Anil Valluri is the President of India & SAARC Operations for NetApp, joining the company in February 2012. He is responsible for the overall business and operations of NetApp in India and the SAARC region. His directive includes growing market share and driving healthy ecosystem growth among both partners and customers in the region.
Anil comes to NetApp with an experience of over 25 years in Sales, Marketing and Technology Leadership roles. In this span, he has been a part of some of the largest enterprises in India, specifically in their Enterprise IT build outs and in diversified industries such as Banking, Telecommunications, Government, Retail and Manufacturing segments. Prior to NetApp, Anil was with Artiman Ventures, a Bay-area based Venture Capital firm that specialized in white-space investments as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, before which he was with Sun Microsystems where his last role was as Vice-President & Managing Director of Sun Microsystems, India. He has also donned several roles in Services Business, Systems Engineering, Product Business and Sales across Sun Microsystems, DEC India and DCM Data Products.
Anil is an alumnus of Stanford University and believes in amalgamating the learnings of Leadership and Entrepreneurship together in what he does. He is a regular speaker on leadership and technology, and has been on the advisory councils for customers, CTO/CIO forums and has been on many Jury Panels for well-known publications.
|ET: What defines the IT storage industry in India and where does this industry rank among global peers?
Storage in India, as elsewhere, breaks down into consumer and enterprise storage. Consumer storage is fragmented, distributed as it is across a variety of devices that individuals use. There is some consolidation in consumer storage with online storage options being increasingly offered, for free or for a minimal fee, as primary or backup mechanisms to store individual data.
Enterprise Storage is more well-defined, and is experiencing several trends in-line with global developments. The inefficiencies built into storage architectures over time have led to an increasing preference for unified storage: the ability to support both SAN and NAS protocols on the same physical infrastructure. Unpredictable fluctuations in demand for capacity and performance have resulted in storage virtualization initiatives. Enterprise strategies to start small and scale rapidly in accordance with business growth have meant a preference for scale out storage architecture rather than capital intensive, inflexible monolithic platforms. The desire to introduce policy based automation and self-service capabilities in storage environments are prompting interest in Software Defined Storage. Finally the need to support a Mobile workforce and ecosystem is resulting in mandating that data stored in the Enterprise is made available securely through a variety of devices. On the physical storage medium front, hard disk drives are being complemented by the judicious use of Solid State Drives and Flash technologies.
Indian Enterprises, Government Agencies and Service Providers are comparable to their global peers in recognizing the strategic importance of a simple, efficient and flexible data platform to their business, and in evaluating the difference that storage technology trends can make to their competitive advantage in the marketplace and in bringing down the costs of doing business.
ET: What is the difference between IT storage infrastructure present in other economies such as the US, Europe and Asia with that present in India?
AV: Indian storage infrastructure is more or less similar to that found elsewhere. The single biggest difference could be that of scale: Indian enterprises in general cater to a geographic spread and an ecosystem of employees, customers, partners and stakeholders that are larger in magnitude. Hence, on the average, capacity and performance demands scale up more and faster than in other geographies. Another difference is the ready availability of skills around implementing and managing complex data platforms. Technology providers, storage integrators and enterprises in India may find it relatively easier to attract and retain appropriately skilled talent. An area of focus for Indian enterprises has been in creating and maintaining processes around data lifecycle management. Provisioning, Operating, Enhancing and Retiring components in the enterprise data platform demand policies aligned closely with business objectives and well defined workflows.
ET: After Cloud, Big Data is the next big thing. What is this all about and why is storage of the same
very important in the business times that we live in?
AV: This year, the amount of data will grow to 2.16 Zettabytes, according to IDC, increasing to 3.77 Zettabytes by 2016. Data created and consumed by enterprises is a deluge threatening to overwhelm all architectural constructs. Simultaneously, there is the realization that data in itself possesses little or no value. An architecture to cope with the data deluge and to transform data into information is therefore now a vital part of Enterprise IT Strategy.
An important source of this deluge is machine and user generated data. Financial analyses to detect fraud, contain risk and make trading decisions, Telecom systems analyzing subscriber patterns to reduce customer churn, Retail and Web analytics to determine consumer behaviour are just some examples. Gleaning insights and determining patterns is crucial to business and is essential in establishing competitive product and service differentiators, and reducing cost and risk.
Arriving at the right conclusions depends on large datasets. Fortunately, as prolific as we are at creating data, we seem to be equally remarkable at creating solutions to manage data and transform it.
ET: How are IT storage managers across various sectors coping up with the organisational challenges posed by data explosion and the rapid introduction of new storage technologies?
AV: Data has become a competitive asset as CIOs and IT Managers are realizing that virtually every business today is data-centric. An agile, efficient, scalable, always-on data platform is as necessary for an enterprise as electricity and water are to a household. Enterprises are actively reshaping their storage architecture: unifying storage islands, virtualizing the architecture, and automating workflows and processes. They are adopting next generation file systems and data stores such as Hadoop Distributed File System and No SQL databases for appropriate application areas. They are evaluating bleeding-edge technologies to conduct analytics, manage content like images, audio and video, and exploit social networks to engage with their ecosystem. They are incorporating public cloud storage for non-mission critical data. They are also rolling out private cloud or software defined architectures to manage mission critical data internally.
ET: What are NetApps' key value propositions and how do you differentiate your firm from other competitors in the industry?
AV: NetApp has thrived for twenty years on anticipating changes in business needs and delivering differentiated storage platforms to respond optimally to these changes. While Performance, Scale and Efficiency are hallmarks of our products over the years, we also have an unrivalled record of breaking new ground in the storage industry. For example, we invented space-saving, no performance impact Snapshots in 1993 and unveiled the world’s first truly unified SAN and NAS appliance in 2002.
Our storage and data services portfolio is a recognition of business realities that Enterprises, Service Providers and Governments experience: our customers cannot afford disruption (planned or unplanned) and need data platforms to be efficient and secure from the get-go, tightly integrated with applications and scale out quickly. We meet these needs through our flagship Clustered Data ONTAP storage. Where applications need dedicated storage, our E Series storage offers the most compelling price performance characteristics in the densest form factor possible. All of our storage is flash accelerated and cloud integrated. Through virtualization and rich data services features, our storage is the industry leader in creating software defined storage and deep integration with infrastructure environments like Server and Desktop Virtualization, Database technology like Oracle DB, Messaging and Collaboration applications like Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint, Enterprise applications like SAP, etc.
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