Big data means a lot of things to a lot of people, spanning industries from retail to banking, healthcare to storage. We look at big data’s implications as an emerging sector all its own, and in today’s Snapshot Profile we hear from Infineta on big data’s impact on the enterprise. Haseeb Budhani, VP of Products at Infineta, shares his vision for big data in the enterprise, noting two primary trends he’s following in particular. Budhani also discusses networking in today’s era, how Infineta leverages cloud technology, and even shares his favorite Kramer quote.
How does networking fit in the era of the zettabyte?
Enterprises are clearly producing more and more data worth saving, and, by utilizing Big Data paradigms, are continuing to find more value in data previously considered throwaway. A reliable, flexible and high-performance network is critical for keeping track of all this data, enabling access to it, and securing it in remote locations for future use. It is only a matter of time before we make our way into the era of the yottabyte, so the network’s criticality is only going to grow.
What trends are you currently watching?
My day job is as the product head for Infineta so I have to look at new technologies with Infineta-colored glasses. If an emerging trend or technology may lead to our customers changing their behavior or redesigning their infrastructure in any way, we need to understand it 6-8 quarters in advance.
With that in mind, I am closely tracking two trends: 1) How Big Data adoption will impact intra- and inter-data center design for enterprises, and 2) If/how virtualized networking will be adopted by enterprises, and to what extent. Big Data is already beginning to force some enterprises to investigate ways to ensure seamless mobility of their Big Data datasets between data centers. It’s not clear to me how virtualized networking will impact our business in the short term, but we are tracking advancements on that front very closely.
What’s your approach to the cloud?
The cloud is an integral part of every customer’s long-term IT strategy. We see more of our customers building our private clouds today, and our solution fits in quite nicely into the private cloud story because it enables a high-speed, reliable network fabric between data centers. We currently also have a cloud provider using our solution for this very same reason.
We are also looking very closely at how Infineta can play in the public and hybrid cloud arena. I can share more details in some quarters, but what I can say right now is that our cloud story isn’t simply a VM version of our appliance.
Optimizing anything requires certain expectations of what’s to come. What does “balancing the future” mean to you?
When you are evaluating optimization solutions, you end up getting inundated with crazy metrics from vendors: 100x reduction. 5,000% reduction in power consumption. And so on. It is just so much easier to start throwing around big numbers to get a next meeting, or get the evaluation going.
However, setting unrealistic expectations or promising miracles tends to lead sales guys into trouble. My sales counterpart and I spend a lot of time making sure this doesn’t happen at Infineta. We “balance the future” by making sure that our sales teams spend enough time up front to understand exactly what the customer’s buying criteria and business drivers are. If we know, for example, that the customer really wants to cut their RPO by half, or wants to move double the number of snapshots to a remote data center per day, we make those our success metrics instead of singularly focus on metrics such as compression ratios. Compression ratios are important, but if a solution compresses your data by 80% but slows down your application, you should really look at an alternative solution that may give you 80% compression while making your workflows run significantly faster.