longer be a monolith, but selectivity will be the
corporate storage requirements almost doubling every year
companies are now allocating separate budgets just for storage.
M S Sidhu, Managing Director, Apara Enterprise Solutions
spoke to Network Magazine about the future of storage technologies
and the growing importance of storage in the world of business
has been one of the pioneers in revolutionizing the concept
of Storage as a separate decision in India"
you briefly explain Apara's entry into storage solutions?
Apara has been a pioneer in revolutionizing the concept
of storage as a separate decision in India. It has achieved
considerable local success and is well positioned as a leading
provider of end-to-end Data Storage and Content Management.
It is also a market leader in the NAS segment.
We at Apara believe in bringing the best of storage technologies
to customers in India and have a strong background in integrating
these storage solutions for some of the leading and largest
companies in the India sub-continent.
What is the USP of your organization? How do you take
on the competition?
Having been in the market for the last ten years, our focus
has always been on offering end-to-end storage & content
management solutions. Today, the main selling point of our
organization is to intensely focus on offering solutions
for the mission critical enterprise, for whom data is very
significant. We also have always believed in operating in
an environment were we have a direct relation with the customers'
Our clients include mainly organizations that have sufficiently
good amount of data to be managed and for whom data is very
critical. Our customers generally fall under the category
of the IDCs, ISPs, telecom, manufacturing and banking sectors.
As far as competition is concerned, we do not find any competition
for our total solutions in the market. In fact with the
kind of products in our portfolio, we command almost 95
percent market share. The other way we try to do better
than our competitors is by always engaging with selective
customers, with a high degree of commitment and dedication.
What storage technologies will prevail in the coming
With desktop attached storage (DAS) on its way out, it will
be storage area networks (SAN) and network attached storage
(NAS) that will be embraced by organizations who are teetering
on the edge of a data explosion.
In the coming years, I think networking will dominate storage,
and with that we can expect three types of SANs to emerge
storage area networks, server area networks and system area
networks. With customers getting more concerned about scalability,
ease of use, total cost of ownership (TCO) and having a
solution-centric approach, storage will no longer be a monolith,
but selectivity will be the key.
Providing complete solutions and software leadership
will become increasingly important sources for
competitive advantage; delivering availability,ease
of management, and interoperability will be key
How serious are Indian corporates or individuals when
it comes to data storage?
Gone are the days when individuals and corporate customers
went in for storage solutions recommended by server vendors.
These customers usually did not focus much on storage strategies.
But times have now changed, and most of the storage decisions
are now happening independently. Storage is now getting
more significance, as this is the key to any organization's
Can you comment on how companies here have taken to the
concept of managed storage?
In India, the concept of managed storage is still far away,
the main concern being security. It is still a long way
to go before the true concept of Managed Storage seeps into
the Indian Market.
It would not be wrong to say that the storage market is
still in a nascent stage. The growth of SAN and NAS will
continue to push the market ahead in spite of an overall
slowdown in capital spending. Organizations will start feeling
the stress of relentless growth of storage, and the increasing
demands of storage management. SAN and NAS seem to be the
Besides storage, is Apara looking to expand its business
into other important areas like security, system integration?
Since security is an emerging market, we are viewing it
as a serious market and are trying to address it. Though
the security market is moving at snails pace, it will definitely
be a big concern to most of the companies who
plan to operate on the Web or are looking at Web
To make headway in this initiative, we have tied up with
a company called Netscreen, which has products such as firewall,
VPN and traffic shaping. The firewall from Netscreen is
an ASIC-based hardware firewall, which focuses on the Appliance
concept giving a plug-and-play advantage to customers.
To begin our venture into System Integration,we
have started enrolling expertise into our team for servers,
storage and networking and are planning to consolidate
our position on network integration as well. There seem
to be a lot of players addressing this market but we still
feel that there gaps that can be addressed.
This will fetch us good revenues and enhance our expertise
Corporate storage requirements double every year. How
are companies keeping up with this growth as their data
Most companies have already invested on a scalable storage
infrastructure. Hence when their storage requirement increases,
all they need to do is add more disks to the existing setup.
Organizations that see an increase in their data needs are
now adopting a scalable storage strategy. Apart from this,
customers are now going in for investing on secondary storage
the data will be safe for a long time to come.
Corporates are now also seriously looking at Remote Replication
and Disaster Recovery options. This mainly helps in enhancing
business continuance and is very critical for Storage Consolidation.
Large institutions and organizations are now moving from
direct attached storage to network storage whether NAS or
What's the ideal setup for a company that has block-level
and file-level data moving through its IP networks? Does
Apara have a special network design to address this requirement?
To address the above, the right kind of setup will definitely
be a Gigabit SAN. This will address the performance issues
as in the case of direct network connectivity. Network Appliance
is now coming out with newer concepts and technologies to
cater to this segment.
Indeed, Apara can certainly address this market, as we are
very focussed on NAS offerings and solutions. We are right
now working out similar solutions for few customers.
Mahesh rathod can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org