As enterprises and service providers are required to deliver more to their users, they end up needing an increasing number of tools to manage those services, their users, and the data it all creates. In a world dominated by the Amazons and Googles of the world, anything but optimized processes, infrastructure, and workloads will not meet user demand. In order to remain agile and responsive, cloud is no longer an option – most businesses and providers must leverage cloud to some extent in order to build efficient operations and ensure higher service speeds and competitive models. Greg Campbell, Co-founder and CTO at Yottabyte will be addressing the challenges facing the service provider space as they try to meet the demand for more and faster services while maintaining efficient and cost effective operations, during a panel discussion at MSP Expo in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I took the opportunity as we look forward to the conference to get a preview of some of the topics the panel will be touching on.
Please tell us a bit about the latest news at your company.
We just launched a new partnership program geared specifically towards service providers. This offers a pricing model specific to service providers and follows a pay-as-you-grow license consumption model. We also offer support services specific to service providers and allow SPs to stand up secure and isolated cloud environments for their customers.
What pains are you taking away for customers?
Before our customers come to us, they’ve traditionally had to interface 10 different products and self-integrate them to work in their data centers. With Yottabyte, our customers have one platform that provides several solutions: we offer a single-vendor approach with full integration of data center services.
How is cloud acceptance changing how your customers or your company operates?
The public cloud is showing our customers a simpler way to run their workloads. It’s not without its challenges, but it has shown us a world without managing storage networks, physical servers, virtual machines, and other data center components. When the headache of infrastructure management is removed, you’re able to focus on your applications. Yottabyte provides an option to get the same benefits of the public cloud, but in a private infrastructure. You get the best of both worlds: competitive pricing, easy management, flexible resources, and privacy.
What are the most important recent communications technology innovations in your industry?
The most recent shift that affects us is the movement towards bare metal switching and software networking. Because we run all of our networking services in software, we actually prefer to simplify the communications equipment. This lowers the cost, complexity, and failure rate of the networking equipment and allows us to buy more redundancy and higher speeds for the same price.
How is mobile changing your business strategy?
We fully understand and embrace the notion that mobile technology is paving a new and exciting road to total accessibility. Our focus is to take all those hardware components of the data center and implement them into our software. This makes it possible to give mobile access to things that you’ve traditionally needed thick client access or even physical access to accomplish.
Do you think the FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) companies will ever face serious competition?
Absolutely. There’s no question that FAANG took risks and were disruptors of their industry, but that’s part of the reason why they were so successful. There will always be new disruptors that try to (and sometimes do) outreach and outcompete others in the industry. It’s all dependent on knowing and understanding the needs of the consumer and being one step ahead.
FAANG will have serious competition because they were founded on being seriously competitive. Facebook “replaced” MySpace, Netflix “replaced” Blockbuster, Google replaced…. AskJeeves? Point being, technologies change, consumers needs change, and companies that are one step ahead with that change will prove the most successful.
How is open-source changing technology and how your company does business?
We believe in open source (pardon me while I go update the kernel), so it is not so much “changing” how we do business as much as influencing how we do business.
How can blockchain transform your industry?
We’ve been using elements of blockchain in our storage platform since before it was used for currency. It’s a great way to validate large datasets efficiently and securely.
What implications does AI have for your business and your customers?
Every aspect of our software is about automating what humans had to do by hand. As AI continues to advance, I fully expect it to continue to take on not just the mundane tasks of IT, but to begin to provide insights and data analysis that we all wanted to do but could never muster the time or manpower to pull off. We all have (or should have) game plans on what to do when something fails. AI can not only help predict when these failures may occur, but can also begin to execute those game plans automatically.
Is SD-WAN changing the way you and/or your customers operate? How?
Software defined everything is something you hear us talk about all the time in development. We’ve been going down the line and replacing what used to be thick apps or appliances with intelligent software. This includes the WAN, and it has allowed our customers to do things that previously would have been beyond their technical limitations.
What new opportunities does IoT bring your company?
The biggest impact that IoT will have is the amount of data it generates, and what we do with that data. Most people think of it terms of sending data to the cloud, but we’re also starting to see situations where the amount of data generated is so great that we have a data gravity problem preventing it from reaching the cloud. In those cases, we have to look at edge computing to process the data at the edge. Yottabyte provides the perfect platform to marry edge computing and cloud processing by giving an end to end solution to manage the data and process that data both at the edge and/or in the cloud. It’s done with the same software that can work private, hybrid, or cloud.
What is your perception of the The Future of Work and how new tech is changing the face of communications?
The workplace is becoming more and more diverse. Productivity doesn’t just come from employees working in a brick and mortar building. Productivity now comes from remote employees, serverless computing, smart software running in the cloud, AI, and global partners. All of this depends on new and robust technologies and will continue to increase demands on our communications networks.
What is the greatest opportunity facing your industry?
So many of the products we buy in IT don’t solve business problems, they solve IT problems. As an industry, we’ve created most of the problems we set out to solve. By concentrating on simplifying things from the ground up, we don’t need to compete with these technologies. At Yottabyte, we remove the problem they were solving in the first place which leaves a huge opportunity.
What is the greatest challenge?
The greatest challenge is the same challenge any disruptive technology has. We are attempting to break through decades of doing things a certain way, and educating the market on how things can be done better.
What do you hope to achieve at the event?
For Yottabyte, we’re hoping to create more awareness of this great technology that we have and highlight what it means for service providers. We want to expose attendees to a solution that will not only make their lives easier, but will protect revenue streams that are being lost to the public clouds.
Greg’s panel, “Why MSPs Need to Offer Cloud-based and Hosted Solutions,” takes place at 12:00pm, Wednesday, January 30, 2019, and will focus on how service providers risk losing customers unless they start leveraging cloud to compete with the likes of AWS and others, and how they can do so without pricing themselves out of the market. If you haven’t registered for MSP Expo yet, do that today.
Edited by Erik Linask