Tyranny of Distance

Tyranny of Distance

James Kennedy-Moffat, Country Manager, NetApp New Zealand

When customers worldwide consider their storage needs, it is rare for decision makers to reflect on the effect that a distance between two sites can have on their application performance.

This hasn’t really been an issue up to now, as compute and storage environments were naturally placed alongside each other. However, in this new world where hybrid clouds as the flourishing and becoming the dominant architecture, people need to consider the physics behind their design decisions.

Living in New Zealand, we are attuned to these distance considerations, as our organisations constantly move data back and forth across the country to protect ourselves from disaster in an earthquake-prone country. The same kind of thinking can also be applied when considering the tyranny of distance between New Zealand and offshore hyperscaler clouds.

There are plenty of good reasons why an organisation would run selected workloads in the public cloud, but it is not without a significant performance impact. This has stifled the adoption of hyperscaler clouds in New Zealand. But why is this?

To answer this, it is important to first understand that data is underpinned by two very important principles. The first: data has mass. It takes time to move a mass from place to place, and organisations cannot instantaneously migrate data. It takes planning, preparation, and above all, time. Second: data has gravity. Data pulls applications to it, because applications can’t generally withstand the latency of having to wait for information to arrive from a long distance.

What does this mean for any organisation considering the benefits of a hybrid cloud model?

There exists a brilliant way for organisations both in New Zealand and any country to protect, manage and transport their data. More importantly, there is an easy and efficient way for organisations to have a hybrid cloud infrastructure that securely connects next generation and traditional worlds - across flash, cloud and test/dev production environments. NetApp’s data fabric offers consolidated data management spanning NetApp engineered systems, converged infrastructure, third-party arrays, commodity servers, next to the cloud, and in the cloud environments.

NetApp’s strength is that we have evolved into a data platform company for an application-centric world. This means that customers using NetApp technology can now easily and efficiently transport their data to where it is needed based on application sensitivity, business requirements, and cost considerations.

NetApp has truly transformed itself into a multi-product, multi-platform company for the digital era. It is my goal to help bring this transformation to our New Zealand customers. This commitment to innovation means that we will continue to assist our customers meet the challenges they face with the evolving storage and compute landscape.