How M&A could really mess up our storage management efforts

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Fools jokes seem to have become an annual rite of spring in the tech industry over the past several years. (Mashable put together a nice roundup of this year’s April Fools jokes if you’re interested in how tech behemoths like Google, Microsoft and Amazon attempted to tickle our collective funny bone.) contributed to the satire yesterday by reporting that Lenovo had acquired IBM’s storage unit, including Big Blue’s IBM Storwize family, IBM XIV, IBM SONAS, IBM System Storage DS8000, IBM Spectrum Storage, FlashSystem, and associated software for $3.4 billion. The authors concluded the surprisingly real-sounding press release (dry marketing language and all) with the following caveat:

“It's a joke but it could happen as IBM is losing regularly market share in storage and Lenovo wants to be more powerful in enterprise. Last year Lenovo acquires [sic] IBM's x86 server business and the Chinese company already OEMed several storage products from Big Blue. Lenovo entered into storage with the acquisition EMC/Iomega in 2012 and has also some relationships continuing with EMC.”

What if the news was true?—a proposition that argues is plausible. Imagine the fallout for the team that would be tasked with integrating two massive IT infrastructures that likely span into the dozens of petabytes. Engineering data, manufacturing data, supply chain, customer and human resource information. Imagine the compliance issues that deal with the protection and security of this data from around the world that the new company would have to navigate. And that’s not even including the various disaster recovery policies the disparate data is under—and not under.

Knowing exactly what is out there would be the first step in maintaining order, but with data scattered around the world on multiple hardware brands, on-premise versus virtualized versus in the cloud and on tens of thousands of remote devices like laptops and mobile devices, it seems like an impossible task.

It isn’t. Powerful yet simple storage reporting solutions can audit the disparate infrastructure to identify existing capacity and actual usage, telling storage administrators exactly what is out on the network, who (users) or what (applications) are using it and how they are using it.

The new company could take that information to streamline its compliance posture, reclaim and better utilize existing resources and implement chargeback policies for better transparency. If done appropriately and with the right tools the new company could have a better handle on data management than the two separate companies have now.

And that’s no April Fools joke.

APTARE—the global leader in IT Analytics—is the only company delivering unified backup and storage insights for heterogeneous IT environments across on-prem and hybrid-cloud