NetApp customers demanding additional capacity
Increasing demand for cloud services driven by maturity across key stakeholders
WHEN Low Kai Chin (pic) joined storage and data management company Netapp Malaysia Sdn Bhd about nine months ago, there was a lot of talk and interest related to cloud technology.
“There was a lot of talk, but very little action,” said Low, who is the country manager for NetApp Malaysia and Brunei. “However, over the past three months, interestingly, we are seeing a lot more take-up.”
News of Low – better known in IT industry circles as KC Low – joining NetApp Malaysia and Brunei was first reported by Digital News Asia (DNA) on Nov 4 last year.
Low reported that the company's customers, comprising cloud service providers, are starting to request for additional capacity for their businesses.
“This is mainly because their end customers, such as the enterprises and corporates, are starting to embrace the cloud in a bigger manner,” he explained.
The public and private cloud storage market is expected to experience strong growth over the next few years. According to data by research firm MarketsandMarkets, the global cloud storage market is expected to grow from US$13.57 billion in 2014 to US$56.57 billion in 2019. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 33.1%.
Maturity is key
According to Low, there are a few reasons why companies are starting to embrace cloud in a bigger manner with the first being the maturity of cloud service providers in the country.
“I think cloud services providers in Malaysia are becoming more matured. After getting into the business over the last two to three years, they are starting to understand the right business model and the right type of services that attracts customers,” he explained.
He added that cloud service providers have also begun to understand the market and technology better, which ultimately, helps them to execute a better business strategy.
For example in the past, a cloud service provider with 10 terabyte (TB) of capacity may only sell 10TB of virtual capacity to their end users. Today, Low said that NetApp's customers realized that they can sell three to five more virtual TB to their end customers, for every TB of physical space they have.
This is due to a few factors, one being that whenever an end user migrates their data to the cloud, quite often there will be some duplication of data.
“NetApp can scan and detect similar data and keep just one copy, instead of 10 copies. So, with deduplication and compression technologies, a lot less space is actually needed physically,” he said.
Also, when an enterprise buys capacity from a cloud service provider, it is unlikely that the enterprise is buying the exact data capacity it needs, typically purchasing a bit more than required.
“If an enterprise needs 100 gigabyte (GB), it won’t subscribe to 100GB exactly. It is likely to subscribe for 120GB or a bit more. This also gives room to allow cloud service providers to sell more than what they physically have,” said Low.
“Our technology will also issue warnings to service providers when they are reaching full capacity physically, so they can add more space on to their platform.”
With better understanding of trends and technology, Low said that his customers are now able to offer services at half the price it used to charge, and yet remain able to generate more profits.
In addition, enterprise and corporate users are also becoming more matured, with better understanding of what type of workloads that they want to move to the cloud and what type of workloads to keep in-house.
“Of course, technologies of cloud services providers are also much more advanced today. This allows them to offer more services to their end customers. So, I believe it is the combination of the drivers above that are changing the conversation today,” he said.
“I hope this trend is sustainable moving forward.”
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