Data is changing the world and businesses need to adapt in order to obtain actionable insights.
This was the key message to come out of last week’s NetApp Insight conference in Las Vegas.
The conference, aptly themed ‘Change the world with data’, is a highly anticipated event in the channel calendar. This year’s event saw more than 4000 attendees come together to hear the latest insights and technical sessions on storage and data management.
Scheduled to start on Monday 2 October, the conference was delayed by a day after the venue, the Mandalay Bay, was subject to the shocking and widely reported event where a lone gunman killed 58 people.
This set a sombre tone for the start of the conference, which opened with NetApp CEO George Kurian asking attendees to participate in a moment of silence to remember the victims. With the conference going ahead, NetApp wanted to honour those who had lost their lives and support the attendees who had been affected by the traumatic experience by providing grief counselling throughout the course of the event.
With a strong support network of industry peers and leaders, George Kurian went on to speak about data’s ability to drive business transformation.
Key takeaways from Insight
Keen to support NetApp and learn about the latest technologies, a group of Arrow employees from Sydney flew to Vegas for the event, including Systems Engineer (Storage) Michael Long.
Michael, who has worked in IT storage solutions for more than a decade, said the conference stressed the importance for companies to be more agile in their approach to data management.
“There’s definitely a shift in the way companies are looking at data. In the past, organisations have simply stored it away in a database, mostly for legal reasons. But with the explosion of available data, companies are now realising its value. And with this realisation has come the need to better store and manage that data, which is an area I believe NetApp is really excelling,” he said.
For Michael, it was Adam Steltzner’s speech that resonated the most. Adam, who is the Chief Engineer for NASA’s Mars 2020 project, spoke about how his team gathered data during the Mars Rover endeavour and how they’re using it to guide the Mars 2020 project. You can watch the full speech here.
“Adam spoke about how NetApp has helped his team analyse data with more speed and accuracy in order to progress the Mars 2020 project. It was a very inspirational speech that gave context to just how valuable data is and how important it is that we make every effort to harness it for positive change,” Michael said.
Looking forward: new NetApp products revealed
As part of the conference, NetApp revealed a suite of new product launches.
Perhaps one of the most exciting announcements is NetApp’s work with Microsoft Azure. From 2018, an Azure-native enterprise version of NetApp’s Network File System (NFS) will be ready for public preview. The NFS service, which is based on NetApp’s signature Data ONTAP storage operating and management platform, will help customers store, manage and protect data being moved to the cloud.
Michael says the benefits for customers are wide and varied, but start with better productivity and use of resources.
“Customers will know their data is safe and, if there are any potential problems, the monitoring will pick up the errors before they become a serious problem,” he said.
“Customers will be able to view and manage their data better, allowing them to free up resources and ultimately increase productivity in the workforce.”
Another key product announcement was the ONTAP 9.3 software. This storage operating system offers a host of improvements from previous versions, including up to 40% increased performance and up to 30% increased capacity savings as well as new encryption, authentication and compliance capabilities. You can find out more about this product here.
Arrow speaks your language when it comes to data
Cloud data storage and security are key priorities of Arrow. We work with some of the industry’s leading vendors to provide cloud-enabled solutions and services that help you drive digital strategy and business transformation.
Contact us to find out more about how our cloud-enabled solutions can help you manage your data in and out of the cloud.