Oracle was picked as the winner of Best Business Storage Product at the V3 Technology Awards 2012 for its StorageTek SL150 Modular Tape Library. After their win, we talked to Sean Walsh, sales manager for Oracle tape storage, to discuss the current storage challenges for firms, and what Oracle has planned in this area for the year ahead.
V3: Congratulations on your win, how does it feel to be chosen by the V3 readers for Best Business Storage Product, for the Oracle StorageTek SL150 Modular Tape Library?
Sean Walsh: I’m absolutely delighted. It’s always great to win an award, but especially so when you’ve been chosen by your industry peers and the readers of V3.
What’s been the highlight of 2012 for your division and Oracle in general?
The main thing has been the completion of our storage offerings based on Oracle’s own intellectual property.
So for example in the tape business, the Oracle StorageTek products have always been recognised as the leaders at the high-end. And now with the SL150 we are positioned to grow the business in the entry and middle tiers, which is a growing market. I believe with the SL150 we are the only manufacturer to bring out a brand new library platform in 2013.
But the highlights were not just in tape storage. We now offer a complete solution for SAN and NAS with the Pillar and ZFS Storage Appliance, which because they are 100 percent Oracle IP, enables us to closely integrate with our application and database solutions. This translates to greater value for the customer in several areas.
And what’s coming up in 2013 for Oracle storage?
Well, you know that we storage guys are like the Olivers of the IT world – we’re always asking for more. And why is this, because it’s not just that the amount of data out there is growing is it? Well, there are a number of reasons.
Firstly we don’t make best use of what we’ve already got and paid for - storage utilisation is rarely greater than 50 percent. Secondly, we keep too much - or in some instances all data – on the most expensive tiers of storage, regardless of whether it’s a day old, or a year old. And we don’t take advantage of the latest integration between storage and the compute platforms, which can allow you to reduce the amount of data you need to store in the first place.
So in 2013 we will be further building on the extra value we have from integration across the storage and software stack. Both our ZFS NAS and Pillar Axiom SAN storage, for example, now support the Hybrid Columnar Compression capability introduced in Oracle 11g. This is unique to Oracle storage, and can reduce the amount of data you need to store in the first place by up to 50 times. This all adds up to a huge reduction in storage costs, and maybe we will be asking for more, a little less often.
What has been the most significant change for tech professionals and corporate IT over the past year?
I think undoubtedly the biggest development is the deployment of mobile applications.
Cloud services will help, however the growth of mobile will in fact put even greater demands upon corporate datacentres, including storage.
But more particularly, the speed of development and deployment of these apps will mean that the datacentre will need to be even more agile – be able scale quickly and cost-effectively to meet the demand. So this is going to be a big focus for us at Oracle, in storage and across the board.
Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN.