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7 Questions for HP’s Storage SVP on Recent Flash Industry News


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By Calvin Zito, @CalvinZito  

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 I sat down with Senior Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Storage Division Manish Goel to talk about recent industry news, what customers are looking for, and how he sees the future of storage.


Calvin: When you first came to HP a few months ago, you were asked why you chose to come out of retirement and get back into the storage game. I’m wondering if you could share that perspective with the readers.


Manish Goel_33.jpgManish: It’s very simple, actually. It was obvious to me that stand-alone storage vendors’ time has passed. In this new age of mobile applications and millennial workers, customers have to rethink their data centers. Some of the technology trends raising new questions include distributed computing, shared nothing architectures, and solid-state media. The problem is, these technologies are all changing too fast for administrators to integrate and manage stand-alone storage. They need application-integrated storage that’s engineered alongside compute and networking.


Calvin: So market requirements have evolved, making it hard for stand-alone vendors to justify their storage offerings. But what about companies like Cisco who have walked away from their flash array product less than two years from when they acquired it?


Manish: What seemed like a “marriage of convenience” didn’t exactly work out. Here’s what I believe: Your best chance to win on the convergence battleground is to offer a best-in-class solution at each level of the technology stack plus best-in-class integration. The industry is littered with flash platforms that have failed to live up to their promises. The recent Cisco news is a good example of this. They might have gotten trapped by their extended partnership agreements with EMC and NetApp on the one hand, and an unproven flash platform on the other. Chris Mellor’s article is on point regarding Whiptail.


Calvin: The rate of change in IT is crazy these days. What advice can you give customers about dealing with that change?

Manish: Customers all know that they need to be more productive. To do so, they need reliable partners. The good news is that they have many options, but they need to be careful. Customers need to ask good questions, like how a vendor could help them rapidly move to a hybrid cloud infrastructure that can make them more productive in the short-term, but also get them through the long haul.


Calvin: Specific to flash, what should customers care about?

Manish: We absolutely see that customers have an insatiable hunger for flash. I recently heard it compared to bacon: it makes every application better.


As I’ve said many times, customers should look for the vendor that delivers performance, affordability, and the enterprise capabilities that can give them mainstream all-flash if they choose. The really important thing is that they not be forced to forgo one for the other two. In other words, make the right choice without compromising what’s important. I just wrote a blog on customers having their flash "cake" and eating it too. This was after Gartner gave HP the fastest-growing flash vendor nod in their recent solid state MQ.


Calvin: How does the recent industry news affect HP?

Manish: It tells me that HP Storage is on the right path, and that’s always good to know. As I mentioned, the two biggest game changers for the industry right now are flash and hyper-convergence. Flash can be a major enabler for customers moving to hybrid cloud infrastructure, while hyper-convergence is quickly becoming the fastest path for getting customers the productivity applications they need, like VDI.


It may sound odd to hear the storage guy talking about hyper-convergence, but this is really the next phase of software-defined storage. It’s transformational for customers and is the type of sea change that brought me to HP in the first place.


Calvin: I think you and I have a lot in common. I have such a passion for storage – it must be my Sicilian heritage. But this isn’t just a job for you either, is it? You really are passionate.

Manish: Yeah, ask my wife or colleagues, or even Gartner, about my storage passion. I laugh at myself sometimes. But better that than not caring, though I have to make sure to turn it off.


Calvin: I agree with you; turning off is always tough! What’s next?

Manish: Lunch


Read more on this topic as Paul Miller, Marketing VP, HP Converged Datacenter Infrastructure, asks the question: Did the Converged Infrastructure pendulum swing too far?

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About the Author


I have worked at HP and now HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage.


Great bacon analogy. I might have to "borrow" that one.