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Issue of September 2005 

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“The answer is storage virtualisation”

George Thomas, Country Manager, NetApp India, feels that CIOs should migrate to storage virtualisation infrastructure to increase the reliability and availability of information.

What are the benefits of virtualisation for a CIO? How does virtualisation help create a policy-based storage infrastructure?

Many CIOs have made significant investments in multiple storage architectures to support a variety of different application requirements. This approach often results in an inefficient, under-utilised storage environment that can be difficult to manage and costly to scale.

Virtualisation fulfills the needs of both the CIO and users by increasing data availability, minimising client downtime, optimising storage capacity, and dramatically simplifying storage management. All of these contribute to a significant reduction in the total cost of ownership of networked storage infrastructures.

Different vendors define virtualisation differently. How do you define it?

We believe that no one company can bring a complete solution to the customer, which is why having an open standards-based approach is the key.

In my experience, many customers ask for a flexible storage infrastructure that offers high performance, massive and rapid scalability, and minimal management overhead—all to achieve maximum value from enterprise data. They are actually looking forward to liberate their data for more robust, high-performance applications in workgroups, departments and data centres. The answer to all this is storage virtualisation.

What do you think are the usual mistakes that CIOs make when it comes to virtualisation?

As near as I can tell, the way CIOs often think is something like this. They say, “I don’t really understand where I’m going, but I do understand, roughly speaking, some of my big challenges. Like for instance, my company’s becoming increasingly global. I’ve got people scattered all over the place, and it’s really important for me to share a lot of information with them. The information can be rich content such as audio and video. But I don’t really know how to manage that problem.”

And not only that, there’s nobody out there who can today come up with a complete solution that’s just plug-and-play. So what CIOs say when they’re in a situation like this is, “I know no one knows how to do this. What I need to do is find the people who know it’s a problem and have smart people working on it. If I start working with them and they listen to me and understand my problems more, between the two of us we’ll get there.” To me, this is the challenge CIOs have today.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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