B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 3 years ago

Is a Hybrid Storage Solution Right for Your Enterprise?


There are endless combinations of tech your organization could be using. 

An application for this. Another for that. 

While choosing the best software for your business is important, have you considered the type of storage and security you’ll be implementing? These factors can also have countless combinations. It all depends on what works best for your organization. 

We had the chance to discuss hybrid storage solutions and security in more depth with Chief Technologist for Enterprises at Ingram Micro, Karl Connolly. In this episode, he gives us the lowdown on hybrid solutions and the enterprises they’re right for. 

Follow Karl Connolly on LinkedIn. 

Security is never going to go away. It's a necessary evil. We almost have security and, as we talked about, hackers are getting more smart, martyr and leveraging technologies that is on the cutting edge. You're listening to be tob tech talk with Ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by dealink. Technology make your home smarter, safer and truly seamless. Let's get into it. Welcome to be tob tech talk with Ingram micro. I'm your host, Carrie Roberts, and our guest today is chief technologist for enterprise accounts at angram micro, Carl Connolly. Welcome, Carl's so excited to have you here today. Hey, Carrie, thanks for having me. Equally as excited. So today we're discussing the topic of hybrid solutions, but before we get into that, let's talk about how public cloud is still experiencing massive adoption, and I'm curious how do you think this is impacting businesses? That's a great question and a great place to start, I think, Carrie. Well, my job inside the enterprise accounts in Ingram is to go out you vangelize new technologies as things change in the market place, and what I'm noticing from our partners is their cloud practices continue to grow and expand, and that's because many of their customers want to move away from purchasing equipment. As you can imagine, that's kind of expensive and the way technology is evolving so rapidly, these partners are these customers would rather not purchase something but almost lease it, if you will. That way they can be sure that they're always getting the latest and greatest in terms of technology. So our partners practice is continue to expand and they're branching out into all different types of Varius, which is really making them more valuable in the eyes of their customers. New Technologies are coming up all the time, such as data center technology, security technologies, edge technologies, Iot. I mean, really, the guy's the limit with technology today. In fact, the total addressful market in two thousand and nineteen, if you can believe this number, is five trillion dollars, and a lot of that spend is being directed towards cloud. So can you describe a little bit more about what a hybrid solution is and why you think a company would want to use it? Absolutely so, as we were talking about. Clearly a lot of customers are rushing to the public cloud, and when we say public cloud, just so people understand what that is, it's typically the Amazons and the Microsoft as yours of this world and newly, Google cloud platform. However, what customers are starting to realize is that there are certain applications that, for various reasons, don't belong in the public cloud, and so they have to figure out a way that they can run their business in an optimized way, and that basically means some of the applications are going to stay either on premise, where they reside today, or they move to the cloud, whether that's public cloud are increasingly some customers are looking for a sort of happy medium, and that's the private cloud. So what hybrid ultimately means? Just as the English word hybrid kind of means a fusion, if you will, that's what hybrid it means. It means some of your it is in the public cloud, some of its own pram, and then certain applications are going to be in the private cloud setting. And what's important than to kind of tie it all together is some mechanism by which you can manage orchestrate and conduct operations between all of those dispirate sources. So really means customers are looking for choice today. They don't want just a single solution, they want flexibility and I know your company, Inger Micro, recently partnered with century link on a private cloud project. Can you talk a little bit about what this project was about from beginning to...

...end, what it involved and what was created? Absolutely happy to so. Ingram micro, and a lot of people don't actually realize this, has had its own cloud practice going back to two thousand and six. However, when we first started it's the cloud practice, if you will, was really built around the notion that customers are going to move from on Pram into the public cloud. However, as we talked about, you know, customers want choice. Certain applications are not suitable for the public cloud, and I'll give you example. If you're a bank, let's say, for example, are a hospital, you're dealing with obviously very sensitive information, that's a customers financial records or indeed an individual's medical records, and so there are a lot of government regulatory requirements in and in the way you handle that data, and so those organizations that are dealing with those particular types of data may not necessarily feel comfortable putting them into the public cloud, and the reason being the public cloud, as great as it is, is sort of a shared model, that is to say, those environments are what we call multi tenant, and so Ingram, being such a large entity as it is with many different despired customers, we needed to come up with a solution that would address that gap in our portfolio. So we've lots of public cloud offerings, but we didn't have a private cloud offering. And so inside the group I work with in Ingram is the enterprise accounts, one of our major partners is centraling. Now, central link is a company that over the past ten years have made some strategic acquisitions. They bought a company called Sabbaths, which gave them day AATA centers and hosting capabilities, and then in about two thousand and sixteen, two thousand and seventeen, they purchased a company called level three, which gave century link massive amount of network capabilities. And so ingram, looking to see how we could fill a gap in our portfolio, we looked at central and can. They had the perfect product, the perfect product from our perspective, from a hybrid perspective, is what they call central link private cloud, as you just mentioned carry. Now the private cloud is just as the name applies. It is a hosted infrastructure solution that is actually built, managed and physically secured inside of central links data centers, and then a partner would access that environment remotely. Now, the difference about this and the public cloud is that, let's say carry, you on your own business, right and you have those sensitive records that I talked about. You have customers that are are really, you know, finicky about where the data resides and you need to ensure that at any time, if any agency, government agency, came to you carry, it said okay, where is that data? I need to need the proof. You would want to be sure that you can point squarely at where that data resides. And so central link have built this private cloud whereby you carry would be the sole tenant of that infrastructure. So you get dedicated infrastructure, physical infrastructure, running your private cloud. Now the software that makes the private cloud is called Vm Work Cloud Foundation, and this is a best in class suite of products that vm were who sort of ushered in the software defined data center many years ago, have brought to market. And what this software enables you to do is virtualize the compute, the storage and now the network all in one suite and you manage it then from a single interface called VM or cloud director. So it's an incredibly powerful offering that central link actually had to engineer in conjunction with their partners, HPE and vm where to earn a certification. So it's a validated design. So, from an Ingram perspective, when we were in the market for a best in class offering to feel like that in our portfolio, we didn't have to look very far. We looked at one of our partners. Central Link could done the due diligence. They had actually engineered this solution with HP and VM where for two years prior to US actually...

...getting engaged, and so when they were looking for a route to market, they looked and they saw ingram, and obviously where the largest global distributor in the world with a massive amount of channel partners. It was really a good symbiotic relationship and and it's proven to be. We fell a gap in our portfolio and they now have a route to market. So we're really excited about the host of private cloud. We launched it this year in January and thus far we're getting a lot of traction with those partners, as I said, who are really looking to address those specific use cases, typically around healthcare, thanks Credit Union and education. And do you have to be a certain business size to be starting to think about this or does this really pertain to any size of a business? That's a great question. Well, so, because of the nature of this solution and the sensitivity of the data and some of the requirements that DM were have sort of mandated for us, we actually have to start with a four node configuration in the private cloud. So let me explain that for you. And node in in this lingo is basically a hyper convert server. Now hyperconvert server basically means that the compute, the storage and the network capability that would traditionally be in these big BEHEM IT systems is now compacted into one small little building block of data center, of you will. So in our world we need four of those at a minimum to be compliant with the VM or requirements, and the reason is carry let's say, for example, if you were to lose one of the nodes in that four node cluster, you'd still be protected, that is to say, your data is distributed evenly across the nodes and so you can take a hit. And so now with four nodes, that kind of brings up the price that we've bt and so for for a very small customer, this wouldn't be the appropriate node type because the solution, even though it's monthly, monthly billing, it costs about Twenty Tho dollar a month to get in and play. And the other the other benefit of it is is that you're a single tenant and so that means you really have to bear the cost of the of the entire investment. You can kind of spread it, which would be the case in the multi tenant. And so from it SMB perspective, the very smaller end of spectrum they wouldn't be suitable because it would probably to cost prohibitive. So it's really sort of like the upper upper mid market or enterprise play would be. would be where it makes sense the most. And as we're talking about the cloud, can you tell us a little bit about what five g is and how does it enable edge as well? As you know, why is this becoming the new thing to think about? Yeah, I look that question. So, as you know, unfortunately, many organizations when they do a move to the cloud. They often overlook the importance of the network, which is really surprising when you think about it, because at the end of the day, the cloud is just a series of, you know, equipment much like what we've seen for years and years on prem but it's in someone else's data center. And so bus as in consumers, are users of the cloud, we still have to get to that infrastructure and that's over the network. And so what's going to be increasingly important over the course of the next couple of years is the way we access data. And G basically means the fifth generation of network over the air. And so traditionally, if you're accessing equipment, you're accessing it over the network, right, and the fifth generation of Network Protocol is going to allow for data to be transferred over the air very, very quickly. So what does this really mean in practical terms? It means that for all of the IOT devices, of which there are billions of devices now, being connected to in a network. And devices is a bit of a misnomer. They the vice, can be as small as a little sin card...

...in a like in a phone. Right. That's the term device. Many people think devices are bigger things, but that's why there's billions of these devices with network capability, and so they need their creating a lot of data and they need to be able to connect to a machine that will be able to kind of whittle down that data and figure out what's important and then enable a partner to monetize the data. So five G is basically going to allow these millions and billions of devices to leverage this faster transmission rate. So that means you can get many more devices way out in remote locations using five g such that they can collect information, it can be then sent back, processed and then put into a cloud for processing. So it's really exciting when we're on the cusp of some great things. Five G is going to be ushered in. It's already available in set several cities in the in the US and in Asia. There it's growing in leaps and bounds and as an in Europe as well. But Five G is really the next big wave as we see it in technology, simply because it enables the transfer of masses of amounts of data very, very quickly from millions of devices. So now, and following up to that, let's talk about security because, as new technology emerges and new networks and things like G as you're talking about come into play. How do you suggest companies provide strong security solutions for their customers and what are you seeing to prevent things like security breaches? Yeah, so security, again, is unfortunately one of those things that many organizations leave to the last and security often is what we would call a bolt on, that is to say, you know, they build a solution and that they think, Oh crap, we've got to secure this and then they figure out, you know, how they implement a security protcol or, security application or how to secure the actual infrastructure. And so, from our perspective, because we are so big as a company, we see lots of different complaints from partners and we see the different attacks that are happening. We see where the gaps are and what Ingram is actually developed out is what we call a security practice builder. Now it's a great way for an organization to do a self assessment. They they can go online. If you're a security provider, you can go online and you can go through this self assessment. It's going to basically ask you a bunch of questions about, you know, your organization's capabilities. The applications and the tools that you use today and then, based on the question are it's going to point you two gaps, you know, so where you may not have the expertise in house or you may not have a particular product that's capable of creating an ex generation firewall, let's say, for example. And then, over the course of an engagement with Ingram, we will help then augment your gaps by pointing you to different technologies that will fill those gaps. or it could be a suggestion to say, Hey, you might need to hire a person in X, Y and Z directions, because I'm telling you, carry the security landscape is changing so rapidly and even our most advanced partners are having a hard times keeping up. And the reason is you don't have to be, you know, a genius out there today to hack into these systems. You can go online on the dark internet and you can buy a hacking kit for as low as a dollar, and so if you think about some deprived individuals in certain countries, US included, it's a very attractive proposition to suddenly get into hacking. And you're starting to see, as the recent news is, that you know, it's not just these lone wolfs. It's now, you know, countries are actually funding hacking and the hackers are becoming so incredibly intelligent in the in the mechanisms that they're using. We all get those emails, those fishing emails. Oftentimes, doors are opened up in organizations by people just clicking on a link that looks like it came from, you know, Amazon or whatnot. That's the way the hackers are approaching these things. They're also using artificial intelligence. They're watching what users are doing and watching their patterns and...

...then giving them websites and things that they might ordinarily use that are basically masked to look very similar to things that they use or services that they use. All it takes is one click and then they come in the door and those hacks may go undetected for up to months. Some of the I think the averages that these these hacks sit on a system for about six months before they're actually detected, and increasingly you're getting these hackers using other methods to get in. There was a recent example of a large retail store that was ultimately hacked, but the way that the hackers got in they got in through an iotapp in the ventilation system. So the hackers are getting very, very smart, and the way that we can help them from an ingram perspective is just what I've said. You know, look, we can say here's an assessment, run it, what kind of applications are use and what kind of vertical markets do you play? And these are the tools, these are the strategies and these are the skill sets that you need to stay ahead of these things. It's not easy, but it's a kind of like chasing your tail, but you got to do it. Yeah, I mean the security thing is definitely it's a scary thing and on our last episode the gentleman also talked about the same situation you did for the retail and so I think it's great that you are providing solutions for this. Hey everyone, we hope you're enjoying this episode of BB Tech Talk With Ingram micro. Let's pause for a moment to recognize our sponsor dealnk systems. Our network speed slowing you down or security risk top of mind talk with dealingk systems, leverage award winning products and deployed networks that are second to none. With d link wireless surveillance and switching solutions. Contact Ashley Ruggerio at Ingram Micro today. That's Ashley as HL Ey Dot Rugerio. Are you, gg Er ioh at Ingram microcom? Also, before we jump straight back to today's episode, we want to share with you another resource you're going to want to check out. Did you know that you could start your guided journey through partner track today? It's D tool that eliminates uncertainty in the IT channel. You can access meaningful content, get trained on new tech and attend networking events, all while getting rewarded. Register now at Ingram micro partner trackcom. All right, let's get back to the show. For a company that's listening, do you have any tips or maybe questions that they should ask themselves to decide if a hybrid solution is right for them and their company? So for a hybrid solution, listen, hands down, the market is moving towards hybrid and it's because customers are starting to get more savvy. You know, large organizations and small organizations are just like you and I carry when we go out shopping. Right. So let's say, for example, you want to go and buy a car, you're going to go to a dealer, you're going to look at the car and then you probably go online and you shop around. You Can Punch in the information and get, you know, that same car model with the mileage and all the features that you want from multiple different aspirate sources. And the same is true for in customers when they're talking about purchasing infrastructure. They now want to leverage different cloud platforms for different applications. I'll give an example. Let's say, for example, carry you start a business tomorrow. You know you're going to have a lot of different applications in that business and one cloud provider may provide you excellent office three hundred and sixty five and the other cloud provider may pay provide you a business analytics are, you know, an intelligence software, and then another provider may provide you a backup solution. So why should you, as a consumer, just settle for one particular cloud? That's just not the way it is. You, as a savvy consumer, you want to consume resources from different clouds and you want it managed holistically. That is the way the market is going. And so, from a hybrid perspective, arguably, Ingram with our breath of...

...technology, I'm part in our solutions. We're in a really good place to help our partners be able to articulate an architect a solution that is just that. It's hybrid, because we know, you know, not all applications are suitable for the cloud. We see time and time again what we call repaytreation, and that is to say that actually, customers who have already moved to a public cloud for various reasons basically did a lift and a shift. That means they took their existing infrastructure as it was on Prem and just plucked it into the cloud and hope that, you know, the cloud would solve all their problems. Well, that's not the right approach. Our approach is an intelligent one. We're going to sit down with a partner and educate them as to how they can do an assessment, because everything starts with intelligence. You know, when you make any decision in your daily life, you probably think about it before you do it and you way up the pros and the cons and then you can go into a decision in a more informed way. The same as true. What it right will start with an assessment. Will look and see what applications you have and then we'll say to you, okay, well, this application here is a very old application, it's likely that was designed and implemented way before cloud was even a thing and therefore likely that application either should stay where it is on prem or you might consider the value of that application what it actually does. Is there a modern version of that application such that it would be suitable for the cloud? And then, as I talked about earlier, there are certain applications that, because of the compliance or the security, the customer wants to put that into a private cloud setting. And so from a partner perspective this is a very challenging kind of thing to wrap their head around. But Ingram, you know true the Ingram micro hybrid solutions and our cloud practice, we actually have a very regimented framework that we can take any partner and help them what we call cloudomized their business, that is to say that they can go through this nine step program and, throughout stages, learn how they can do assessments, migrations, architecting, marketing and retention of customers. So we inside of Ingram have a very large capability to help partners a great hybrid solutions. I think that's great. If people have questions either for you specifically or about your company, where can they contact you? Either via social media or website. Yeah, so linkedin has a great outlets. I'm Carl Connolly Ka or L Conn Oy, obviously at Ingram, so you can find me on Linkedin. Very responsive. Obviously love to hear from a partner or even and then consumer that has questions. We love to educate and you know, even if you don't come to us at the end, it's all about having a relationship and instilling, you know, the values of hybrid. So we'd be happy to talk to anybody. And my final question is for you personally. Where do you see technology going in the next year? Oh, that's a brilliant question. So I feel very privileged, in fact, in the role that I have, and part of that privilege is that we deal with a small company the West Coast and their job is to basically go out and mind new information, new technology that's coming to market. So they look at a lot of the small startup companies that are not even on the market yet. They're outlooking for venture capitalist or investors like the arts company like ours, and so about twice a year we get to go out and kind of speed date with these companies. So we sit down, they pitch us for half an hour. So we get a really good lens on where things are going, and I'll boil it down to you. Will clearly, cloud in as many forms and many different applications in use cases continues to expand. So that's always a safe bet. But increasingly organizations and these smaller startups are focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning and that is to say...

...the writing applications that are looking at patterns and trends and taking the guests work out of things like, for example, if you're a small shop, for example, or a small business and you focus in a specific area, oftentimes you know you use the spray and pray method, that is to say, you're trying out marketing dollars and hope that you know you you attract a certain clientele. What if you could mind all the publicly available data or some of the data that you have in house and then make a sure bet on the propensity of someone to buy? That's really amazing. Last but not least, anything in the IOT spaces is incredibly hot at the moment and being able to kind of monetize, collect and analyze large amounts of data at the edge is becoming a hot trend. Well, thank you so much, Carl. This has been so informative and helpful and you can definitely feel your passion for what you do. So thank you so much for being here. It's curry. Thanks. Thanks a million. Really happy to have this conversation, so I appreciate it very much. If you like this episode or have a question, join the discussion on twitter at Ingram Tech Soul with the Hashtag be to be tech talk. Thank you for tuning in and subscribing to be to be tech talk with Ingram micro. You've been listening to be tob tech talk with Ingram Micro, hosted by Carrie Roberts and sponsored by dealing technology. Be Tob tech talk is a joint production by sweetish media and Ingram micro. Ingram micro production handled by Laura Burton and Christine Fan. To not miss an episode, subscribe today in your favorite podcast platform.

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