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Why HDS This Week Earned My Vote for Having the Best Private Storage Cloud for Enterprises

This past week nearly 120 million people cast their vote in the US presidential election. But another election that is privately ongoing in many enterprises right now is how they are going to vote with their pocket book in terms of which private storage cloud they are going to deploy. This week after attending the HDS Influencer Summit in Santa Clara, CA, and seeing what HDS has to offer, HDS has for now edged out its competitors and earned my vote for having the best private storage cloud for enterprises.
Over the last 3-5 years nearly every storage company on the planet has been campaigning as to why they have the best storage platform upon which enterprises can confidently build their storage cloud of the future. However the three that have arguably run the strongest campaigns to date are EMC, HP 3PAR and NetApp with Nirvanix lurking in the shadows as a potential dark horse as the winner in the private storage cloud race.
I mention Nirvanix here for one simple reason. It delivers on two aspects of private cloud storage that no other storage vendor offers: a pay as you grow model with no upfront capital costs that is backed by a robust network of hosting providers. This approach coupled with its backend cloud storage architecture is prompting many enterprises to store their backup and archival data on its private storage cloud. As this occurred it was also setting Nirvanix up to eventually move up the application stack and host production applications so it could take on the big dogs of storage in the enterprise private cloud storage race.
HDS has now dealt a serious blow to Nirvanix’s aspirations to accomplish this. Further, HDS is putting these other three established storage vendors on the alert that the race to be the preferred enterprise cloud storage provider has a new dog in the hunt that speaks softly but carries a big stick.
The “big stick” to which I am referring is its Managed Services Solutions (MSS) offering. MSS enables enterprises to put a private storage cloud in place without the traditional upfront capital costs normally associated with enterprise private storage cloud deployments. But what is more notable about its offering is that HDS and its storage virtualization technology can roll an enterprise’s existing storage assets directly into the new private storage cloud that it creates and use them more effectively.
But what I found most remarkable about this offering is that HDS is requiring no upfront capital investment on the part of enterprises to put this private cloud storage infrastructure into place. It it then assumes management of the private storage cloud, and, maybe most impressively, it promises to lower storage costs by up to 40%.
This is not a promise made just to get headlines. Before it makes this promise or signs any agreement HDS first evaluates the client’s storage environment and does an assessment of it to ensure that by HDS using its storage technologies can deliver on the promise. 
Further, in talking with some HDS individuals responsible for delivering on that promise, they admit that they have to thoroughly do their homework ahead of time. This includes studying the client environment to make sure HDS puts the right solution in place to deliver on the savings it has promised to the client and that it does not lose money in the process since it is a substantial hardware investment to make on their part.
However having worked extensively with HDS in my former life as a storage engineer for Fortune 500, one thing HDS knows how to do is its homework, especially when it comes to configuring storage for enterprise deployments.
 
Further, once HDS deploys its storage cloud in the customer site, HDS assumes responsibility for the management and support of the private cloud. This may be almost as important if not more important than eliminating the need for the upfront capital investment. So many organizations fail to take advantage of storage system features because their staff is not adequately trained on how to effectively and confidently use them. HDS takes this concern off the table by having its own people manage the storage and then support it.
To date HDS is not a company I had really looked at as a serious contender in the private storage cloud race until yesterday’s all day briefing. While HDS has always had a great technology, I still perceived it largely as a box company that has done a poor job of explaining its position and differentiating itself from competitive products.
Yesterday HDS changed that. Yes, it still has work to do in terms of getting its message out. But right now it has a clear vision of what enterprise private storage clouds need to provide and its story is one that enterprises are anxious to hear and endorse. It is one that I suspect after they hear it it will they will feel as I did because it swayed me to cast my vote for HDS as currently having the best private cloud storage solution for enterprise environments.
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