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Bonjour! A French-inspired lesson on the convergence journey

A French theme for this week, as I recently took on an intense schedule of customer meetings in Paris. In nearly 15 years of international roles, I have never experienced such a stark shift in the approach of the IT buyer – more evidence that the evolution of storage is gathering pace.


A recent article that passed my inbox observes: As certain as death and taxes, the growing amount of data continues to rise. According to one recent multi-university study of 26 corporations and large non-profits, the volume of data is expanding by 30% to 50% every year, in effect, doubling the data stored rate every two years. Yet the budgets to support the growing amount of data continue to decline.”  This trend is clearly making an impact in the French market and presents an interesting challenge!


Evolution in the French market

During my visit I discussed storage and related IT topics with five of the largest storage users in France.  


Firstly, I asked them about their primary initiative. The answer was unanimously “cost transformation” (no surprises there based on the findings of the article!).


Secondly I questioned how the role of IT is evolving in their organisation. For most, this meant a shift from being a multivendor integration team to focus on service delivery to their internal/external customers.


The third topic was Cloud, and how this model can be integrated into the IT stack. The response was an acknowledgement of the necessity of a pre-integrated, Converged Infrastructure.


The answer to this third question is very meaningful. IT organisations have dramatically shifted their thinking from the traditional model of selecting “best of breed” and using their own resources to integrate separately engineered network, server, storage components. Now, the vast majority are seriously considering a single vendor to engineer the complete solution and let them get on with the business of delivering new applications and services.


Continued data explosion accelerates the convergence journey

Taking a holistic view, the need for cost transformation seems to dovetail nicely with the drive towards data centre technology convergence. In fact, it seems that transforming the storage cost model is the catalyst for Converged Infrastructure. By migrating data away from expensive, inflexible traditional storage arrays onto Cloud optimised platforms, such as HP 3PAR StoreServ, they take one step closer to convergence. HP open, standards-based Converged Infrastructure (combined server, storage and networking) brings a wealth of advantages to these organisations.


Back to the article I highlighted: It is no accident that HP midrange storage is seen as the clear leader in providing a more cost-effective platform for many organisations.


Main players in the converged infrastructure game

Returning to my conversations with our French customers, I also wanted to hear their views on which vendors can truly provide the integrated IT stack that they aspire to run. The discussion was interesting. Has Cisco got an integrated storage offering?  Does EMC have network and server competency?  Will Oracle’s stack allow multi-vendor interoperability?  Does NetApp’s technology roadmap point to a converged future?


The undisputed conclusion—and the answer to all of these questions—is no. Only HP has invested in the acquisitions and deep engineering required to enable this approach for our customers.  The future of truly converged infrastructure is here, and you don’t have to look far to find it!


You can find me on Twitter @ChrisJohnsonHP if you wish to comment...


Pierre Hoffer | ‎10-30-2013 08:51 PM

Thank you Chris for coming to meet our top French customers and for this refreshing note.

We now have clearly a new opportunity to uniquely position Converged Infrastructure and make it matter.

The market has evolved and HP is leading.




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