Michael Cornwell, CTO, Pure Storage, Asia Pacific and Japan
Data&StorageAsean: What are the benefits of cloud storage and how does cloud storage increase the IT capabilities of an enterprise/organisation?
Michael Cornwell: Public cloud has revolutionized the standard for easy IT. It’s simpler to manage, and removes the time and energy burden of technology upgrades from the customer. It’s a utility model, which is attractive to organisations for which CapEx is limited, and provides the flexibility needed to scale up and down quickly depending on fluctuating demand.
While leveraging the public cloud is key, performing all functions in a public cloud environment becomes costly and limits the control over security and compliance. Within today’s landscape, there are more options than just public cloud and traditional on-prem. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has exploded, while private cloud has also seen significant increase in relevancy – and both run on hardware, somewhere. A strategy that deploys some combination of these options is referred to as hybrid cloud, and it is gaining traction among CIOs.
Data&StorageAsean: How has cloud storage technology improved over the years?
Michael Cornwell: The increase in SaaS and PaaS adoption across APAC has been fuelling the growth in cloud services in the region, including the development of cloud-ready and cloud-native applications. In a Pure study of 3,000 organizations across APJ, we found that as many as 54% of business applications are now running on public cloud or SaaS.
However, as organisation’s data requirements grow, so does the public cloud bill – exponentially. Today, there is an entire industry being created around public cloud cost management. Many CIOs report directly to the CFO, and when we speak to them, cost certainty remains a recurring theme.
The public cloud also often comes with a performance and reliability downgrade when compared to the best on-prem solutions. Availability and reliability are core tenets of any cloud strategy. Today, CIOs need to be much more deliberate and thoughtful about the impact of outages on end-users and customers. For mission-critical business operations, like high-performance analytics or anything at scale, a hybrid environment is better suited.
Data&StorageAsean: Is security still a major concern when it comes to cloud storage? Is the concern justified?
Michael Cornwell: Although public cloud delivers agile, cost-efficient and simplified operations, security and privacy remains a concern. Two-thirds of APJ businesses we surveyed cited security as a primary drawback of public cloud. Cloud repatriation is also becoming more prevalent, with nearly a third (29%) of APJ businesses that ran workloads in public cloud environments moving back to on-premise infrastructure due to security concerns. These security concerns are not surprising amidst explosive data growth, and enterprise IT leaders continue to require the control and peace of mind that come with running their own infrastructure.
This is why the conversation is shifting, with many organisations beginning to find a more balanced option with their use of public, private, and on-premises solutions to meet varied business requirements. In fact, a third of APJ businesses say they will increase their use of traditional on-premises storage over the next 18-24 months to increase security and availability.
Data&StorageAsean: Is cloud storage/backup still the top use case or main driver for cloud adoption?
Michael Cornwell: Storage and backup remains one of the key use cases for cloud adoption, especially for private cloud. However, we are also seeing a broader spread of workloads running on cloud, including testing and development, business and customer-facing applications, analytics, and communications solutions.
Ultimately, behind the push towards cloud adoption is the massive data explosion we are currently experiencing – by 2025, the world will have accumulated 163 ZB of data, up from 44 ZB in 2020 and 10 ZB in 2015, according to IDC. With so much data to manage, business operations are growing increasingly complex across a variety of functions. Organisations today are venturing into AI and Machine Learning to drive revenues, identify new opportunities, and inform business decisions. To keep up with the demands of data growth, the storage market is in rapid transition to flash, cloud-era ready storage.
Furthermore, with organisations maturing in the use of IoT, and more IoT data being ingested into the cloud, the industry is now shifting their focus from data capture to flexible analytics. As the Big Data analytics market in APAC continues to mature and cities become smarter and more connected, there will be a growing demand for cloud-based delivery of analytics services.
Data&StorageAsean: What is unique about your company's cloud storage offering(s)?
Michael Cornwell: What we are offering is an all-encompassing approach to cloud. Pure Storage’s data platform comprises cloud-era flash products FlashArray, FlashBlade, and FlashStack for structured and unstructured data; as well as data services, data protocols, and data extensibility, powered by native software and hardware integration. Through this all-flash data platform for the cloud era that supports today’s volume, velocity, and variety of data, we help organisations put data to work in an effortless and efficient way, and supported by our Evergreen business model.