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vNet SAS Focus Group for NextIO

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Market Validation Study

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vNet SAS Focus Group for NextIO

  1. 1. vNet SAS Focus Group for NextIO Cheryl Parker IT Brand Pulse cheryl.parker@itbrandpulse.com www.itbrandpulse.com
  2. 2. Project Overview 2 NextIO is developing a shared SAS add-on capability for our vNET I/O virtualization product (herein called “vNET SAS”). vNET SAS will use a pair of MR-IOV SAS RAID controllers from LSI (currently under development) in either one or two chassis; the RAID controllers would share a single set of drives (e.g., they would be multi-homed to form an HA pair). This would allow hosts connected to a vNET to share a set of drives (see attached diagram). We expect that vNET SAS will have a significantly different value proposition and market than our existing vNET product, which is focused on virtualizing Ethernet and Fibre Channel resources. Purpose: The goal of this market validation study is to: Identify pain point(s) that this product would solve; Allows for diskless (e.g. stateless) servers without having to utilize more expensive SAN or NAS devices; Provides low-cost rack-level storage for clustered applications; Provides local storage for VMotion between servers in a rack. Identify markets (or other demographics) where these pain points would be relevant; MSP market Internet Service Providers Finance Government Identify key features within each of those markets/demographic segments for the product. NextIO believes that the MegaRAID software provides all of the features we need except for multi- homing (which LSI is going to provide to us).
  3. 3. Pre-Focus Group Survey 3 Summary Analysis of Survey Recommendations for Focus Group Deployment of rack domains (and solutions for rack domains) is more prevalent in large enterprises. Get consensus that members of the groups are building “rack domains,” and why. This defines our playing field. Large enterprises are the path of least resistance since 2/3 said the ROI was worth migrating, while only 1/3 of SMBs agreed. Get consensus that everyone agrees with advantages of vNet SAS based on a detailed cost comparison of OpEx and CapEx vs. Fibre Channel and vs. iSCSI SANs. The roadmap to success is convincing Large and Small Enterprises that the savings are real. Over half of both groups agree they would consider Shared IO technology if they could achieve 40-60% savings. There is a high degree of awareness among large/HPC enterprises regarding all storage technologies, including Shared IO, with almost 2/3 saying the technology has been presented to them. Get consensus on why group members have not deployed shared IO, ROI not sufficient, or technology deficient. Our theory is they have not deployed shared IO because their trusted vendors have invested time investigating only SANs. Responses from SMBs indicate a preference to expand the coverage of their SANs today and in the future.
  4. 4. Goal - Strong Endorsements for: • Pervasiveness of environments which vNet SAS is well-suited for (environments where TOR switches and storage are deployed) • Advantages of vNet SAS (based on a detailed cost comparison of OpEx and CapEx vs. Fibre Channel and vs. iSCSI SANs) • The reason they are not deploying Shared IO (because they are focused on SAN – not because of technical or ROI issues) 4
  5. 5. NextIO Focus Group Framework • Size and Duration – 6 to 8 people in a session lasting about 3 hours • Preparation – Agenda with a list of the top-level issues – Introduction script explaining the purpose of the day and how the day will be run • Customer Benefits – An early look at, and influence over, product strategy and direction – An opportunity to interact with peers – Access to special promotional programs • Objectives & Outcomes – Establishing objectives upfront gives your event a clear focus, helps keep your discussions on track, and ensures that you achieve your desired outcomes. – For example, you might want to test the soundness of a new services strategy and end up with strong endorsements from at least 80% of participants. • Reporting – A report containing minutes for each session and relevant profile information about the people who attended the session – Communicate back to participants the actions taken
  6. 6. OC Focus Group 6 Name Title Company Mike Pruett Manager, IT ISTA Pharmaceuticals Jeff Rapini Enterprise Manager St Joseph Medical Center Justin Lutsky IT Manager Chapman University Dan Leonard IT Manager Chapman University Dan Heller NAS/SAN IT Consultant Mission Viejo Animal Shelter Jerry Humble IT Director Penhall Company
  7. 7. San Diego Focus Group 7 Name Title Company Paul Vasquez District Network Specialist San Diego Community College District Kyle E. Murley Systems Integrator San Diego State University Randy Krzyston Director IT Operations Thomas Jefferson School of Law James Cooper CIO Thomas Jefferson School of Law Ron Nash OS Analyst San Diego State University Dan Woodard IT Manager IQ Analog Matt Diener IT Manager ParAccel
  8. 8. Focus Group Findings www.itbrandpulse.com
  9. 9. Key Findings • Unlike the aided awareness survey where a significant percentage of respondents recognized shared IO vendors, none of the respondents knew about the technology or recognized any of the vendors. • Everyone recognized the benefits of consolidating expensive network adapters and Shared IO. • Pod / TOR topology for networking (shared IO) is a seamless addition to existing data center fabric. • Proposed breakeven at 5-6 servers for a Shared IO solution is attractive. • Pod / TOR topology for storage is disruptive to existing data center SAN and NAS layouts. • Pod / TOR for networking and storage is inherently a good fit for a cluster topology. • Good fit for ParAccel database application where 2-3 clusters on a SAN causes SAN performance to drop. • Proposed price of under $100K for storage solution is considered out of the league of SMB participants. • It was not intuitive to participants that vNet SAS is practical as a general purpose add-on storage solution in their existing data centers. However, the capabilities of LSI adapters created interest in vNet SAS as a cost-effective, “application–specific,” DR solution or cluster solution. • Greenfield situations, where all new infrastructure is needed, allow for new and different approaches for general purpose storage. • San Diego State University admin wants VAAI and VASA support like he has for his Dell iSCSI storage so he can manage heterogeneous storage and IO from a single pane of glass. • San Diego State University admin wants VAAI and VASA support included. He does not like having to ask for the software to implement the feature. • In a greenfield situation, it would be easier to make a buying decision for shared IO or vNet SAS, if channel partners delivered “black-box” solutions combining servers, storage, IO, cables, etc. • Participants expressed the importance of references in their buying decision. 9
  10. 10. Unlike the aided-awareness survey where a significant percentage of respondents recognized shared IO vendors, none of the respondents knew about the technology or recognized any of the vendors 10
  11. 11. Pod / TOR topology for storage is disruptive to existing data center SAN and NAS layouts 11
  12. 12. It was not intuitive to participants that vNet SAS is practical as a general purpose add-on storage solution in their existing data centers. However, the capabilities of LSI adapters created interest in vNet SAS as a cost-effective, “application–specific,” DR solution 12
  13. 13. In a greenfield situation, it would be easier to make a buying decision for shared IO or vNet SAS, if channel partners delivered “black-box” solutions combining servers, storage, IO, cables, etc. 13
  14. 14. In a greenfield situation, it would be easier to make a buying decision for shared IO or vNet SAS, if channel partners delivered “black-box” solutions combining servers, storage, IO, cables, etc. 14
  15. 15. In a greenfield situation, it would be easier to make a buying decision for shared IO or vNet SAS, if channel partners delivered “black-box” solutions combining servers, storage, IO, cables, etc. 15
  16. 16. Good fit for ParAccel database application where 2-3 clusters on a SAN cause SAN performance to drop 16
  17. 17. Proposed price of under $100K for storage solution is considered out of the league of SMB participants 17
  18. 18. San Diego State University admin wants VAAI and VASA support like he has for his Dell iSCSI storage – so he can manage heterogeneous storage and IO from a single pane of glass He wants VAAI and VASA support included – he does not like having to ask for the software to implement the feature. 18
  19. 19. References are important in their buying decision 19

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