In this ITPro Today podcast, we're joined by Hitachi Vantara to discuss data management in a post-pandemic world.
The work-from-home era is officially underway. But how ready are you to support your users? Can you safely deliver data and resources to remote locations? And how do you keep an eye on it all? The cost of data breaches has never been higher and taking a reactive stance simply won't fly. In this podcast we cover:
Jeff Lundberg has been with Hitachi Vantara for over 10 years as part of the Hitachi Content Platform portfolio team and is a veteran of both VERITAS Software and HPE with 20 years of experience in archiving, cloud, data protection, information lifecycle management, end-user file services and object storage.
Bill Kleyman has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise technology. He also enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues about tech. Bill Kleyman is a respected contributor to every major data center publication with a track record of success, respect and a deep practical knowledge of emerging technologies.
Welcome, everybody. It is a pleasure to have you on this very special podcast, Redefining Data Security during Uncertain Times, brought to you by ITPro Today and sponsored by Hitachi Vantara.
I'm really excited to have everyone listening along because this this is going to be a special conversation as we sort of dive a little bit into security, definitely the data management. But listen, sit back, relax. And we're good looking at this from a completely different perspective. As we as we examine everything today. I am I'm really excited to be joined by Jeff Lundberg, Senior Product Marketing Manager, at Hitachi Vantara. And I am your seemingly very energetic host today, Bill Clayman, Editor ITPro Today and the Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions over at Switch. And listen, we've got a great conversation. Let me let me kind of take a second here. You guys can can drink your coffee, drink your tea. I'm sure many of you might be sitting in your pajamas, relaxing, listening to this. Good. Glad you're comfortable. But let's let's kind of set the stage and then set up the conversation. Don't if if you thought that we were generating a lot of data and traffic over the past few months, you'll realize that everything continues to grow as more people are working remotely and operating from the comfort of their home. And this vast distribution of people and resources is also ready, finding solid ground as a possible future of how all of us. Everyone listening is going to be working and staying productive. So we are firmly in this work from home era. And it is officially underway. But here's here's the question. Here's a challenge. Here's what I'm seeing across the industry. And we're talking to Jeff a little bit earlier. He seems as well. How how ready are you to support your users? I mean, really? Let's ask some real questions about this. How ready are you to actually support what they do every single day? There's no question we crossed the Zeta byte threshold back in 2012. Now we're firmly in the Zeta byte era as far as how much data is in the digital data sphere that's out there. So can you safely deliver data and resources to remote locations? You know that the cost of data breaches has never been higher. And taking a reactive approach to all of this, simply, it just won't fly. That's what makes this ITPro podcast so special. Again, we're joined by Hitachi, and Jeff, I'll bring you in in just a second. We're going to talk about the state of the data centre. I'm sorry, the state about security and how it's a little bit chaotic. We're going to talk about data centres as well. We're going to talk about data management and how it's being redefined and how it's definitely a little bit different than even maybe from a few months ago. We'll talk about securing the user and selling the business, then talk about removing complexity and fragmentation from your data and security practices. And then finally, some final thoughts. Data manager best practices. And I know Jeff is going to impart some really great insightful ideas and concepts that maybe you didn't think about in a world that's definitely changing and capital is data driven. So, Jeff, thank you for joining us today. I really appreciate having you here, as is great.
Thank you, Bill. Pleasure to be here.
So so let's just let's just dive right in. And the good news for everyone listening is that both Jeff and I are energetic people. So hopefully this is going to be..
Exactly. Buckle up in your in your chair or if you're in your pajamas or in your bed. Either way, buckle up. Let's listen. Let's just dive right into this thing. I, I've got a great question that I want to start off by asking you, Let's quickly recap. And this is going to be kind of amusing, to the best of our abilities these past four months, if we can even remember that far back, I'm sure people listening to this will be like, is it? What day is it today? So looking at the past four months, especially when we went into, let's say, lockdown, and as we operated in this, you know, like we talked about earlier, this this work from home era, how has in your opinion, the data security landscape changed? What are some of the new challenges? And most of all, Jeff, I'm curious to hear your perspective. What are some of the trends that you have noticed around users, maybe their data and most of all, how they're accessing resources?
OK. Well, that's a that is a big question. And to your point, you know, looking back at January, it sure doesn't feel like it was six months ago. It feels like years ago. But at the same time, it feels like yesterday. It's such a bizarre time. You know, I think in January, right? It was kind of business as usual, you had people going into the office. You had people traveling for work. I was traveling. Right. So, you know, it was it was basically business as usual and a lot of people, you know, went to the office every day. They did their job. They came home. And then rather suddenly we had this virus show up that a lot of areas sort of reacted to at different times, but most of it, when it came down to was shelter in place, stay at home, quarantine lockdown, whatever you want to call it. But the end result of that was you look at a lot of those orders. They came out Friday afternoon and workers, you know, they left their laptops at work because they're not going to work on the weekends. Right. So it is the most basic level we went from business as usual to I may not even have my corporate issued IT stuff to do my job. So that's problem one. The data that I had been working on last week is no longer available to me. And some organizations were more prepared for that than others. Do you have virtual desktop infrastructure? Maybe you just need to expand that, add some capacity, assign more VMware server instances to it, whatever the case may be. But in a lot of cases, it was simply. That's great. I still have a job, but I can't do it because all I have is a phone and my home computer, my kid's laptop or tablet or something like that. So suddenly, you have this immediate need to enable these remote workers to get at their data so that they can continue to be productive. Right. And so the ways that people were accessing that changed very rapidly. If you were lucky, your company had already rolled out some kind of, like, sync and share tool and you could just log into a Web browser, access that data and start working on, you know, the home or educational copy or whatever version of, you know, office or Google Docs you might be using. But even that poses a number of challenges around data security, especially when you get into things like regulated industries, say health care, financial services, government, et cetera. And that data can't always be made as accessible as you want it to be, especially in these, you know, cloud type services where the data is no longer in your data centre when you do these types of things. And, you know, if I put patient records on my smartphone and I leave my smartphone on the train, on my way home, that can be a real dicey situation for a lot of organizations. So there was this need to immediately react and get these people enabled. But the larger issues that can impact the organization weren't always considered. So, yes, we need these people to be productive. But let's not necessarily dive right in with, well, let's just swipe our credit cards and get data into people's hands. That's not always the right answer.
I mean, we've seen a transformation of the world. I feel like, you know, you, Jeff and I are used to working from home. You mentioned earlier that you've spent years doing it, and I'm used to it as well. Right. But there are a lot of people that are working from home, let's say, for like an extended period of time for the first time ever. And this is this is new territory for them. Right. And we know that because of them, we're seeing that all of this data is growing. But here's what people don't understand. It is kind of brings us to the next point here, that this data is not benign. It's valuable. Right. And the way people access it is now fundamentally different than when they used to. Like you said, from a corporate laptop, from a corporate location. I think I think the problem right now is definitely we're trying to catch up a little. But a lot of organizations, like you said, not everybody's got a good, good program to allow people to work from home. And the problem is that we don't always pop the hood and look at the engine that manages and runs the data. And I use this analogy. I mean, it is a very high level, just like a car. For example, a car engine.
Indeed. Engines that run data specifically as far as data is concerned, we have to look at the way to run managed and how information is ingested and most of all, how it's secured. And all of that can be unique and quite different. So I'm really curious to hear your perspective on this. In today's world, right, looking at some of these things that have been happening over these past four months as we, you and I and everybody who's listening enters into what's called a post pandemic world, What does data management look like? And really, most of all. Different from what it used to look like in December of last year. My God, it seems forever ago, what should people be looking for specifically when it comes to data management?
Well, you know, just to sort of play on the car analogy right? Couple of things. So, I going to brace myself here, I used to be like pop the hood and be like I know what every single thing under this hood is, I know what it does, I can replace it if I need to. Now you pop the hood and if you are lucky, there isn't just a big plastic cover that's screwed down with proprietary bolts that's says "Do Not Open this". That's it. Don't open this. If you do, you void your warranty. But even if you crack underneath that. Right, there's just so much complexity under there now. But to extend that, it might have warranty IT right, that data management engine, now, imagine popping the hood and there's 30, 40, 50 different engines under there. Right. I have content management systems. I have file servers. I have cloud services. I have, you know, Web sites. The data's all over the place and start to throw into that mix the fact that users have, arguably, more power than ever from an IT perspective. I can go to an Amazon, to an Apple, to a Google Play store. I can download apps that do pretty much anything. And, you know, as an IT person, you can't just say you can't install anything that I haven't approved because there's always going to be some bit of the organization that's doing something different. The partner organization needs to work with the channel partners or the third party vendors that you operate with every day. And they may have a piece of tech that isn't blessed and approved by your IT organization. And then you just think about, you know, all of our in-person meetings, we used to just sit in an office together and all talk and, you know, you'd write stuff on the whiteboard. Now, that's all being done in Web conferencing tools. You're recording these sessions. You're sending them out to people so that they can look at them and you're discussing very sensitive proprietary information. But on top of that, that meeting that generated a word document before is now generating that word document, plus a, you know, twenty five megabyte recording. And you have hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of employees creating these every single day. So what am I going to do when I have this information in 50, 60, 70 different systems and there's different copies of it and they're getting out of sync with one another. And I don't know which one is the good golden copy of a particular thing. So I think what you're going to see as a response to this, or at least what I would recommend, is trying to get as much of that data into a common system as possible. And that's why you know it when you take sort of the, I'm just going to throw out everything in the cloud approach. You haven't really addressed that issue. There are ways to consolidate and break down a lot of the silos that you would normally find in an enterprise IT organization right. We made that step with things like VMware another hypervisors, where we can consolidate all the compute resources, delete them up as necessary. But underneath that, we've still kind of created these environments where there's dedicated storage environments for different applications and workflows and user groups, et cetera. And cloud services were great. Right. They've shown us the power of things like, you know, containers and object storage as ways to deliver these storage and compute resources at scale in a virtualizing way so that we can secure it and we can manage it and we can do all this stuff at enormous scales. And that's not you know, there's not. Yes, there's some secret sauce in Microsoft Azure and Google and Amazon. But the basic underlying technologies that enable them to get to that kind of scale, to that level of reliability of the service, they're available to IT organizations. You can go and buy it. Of course you can buy it from Hitachi Vantara. I wouldn't be doing my job as a marketing manager if I didn't throw that out there. But, you know, those tools are available to the enterprise. And when you have those kinds of technologies on premises and then you marry those with the capabilities of the hybrid clouds, you can first capacity. You can, you know, spin up an instance of something that you need to take one of these meetings that you've recorded, you want to run it through a speech to text tool and index the content of that text so that you can find keywords like, you know, Jeff Lundberg is a dope, right. And then, you know, tweet that out or whatever. Right. But point being..
Don't. Do not tweet that out.
I'll take care of that. But yeah, I think, you know, there tends to be this kind of all or nothing feeling with a lot of organizations where we do everything all on premises or we do everything on the cloud and. You know, there is a good medium in there. I think the hardest part for a lot of companies just deciding what should be where and maintaining that over time, especially in the face of things like governance and regulations, you know, we've got GDP. Now there's FCC and FCC. You go down the list. There's there's regulations for pretty much every industry. And, you know, I want to be able to show how I manage all of that data, ensure that the data is protected and private, secure and encrypted and the automation that's required to do that. You can't do that in a human scale. There's no amount of bodies you can throw at something to try to govern where content lives. So you need that automation, that content awareness so that you have the context around all of these ones and zeros, cryptic file names and file types to let the system become an artificially intelligent system that can then say, we found the word contract or we found a string of characters that look like a credit card number in these 18 million records that we have. We're going to keep those on premises. We're going to put them into a compliant store. This stuff can never go out to the cloud. All this marketing videos and these old, you know, promotional materials, we can put those on Amazon. No problem. We'll save the money there.
You nailed it. On the word you just said and everybody listening, take a pause. Contextual security, right? Understanding of who, what, where, why, how and when of data and managing this information. And that's that's really critical to understand. Applying a blanket security strategy, that's just not going to work. If somebody walks in your office and says, I got the silver bullet, the security could come out. They don't have a silver bullet. There is no silver bullet. There's only context. This entire conversation, your entire talking point is critical for people to understand that insecurity right now, there is complexity in their stride and fragmentation. A lot of solutions that I see out there are either being complete, they're complex or most of all, you said it, Jeff, Noncompliant. Right. Multiple point solutions from many vendors, repeated point to point integrations, which result in you, the people listening have to do manual operations and when it comes to data and security, that's when you become a bit cheesy, right? A little a little too many holes in there because you're doing things manually and the whole compliance thing, you can't enforce a consistent set of policies. You're unable to measure compliance with those policies that you can't even enforce. So when you take a look at your environment and you take a look at your own business, you're going to have to ask some really hard questions. And this is where I think I think people maybe get the trigger because they become afraid or fearful. Responses become the way they go after things. Take a deep breath. It's not so bad. There's good people up there. Good. They're going to be able to help you out. And on the note of triggering Jeff, you actually did trigger me a little bit with a word of in-person meetings, because as you're sitting here talking, I'm like, when was the last time I had an in-person meeting? and it goes back to, I think sometime sometime in March. And it's funny, Jeff, because this kind of brings me up to this this next question here. I hate using this word. You know, our new normal, because let's be honest, nothing about this feels normal. So I want to say it a little bit differently. This anywhere society that we're experiencing. Let's just call this much of our new reality. And businesses now must support the users, their experience right. That's important as well. You can't create security to an extent where it's deprecating experience and most of all, give them a secure environment to work in. That said, I'm curious your perspective here. How do we adapt better data and security management solutions during a time when everyone is so vastly distributed? And I want you to think about this and I'll ask you as a follow up if we don't get to it. How do you transparently do this without hurting productivity?
Right. So, you know, there's there's a lot in this question. And as you can tell, I tend to talk a lot. So, again, if you're already buckled up, strap in a little tighter. So the solutions to these kinds of anywhere, data security and management issues maybe more of a.. if it isn't broken, don't fix it, Let's not take data from where it lives today. And transport it or copy and paste or move it somewhere else. Because once I do that, I've now disrupted the policies and practices and procedures that I've had in place for 10, 15, 20 years. They've already been audited. We're fine. But the moment I decide to say, you know what users you do what you have to do right now. This is too big of a problem. You know, use, use, I call out use whatever, stay productive. That injects a whole new layer of, well, now the data's everywhere and I may never get it back again. I don't even know what users put, what stuff, where. But if I go the other route of.. I'm going to immediately react and I'm going to turn on some service. You know, one drive or Dropbox or a box or what have you. That's more secure right. You know, something like a one drive that's already integrated with Microsoft Active Directory and all the other complexities that you've already figured out. But now I'm putting that data into the stewardship of someone else. And just like, you know, users don't, they're not going to put data in a cloud to be malicious. They want to keep their job. They want to be productive. They're not trying to hurt the company. But in the process of doing that, as users, we're not all IT people. We may do something bad without even knowing it. And if I go that same route and say, well, I'm going to put it in the cloud, that could pose some issues to, right. Again, they're not going to, like, go through your data and steal your secrets. But if you look at like their, their terms and conditions, their liability statements, things like that. You know, if your data gets lost or corrupted somehow. There's not a lot of bad feelings from the vendors part, right? They'll do what they can to help you. But by the same token, you know, they've got hundreds of thousands, millions of customers. There's a long queue to get support from those kinds of folks. And they don't know if if if you're CEO's data goes away, you're in a queue with 50 other people that had their CEO's data go away. If you're the IT guy and that stuffs it on premises, you can go and fix it yourself, right. And you're not waiting for anybody else. You're not having to, you know, say, I'm sorry, we're waiting. You just go and you get the recovery and you get it done. So the next step for the sort of the third option that I would kind of vouch for would be, look, the data's in file servers. It's in a Web server. It's in, you know, something out there. Let's leave it where it is. But let's put tools on top of that that can secure access, that can make the data available without being on the VPN or having a VDI and implementation that covers your tens or hundreds of thousands of employees when it used to only have to serve a couple of hundred right. That's a big investment. You got to get into the data center, which you may not be able to do, deploy more hardware, this, that and the other thing. But if we can put a layer of technology on top of what you already have as software to go in and say, OK, I know how SIS and SMB and NTFS environments work. I know how your active directory works and all this other stuff. Let's put this layer on top of it so that that remote access is now available without necessarily having to make that reactive decision of I don't have this tech today. I'm going to have somebody else fix this problem for me. And then three, four months down the road when hopefully everything opens back up. I'll come in and fix this. Right? We don't know if there's a second wave out there. There could be. We may not be able to get back into our offices for the through the end of the calendar year. Who knows? And so the whole time that you're not in there dealing with this stuff and doing, you know, daily action and reaction reports about what's going on, the bigger this problem is going to be and the more locked into whatever decision you made you're going to be. So how do we do this transparently? I think is more of an angle where I don't mess with the stuff that isn't broken. I add on top of that set of software tools that allow those users to get access to that data transparently. And that's also going to make them more productive because they don't have to learn a new system. They don't have to put all their data somewhere else. It's just, you know, it's still in my e-drive. I log in to my computer and I can see my e-drive and maybe there's a Web portal involved or some sort of lightweight client, etc.. But, you know, the less disruptive this is for the user, the more productive they're going to be going forward and the less likely it is going to be for the organization to suffer some kind of data loss or data stewardship issue in that whole transition.
I think I think that's that's a treatable comment right there. The less destructive it is for your users, the more productive they will be. Apply that to your security strategy, I think. I think, Jeff, that's great. You know, it's funny you're mentioning the very, very sad IT person who has to be on hold if they lose their CIO, their CEO's data. We call that in the industry and R.G.E - a resume generating event. I hope nobody experiences that. I really like your, your concepts around, you know, working with the cloud. And you know that they have the vast, vast amounts of clients, tenants effectively, that are being housed in there. I want to give everyone a piece of advice. When you work with cloud computing and you think about security, think of cloud as a hotel. Right. To let you in, to be safe inside of it. But it's up to you to lock your door, right? It's up to you to deadbolt it. Make sure that it is closed. That's the same concept to security, right, when you're inside your room that's yours. And that's your computer in there. That's your laptop. That's your you know, your your Bluetooth speaker, all of your all of the stuff that you carry around with you while you're traveling. You should lock the door, right. You can't expect the hotel to do it. You should take care of that. And a lot of times you forget we forget to do that. There was a really strong resource, research study done. And I apologize. I can't reveal the number specifically and I'm not going to call out the cloud vendor that that's not necessary. But..
This vendor is huge. One of the big three and it was a research study that was done and it found that it was a high enough percentage that their storage buckets were A] either entirely unencrypted or B] completely open and available to the web. And that's scary, right? You could legitimately pop it in a Web browser and find someone's data in its entirety right. Is it is it the cloud vendors fault necessarily? Or did the customer not have the right tools? Right.
It's an interesting concept, and I think I think it kind of brings us to another question that I've got for you and it revolves around Jeff, really does revolve around the complexity. Because when you when security gets complicated, that's when you start creating holes. And that's what's scary to me. I'm sure will be to a lot of people listening to this as well. So the solutions that work with data must also integrate with other technologies. But like I said earlier, that's where things get complicated, right? We messed up and we know that the last thing that any manager wants to create is further complexity and fragmentation or management issues. So I want to talk to you about integration. Right. A lot of people are going to be listening to this. I have cloud deployments. They have multi cloud, hybrid cloud ecosystems. I love the fact you're talking about. Listen, don't don't change out the boat. Make your sales better. Right. You don't need to completely rip out the architecture of your environment when you can legitimately improve the way that you design, deliver and work with data security. So talking about integration, can you touch on how to integrate data security, elements of data security and data management with things like cloud or, I don't know, user management or identity and access management and so on? I just.. I want to hear you talk about you've done a great job talking about complexity, fragmentation and how you approach that. I'm thinking about integration of other systems. And let me.
Right. So. I'm going to again put on my Hitachi marketing had here for a minute, because I think this is one of the areas where that that keeps me excited. Right, about Hitachi is that we take a very enterprise first approach to these kinds of solutions. When you look at, you know, the other vendors out there, a lot of this stuff kind of started as, hey, mom and Pop, you don't want to lose your baby photos. Let's back those up to the cloud, right? Wouldn't it be great if you had those photos on your laptop and on your smartphone and on your, you know, your P.C. and you don't have to fiddle with those CDRs and trying to write data on there? Right? But that's a very very different animal from an enterprise IT environment where I have active directory forests and trees and groups, and this groups are here in that groups there and, you know, just just from a compliance perspective, right ,these users, they're in country A, and country A's data can't leave country A. So don't take it to country B, but you travel all the time. So now your data is on, your laptop is going to country B, right. There's just so many layers of complexity and difficulty with all of this that ensuring that you're integrated with things like the identity and access management tools. If you're an active directory shop, Great! Let's keep doing it that way. Let's not invoke the the the potential for, you know, a user error where I'm trying to put 10000 users into this cloud based application. It doesn't allow me to integrate with Active Directory. Now, I've set some policy wrong on this user group and seeing the data they shouldn't or I'm not a seasoned cloud administrator. I didn't check the checkbox that like you were mentioning earlier. Right. I didn't check the encryption checkbox when I was setting up fifteen thousand buckets. Right. It's it's new. It's new to a lot of people. And, you know, the expertise will come with time. But let's. Let's make sure that during that transition period that we're. being good stewards of the data that we do have and the way we can do that. You know, I mentioned this earlier, right? If we understand the data that we have, that's one of the things that, you know, again, I'm going to date myself here.
I go back to the days of, like, hierarchical storage management in the mainframe world. Right. And it always sounded great when we talked to the storage guys about it. Wonderful. I'd love to do it. However, I don't know what's in this data. I know where to put it. If I do. But I don't know what's in it. And the users are like, well, I know what's in it, but I don't care where you put it, as long as I can get access to it. And that problem is only getting bigger because there's more data, there's more file types. There's more, more, more, more and more. So having the ability to know what's in those hundreds of terabytes, those petabytes of data that an organization has. That's that's a tricky proposition. And the more it's spread out, the harder it is to deal with. Right. I can't just do a control+f and say find me every document that Jeff Lundberg's ever created. Right. I'll see what's on my laptop. I might see what's on my network drive. But I've put stuff in SharePoint, I put stuff in content management systems, I put stuff in Web servers, in… you name it. Right. All over the place. But if I had a way to be able to find all of that and build a set of policies that will automatically understand where that data needs to go, how long it needs to be retained, who can access it. Now, I can start to make some really intelligent automated decisions about.. this data stays on premises. This data, we keep a copy on-prem and we keep a copy in our cloud service. This one, we just put it in the cloud. Right. And that is kind of one thing that I've always seen in the IT universe is a new technology comes along, everybody says it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, it's going to kill all these other technologies, right? That never happens. I think microcomputers were the last true IT thing to kind of go away. Like tape was supposed to be dead 20, 25 years ago. People still use it. It's works great. Why not use it? But. By by integrating that security, that management, that intelligence into one, you know, some people would call it a data lake, right? Sort of a big data term. But if you think about it, that Data Lake is also the place where.. yeah i might analyse this data, but in that analysis, can't I not just, you know, find interesting trends? Can't I understand the data that's in there? Can't I build a set of rules that will always dictate where this content goes and how it's managed and who can access it? And once I can do that, these issues of data growth and scale and access and performance, they kind of blend into the background. Right. I don't have to just throw petabytes of data at a Hadoop environment and store it all there and analyse it and then move it somewhere else because, you know, I have to have three copies in the Hadoop system to keep it all protected. I can dynamically move data so that it's in the right place at the right time, on the right tiers with the right access controls around it. And again, if I integrate things like a sync and share tool with that, if I travel to a place where, you know, I shouldn't be able to access this subset of data, there's G.P.S. in my smartphone, my laptop knows where it is from Wi-Fi it's connected to, I can put geo fences around that data and say, you know what? Yes, you created this file, but you're in a place where you're not allowed to access it. Sorry, you can't access it until you come back into somewhere where you can. Right. And, you know, yeah, there's always ways to smooth that VPN and that kind of thing. But again, most users aren't in it for malicious activity or. Hey, OK. I can't get at it. That's fine. I'll be fine until I get back. So, you know, as as I think about things like bringing that hybrid architecture to my environment, especially when I'm a big company that already has hundreds of terabytes, petabytes, the data just getting all that to the cloud is a challenge. But again, if I take a step back and don't just see, wow, penny per gigabyte to store my data, I'm just gonna put it all there. Maybe that's not the right answer or wow, that's a cool application, but it uses an S3 necessary protocol. And I don't all my data is in file servers that don't support an S3 protocol. Well, you know, again, there are ways to fix that. You bring objects storage in-house. Now you've got S3 on your floor. You've got something not unlike an Amazon storage service or as your Google cloud. And you can start to bridge those two, right? I've got object store on-prem, I have got object store in the cloud. I connect those two and I maybe have three or four or five different service providers behind it. But with things like our Hitachi Content Platform, that is almost yeah, it's an object store but it almost becomes like a cloud controller. Right. I can move the data wherever I want to put it. It can be on flash. It can be on tape. It can be on disk. It can be in the cloud. But I've got that inventory, that content catalogue where I know exactly what I have. I know how many copies I have and where it is, what's in it, how long I've had it. And if I need to get it, I can bring it back. I can move it around. I can do whatever I need to do with it. And that, I think, is the the the biggest difference that an IT organization can make when they start to look at the cloud is, you know, it's not.. it's not an either or or, on prem off prem, they can live together in harmony, hold hands, be happy. You just have to make sure that you've got the right tools in place to be able to manage what's where, at what time and for what purpose.
You know, you bring up such wonderful points Jeff. And if people are hearing me type in the backgrounds because I'm taking notes on everything that you're saying. You know, you mentioned some really important things, Jeff, right? There's the whole penny per gig. But my second question is, do you realize how much it might cost you to actually move that data or retrieve it? Right. Don't look at that upfront cost. Make sure you read that fine print. That's really, really critical. You know, you mentioned things like data lakes and maybe that's important for some of the people listening in. This literally an architecture allows you to ingest data. I wrote a a blog not too long ago. You know, I think it's titled Taking a Swim in a Data Lake. And we're taking a look at different types of information. And it's important, everyone listening, that you understand your data sources. Right. That is structured, unstructured data. And they're all quite different. Right. We're not going to talk about it right now. I know that Jeff and I could talk in another hour or two about that. But that's something that's a research that you should definitely do. And one more. Jeff, you are you are just like got like a stream of awesome comments. Another treatable statement from Jeff. We are stewards of good data and data protection. I love that. That's going to go up on Twitter here in just a little bit. So I want to come up to another piece of conversation. Right. We often talk about data and security and breaches and it's all frowny face and it's all scary. It's all really bad. But you know what? We're gonna want to pause on that. We're going to pause on that. And everyone listening is going to get a little jolted because you're ready to talk about something positive. And you know what? All of this working from home. It's not so bad. I'm enjoying spending that some time with with my kid. I don't have to live on an an airplane anymore. I don't remember where my luggage is. It's pretty great, right? It's a completely random thing for some. I understand not everybody. So I'm going to go out there and say it. And hopefully some people listening to this are nodding. There's got to be some positives out of this. Jeff, in your perspective and in you watching this, can you touch and say how some of these companies can continue to give tools to people to work remotely. And also, what are some of these benefits that you're seeing when companies do get data management and security, right? Talk about some positives.
Right. So, you know, I think you hit on one of the big ones there, which is just simply employee satisfaction. Right. If I'm happy in my job, I'm going to be more productive. I'm going to be inclined to stay with that employer. Right. If I were asked today to get on an airplane and go fly somewhere, I wouldn't be real happy about that. Right. You know, I got kids at home. It'd be different if I was young and single and healthy. I'd be like, sure, why not? Who cares, I'm indestructible. Doesn't matter. But, you know, I'm in my 40s now and I've got kids. I've got to worry about somebody other than myself. So just giving your employees the option, even if it's not mandatory would stay at home. Right. Come in. Tuesday through Thursday instead of Monday through Friday, right? And it's funny. It seems to me that a lot of these people who manage staff always had that sense of, you know, if I let people work from home, how do I know that they're going to be productive? How do I know they're going to get their jobs done? And it took this kind of.. it took a global pandemic to force all of those people to work from home and be like, you know what, this isn't so bad, just like you were saying. Right. We can be productive. We can get things done. In fact, a lot of people are more productive now than they were when they were in the office. You don't have the watercooler talk. You don't have, you know, trying to get to, you know, the snack room and get your food and then you run into somebody you can talk to for a while. And all those distractions that can happen in the office that, yeah, kids are a pretty big distraction, too. But, you know, they're a little more containable. You can always just lock the door for 10 minutes and do a webcast and not have, you know, people, people knocking on the door. Dad, I'm hungry. So that's one positive and then you look at, you know, I remember probably a month ago there were a number of things on like Reddit and the news sites, etc., and look at the satellite imagery of, you know, this area. And look how the pollution has gone away or look at the canals of Venice just because of this pandemic. And, yeah, we're not going to return to, you know, a totally green earth anytime soon. But do you know people that have to get in their car every day and slog through an hour and a half, two hour commute to get to the office? And by the time you get there, you're grumpy and you're hungry and you're angry, and then you've got to put in your eight hours and then turn around and go home and do that all again and when you get home and the kids have already had dinner and they're doing their homework and you just want to go to bed. Not a very fulfilling existence for everybody. Some people, you know, thrive on that. I personally am not so keen on two hour commutes through the Bay Area traffic, which is why I was through there a while ago. So, you know, there's positive impacts for the employees. There's positive impacts for the environment and all the infrastructure that has to support that kind of commuting. But there's positives for the business, too. You know? Once you realize that your employees are productive without having to be physically in an office, how many of those satellite offices do you really need? Right. If I could close 10 percent of the places that I have and pay for and lease and maintain and put snacks in the snack room and buy coffee, for some organizations, you know, can save millions of dollars just by having these employees work from home instead of coming into an office all the time. So, you know, I think it's a win for all aspects of society when the people who can work from home. Right. Not everyone can. You can't do retail work from home. You can't build something in a large manufacturing setting from home. But for folks like you and I and a call center people in and back office, you know, H.R. and finance and all that kind of stuff will adapt to this. Right. Will you have more online meetings. Will do things this way. But now I don't have to have a corporate headquarters that can hold 5000 people. I can devote more of that space to, you know, meeting rooms, customer briefing centers, less to, you know, a bunch of cubicles where a lot of people don't feel real comfortable to begin with. You've got four and a half, three and a half gray walls surrounding you all day. It's not always the best thing in the world. So there's a lot of benefits for everybody in all of this. Once we can kind of adapt to this and like you said, we don't want to call it the new normal, but as we adapt to the changes in our world, it's not all bad news. It's not all doom and gloom. There are some upsides to this if we can embrace the right aspects of it going forward.
I love that it's not all doom and gloom, and I appreciate that positivity. Jeff, you and I are just about to running out of time here. I going to ask you one last question. And let's make this make this a rapid fire. Right. One of the positives I'm certainly seeing is that I can have my dogs in the background and people are showing me their children. And it's like this is this is the best meeting ever. I just saw your pug.
Let's do this last point as a rapid fire, your three top things that people should be thinking about as they design for the future that will help them stay grounded and also help them manage all of this data. Your three points people should stick with.
Yeah. So let's start with this is not.. while this is a somewhat unprecedented thing, it's really not unprecedented and it's probably going to happen again at some point. So be prepared. Right. This this doesn't just have to be.. treat this like a learning experience. Right. We've all done, you know, disaster recovery plans. But that that's thinking like, you know, I can't get to office A because of a flood or data centre C caught fire. I still have data centre A. This is everything closed. Right. Think of this as the ultimate test of the resiliency of your IT environment. Learn from it. Look at things as they happen day to day. Don't wait until this is all over and try to do an after action report that goes back six months. Forget all the nitty gritty. Secondly. Don't just react. Yes, you need to react, right? There's things you have to do. But don't just react blindly. Take a step back, breathe for a second and think about what you're doing in the moment to address a particular issue. Don't just, again, swipe a credit card and say just dump it all here. You know, I can't get to my data centre. So put it all in the cloud. We'll figure this out when it's all over. We don't know when it's going to be all over. I might find that at some point now I've put so much data in the cloud, I can't bring it all back even if I wanted to. Right. What do I do now? I've got 10 petabytes out there. I've only got seven petabytes of capacity on premises. I've got a problem. And then in all of this. Don't lose sight of things like compliance and governance and security and access controls. You've invested way too much in those policies and practices and procedures to just throw up your hands and walk away from it. Right. It's if it works. Don't break it. Find a way to augment that. And again, before I wrap up, I put my Hitachi cap back on, Hitachi can help you with that, right. We're not just an I.T… Hitachi Vantara is an IT part of Hitachi, but Hitachi Ltd. is, you know, hundreds of different industries. Right. And we know things like heavy equipment and medical environments and financial services and banking and AT&T and point of sale machines. Right. We have a lot of expertise that maybe IT teams wouldn't be familiar with, but we understand the industry that that IT team operates in. So we can be better advisers and partners in terms of how you can do things like manage all of your bank branches when you can only have one teller in there a day and they're only operating at the drive through window. Right. So again. This will probably happen again. So take a step back and think it through. Look at what's going on every day. And when you can start to bring in all of these lessons learned so that you can continue to do business somewhat the way you have. Not necessarily business as usual, but. Business as usual as possible. Right. Let's not break everything. We got things pretty well working today. Let's just make a few tweaks here and there going forward so that we're ready should something like this happen again.
Jeff, I love this. And I think you and I could talk about it for another hour. But unfortunately, we are out of time. And I want to say thank you. Thank you Hitachi Vantara and Jeff, thank you so much for all this information. Just for everybody listening, one final point – Jeff and I are very social as you can tell. We love to interact with audience. Find us online. Find us on social media. Let's keep this conversation going alright. Let's keep this conversation going around how to keep you safer, how to keep your data safer. On behalf of Jeff, I am Bill Clayman. Thank you so much for joining us. Jeff, thank you for joining us as well and just giving us all this insightful information. We hope you enjoyed this podcast today brought to you by ITPro. Thank you so much for listening everybody and enjoy the rest of your day.
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