Disruptive One-on-One: Andrew Martin from Zerto

Concluding our 3-part post disruptive one-on-ones, we have Andrew Martin, the Managing Director for APJ, Zerto to push the message of disruptive data home.

We’ve heard from the networks; we’ve heard from the hyperconverged. Now we are talking to the people dealing with your worst case scenario: loss of data. Well, the Disaster Recovery that prevents and fixes your worst case scenario, that is.

Being in the storage industry for almost 20 years, Andrew’s seen the rapid changes in technology and the impacts they have on businesses first hand. He is open to new technology, but also advises against moving too quickly. “Moving to new technologies will ultimately save time and money and increase IT flexibility, but you don't have to make the move all at once, step by step and project by project is fine.”

As mentioned by Desmond in our previous interview, SEA is normally the third wave in adopting new technologies. To this end, many businesses have a fear of missing out in the global market, and whether these countries have the infrastructure to support these technologies, and whether it is readily available for them to leverage. However, Andrew believes otherwise – in fact he thinks we may be on the upper hand.

“In some ways there is an advantage in emerging regions as they are not so heavily invested in older technologies so it’s easier to make new investment in newer technologies. In our case one of the issues in ASEAN is the cost of good bandwidth to replicate applications and data. To that end it was great to hear about SilverPeak SD-WAN which enables companies to achieve amazing data transfer rates via public internet. This is how technology is helping overcome infrastructure limitations. We will certainly be hooking up with Silver Peak to build some joint propositions in the region.”

Infrastructure may be fixed by technology. However, knowledge of those technologies would need a lot more than just a solution out of a box. Andrew has faith not only in Zerto’s technology but also ease of use as well as adaptability of IT professionals.
“There are certain areas that people need education and training. In the case of Zerto typically the learning curve is small. Whilst incredibly powerful in action, the product is incredibly simple to master for most IT professionals. As long as people understand the concepts of Virtual Machines, they will "get" Zerto very quickly. Often people feel what we do is too good to be true, so we let them try the technology and see for themselves. They can do this with little or no training.”

“In our space it is simple. We are the only technology that was "born in the cloud" we implicitly understand software defined environments in a way that our competitors do not. This means we work in tandem with virtualised environments, we are hardware agnostic, hypervisor agnostic, and allow enterprise class DR (RTO of minutes and RPO of seconds) at an ease of use and price point that quite simply was not imaginable until now.”
With talks of all these upcoming new technologies in this series, one of the main discussions revolving the industry is the eventual death and phase out of the legacy mainframes. This was also a very hot discussion topic during the disruptive data vendors event. Andrew being a part of the companies leading the change, certainly stands on the side of innovation.

“In my view absolutely it is dying. I come from a background of Data Protection and Disaster Recovery, so I know and understand that it takes a long time for any technology to really die out totally. Take tape as an example, people have been preparing for the funeral of tape for more than a decade and that still hasn't happened.  But in my personal view the future is changing and legacy technology will be exactly that - legacy. Cloud based and Software Defined IT is the future and hardware will have a far less strategic role to play in that future.”

Speaking on the future of data, he believes it will only continue to grow. Andrew’s vision of the future is not only data centric, but also people centric. He wants to be in the forefront of those changes and has faith that data technologies would develop to help people do more.
“Object based unstructured data is the future, vast amounts of data that fuels analytics and deep insight. But that will not be at the expense of functional data like email or database data, this will grow also. From a Zerto perspective we take an application centric view of data and manage data in light of the application it is linked to. In our future we see portability of that data as key. Perhaps today you want that application with associated data on public cloud, but tomorrow back in your own datacentre, it’s our vision to enable that at the click of a button.”

Concluding this series, we asked him about his message to businesses and IT professionals. He emphasises that technology is moving at such a rapid pace that it is getting difficult to predict, thus change is inevitable and businesses would have to catch up or face getting left behind.
“Businesses absolutely need to change their mind-sets - the world is becoming agile with new business ideas moving from idea to fully functioning apps in days rather than months or years. This in turn puts a huge demand on IT to also adapt and change the mind-set. IT is becoming the business enabler but to do so it has to move from a mind-set of tried and tested stability to one of scalability and flexibility being more important.”

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