ITnews, Written by Meir Eshet, June 13, 2019
Chat with Oded Shahar, CEO of DataBank, after round table on storage
ME: Oded, what is DataBank’s field of expertise?
OS: We deal in two primary areas. Along with prevention of cyber-attacks, which we have introduced this year through a special cyber Operations Center (SIEM-SOC) and provision of service as a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), since our foundation we have also been active in the fields of data protection in storage. We provide backup services physically through tapes as well as cloud-based virtual backup.
ME: What do you think companies look for in the field of storage? Do they know what they need?
OS: That very much depends on the company’s needs and preferences. If the company manages critical data requiring a high level of protection, if it needs great performance, or lots of storage space, or if rapid scalability is important – these things are not clear to most clients at the beginning of the process. Some know their former needs, but what was right a year ago can be outdated today, and here’s where our knowledge comes into play. We have to ask the right questions to open the doors to the best and safest solutions. We need to know what our clients are required to do now, and in three or five years down the line. There are so many options for protecting data today, and the decision whether to store on cloud, on premises or to use a hybrid model is only made after the client understands what they are required to provide today and in the future – so they won’t need to change the systems again in a year’s time.
ME: Storage as a Service sounds very good in an age where solutions are received as a service. But isn’t it a honey trap?
OS: When you think about SaaS, the client has to check the appropriate things to get solutions to issues such as: where the storage is located, as proximity is important, accessibility and performance, scalability or rapid reduce of storage volumes, and finally, to what extent the service they get from this model reduces the headache of managing a storage system, purchasing costly software and hardware, and constantly dealing with data protection. Once an external supplier provides these capabilities to the client at a monthly rate and at a high service level, it’s much easier for them to realize the value of such a service and conclude that managing storage in-house requires a far greater deal of resources than SaaS. Data is the company’s most important resource, and it’s important that the client be sure that when they outsource storage, the service provides the maximum level of protection, uncompromisingly, and without any attempt to cut back.
ME: Public clouds give you a run for your money in the startup world, don’t they?
OS: Availability and performance are indeed critical points. A storage system located on-site or on a cloud is worthless if, when you need to pull the data, it’s unavailable or queries take hours to receive responses. We need to understand something very important about the client. They have to divide their data into two groups: data that needs to be maximally available at all times, and data that is stored on a deeper level, such as archives or files we don’t need on a daily basis. Once they can differentiate between those data that must be readily online and data that can be in physical storage, organized in a configuration that is slightly less accessible, they can correctly configure their data storage in the best and least expensive way. This to me is very clear, when I meet clients and ask what they need.
ME: Say you’ve come to a medium-large organization. Who’s the important person to talk to when it comes to storage?
OS: I think it’s the infrastructure people, who eventually have to prepare what they are given by the applications people. The applications people outline their needs from the start, but the bottom line is that infrastructure specialists are an important factor – and crucial in making decisions.
ME: How would you conclude the subject?
OS: Clients today realize that on one hand storage suppliers allow them to choose where to work: on premises, on cloud, or on a hybrid model. Everything is open, out of the desire to provide maximum flexibility. On the other hand, the larger cloud providers make it quite difficult, as their requirement for major technological changes are the Achilles ‘ heel for storage suppliers.