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Two Vital Mindset Shifts for Enterprise Storage Success

Two moments from recent conversations stand out to me because of the vital mindset shifts for enterprise storage success that these moments represent. Both of these occurred during a call with Qumulo, but reflect mindset shifts that are also creating success for other storage solutions.

Vital Mindset Shift #1: The First Day Should Be the Worst Day

Enterprise infrastructure managers are all too familiar with the legacy storage refresh experience. If everything goes well, the solution initially meets all storage requirements but falls short over time as demands increase. Thus, after three to five years, the solution needs to be replaced. This causes the business to endure another costly and potentially disruptive data migration.
The first mindset shift that caught my attention occurred when Bill Richter, Qumulo CEO, said, “Your first day with Qumulo will be your worst day with Qumulo.†I think the statement was intentionally shocking. After all, most salespeople are unlikely to associate the use of their product with “your worst day.†But the point he makes is an excellent one. For Qumulo customers, the experience gets better over time.
Pure Storage also demonstrates this new mindset but frames it in less shocking terms. Pure calls it a “subscription to innovation.†Pure offers managed non-disruptive hardware and software upgrades that enable the solution to improve over time, keeping pace with business requirements. It delivers this experience through either its Evergreen Storage or Pure as-a-Service offerings.
Both Qumulo and Pure embrace an all-inclusive approach to licensing that is a key enabler of the “first day, worst day†dynamic. Therefore, customers automatically receive all product improvements during the life of their subscriptions.
Beyond all-inclusive licensing, Qumulo also offers license portability. At any time during the subscription period, customers have the flexibility to deploy—and redeploy—the licensed capacity to any Qumulo-supported environment. Thus, Qumulo gives its customers the freedom to run file-based workloads wherever they create the most value to the customer.

Vital Mindset Shift #2: Don’t Tier Data, Shift It

The amount of data most businesses need to store is exploding. In the face of this explosion, businesses need to ensure that their storage systems provide the performance and data services required. They also need to keep the cost of storage in check. The primary mechanism employed by enterprise storage systems to achieve this balance is data tiering. They keep hot data on the highest performing, and most costly, storage. They tier cold data off to less expensive storage.
The second mindset shift that caught my attention was when someone on the Qumulo briefing call asked, “How do you tackle tiering?†The response from Qumulo was, “We don’t use tiering language because it implies a change in performance, and that data must be moved again to be reused. With Qumulo, all data remains directly accessible without re-tiering.
Qumulo Shift diagram
Qumulo perfectly captures this new mindset with the name for its new S3 object capability. Qumulo named the tool “Shift.†Qumulo Shift for AWS S3 uses Qumulo’s existing replication capabilities to copy data to native AWS S3 open format. This provides a durable copy of business data in the cloud. It also enables integration with the full range of AWS cloud services. Qumulo includes Shift for AWS S3 at no extra charge.
Ultimately, every business must extend the data management capabilities it requires to workloads wherever the business needs to run them. Many solutions are competing to address these requirements. Some data management solutions are embedded in enterprise storage systems, others are independent of the storage solutions. Enterprise storage must either provide data management across execution environments, or integrate with third-party solutions that do.
Both Pure Storage and Qumulo exemplify a mindset shift that shows through in the products and services that they offer to businesses. Other solutions providers that embrace these two mindset shifts will also experience and enable success.

Tests for the Two Mindset Shifts

Questions that reveal if a solution embraces these two mindset shifts for enterprise storage success:

  • What attributes of this solution and solution provider assure me that my first day will be my worst day?
  • Does this solution extend the data management capabilities my business requires to workloads wherever I need to run them? If not, does it integrate with tools that do?

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