Last week I had the chance to attend the first A3 communications IT Question Time, in that occasion I also got the opportunity to have a little chat with John W Thompson (CEO of Virtual Instruments). It was like killing two birds with one stone.

About the roundtable

The good thing about this event was that Federica Monsone (the organizer) packed a room with Pundits (Analysts, journalists, bloggers and the likes), a SNIA representative and a few IT companies (Pure Storage, Virtual Instruments, CA, NCE) for a two hour meeting chaired by Martin Glassborow (aka @storagebod).
We went though the hottest topics of our industry (flash, data growth, software-defined, big data…) and the debate that came up was amazingly good! I really like when different point of views arise and there is the opportunity to compare them.
It’s good for the industry and I hope that this roundtable will be repeated soon.


About Virtual Instruments

Just before the roundtable I spent a few minutes with Virtual Instruments’ CEO, John W Thompson. His company is a startup that has a complete set of products to monitor, analyze and report the status of your storage infrastructure (FC SANs at the moment and IP/NFS in the near future).
VI helps to maintain very big infrastructures healthier by looking into every type of problem ranging from physical errors and performance issues of any kind to the exploitation of underutilized parts of the SAN.
It helps to maintain SLAs and having a complete control on all your storage infrastructure. The product is pretty unique in the market at the moment and it targets the very high end customers (to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, all VI customers are in the Global2000 chart).
Even if the market is limited in the number of potential customers it’s huge in terms of addressable business opportunities. Another interesting thing about this company is that they leverage their solutions through primary vendors and, above all, through skilled local partners.
Services are an important component of VI revenues too and they are also planning to expand their offer with a complete set of managed services.
IT complexity of huge infrastructure could scare anyone and, at the end of the day, it brings inefficiencies and hidden costs. Companies like VI can help to address these issues.

Bottom line

During the roundtable we talked a lot about various aspects of the data (and infrastructure) growth and the complexity that are introduced by them. End users of all types are suffering this situation but looks like there aren’t tools smart enough to help them to have a better control of their data and information stored in it.
VI is a good example of a way to take control of the hardware stack but we are very far from having complete control of our data. I’m still elaborating some ideas but i’ll be investigating to find out more… I’ll be back as soon as I find something interesting.