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BW Businessworld

'We Have Invested Rs 800 Crore In New R&D Centre'

NetApp India vice-president and managing director Deepak Visweswaraiah talks to BW Businessworld about data storage, management and threats

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NetApp, a $5.5 billion US-based data storage and management provider, is delivering cost effective storage solutions to accelerate business with high quality risk management.

The vice-president and managing director of NetApp India, Deepak Visweswaraiah, spoke to BW Businessworld, on data storage, management and threats.


How big is NetApp in the Indian market?

We have around 2,000 people in NetApp India, out of which 70 per cent are in research and development (R&D) and product development. We have almost every function represented here from professional services to technical support. A majority of our resources are engaged in product development and engineering. In the Indian context, we are probably number three in the data storage and management space.

What has been the transition in data storage and management?
There has been a huge transformation in data storage, because at the end of the day, data has a lot of value for people and is a critical asset. If you have 1 terabyte of data, we at NetApp will help you store that data in 1/4th (250GB) of the physical space and de-duplicate as well as compress this data.

Corporates are taking decisions based on data because of its easy accessibility for decision making as part of our solutions. As a humongous amount of data is generated every day, we actually need physical storage for the same. Companies are worried about where and how their data is stored, who can access it, does it have enough security and how good it is for their business. The public cloud does not have enough reliability and hence the future of data is the hybrid cloud.

There are government regulations as well on data storage beyond certain physical boundaries - especially in Europe and some parts of Asia.

How much are companies investing in data storage?
Data storage typically falls under the IT infrastructure budget although; this is also going through transformation, because it’s not the CIO who is making all the decisions anymore. The decision has been moved to the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). The investment may range from 4 to 6 per cent of their revenue.

How is NetApp helping average people?
NetApp can be everywhere, where data resides. We are therefore at the back end of many gas stations; Walt Disney and some of its streaming services are managed by us. One of the world’s most popular smartphone brands uses our technology for its music app. We also manage a number of airports in India by supporting their electronic surveillance and data management.

What are the threats in data storage and management?
Data can be highly vulnerable, it is relative and you can’t really quantify the vulnerability. One reason is mainly because of the transformation in how people are able to easily move their data, and the sensitivity of that data, whether it lives on-premises or somewhere in the public cloud. The advancements in technology are available to both, the people who are trying to create the threats as much as those who seek to prevent such vulnerabilities.

It’s not only credit card data that is at threat; a growing threat is identity theft in financial transactions. The worst worry in terms of vulnerability is the amount of data that is available of a person on the internet publically. If you have social media accounts, other people can get so much data about you just from social media accounts; from your location, to your phone number, your habits, who are your friends. People don’t think twice about storing that data such as personal records, often leading to banking information - on public storage. That kind of vulnerability is high.

How is NetApp involved with the government?
We are involved in nine smart city projects, including Varanasi, across India where we are providing solutions to manage the data storage management needs and we are also providing cutting-edge video storage and analytics solutions. We are also doing a lot of work in IoT field as well.

What are your expansion plans?
We are going to inaugurate our new R&D facility in India soon and are hoping to hire more people. We have already completed the construction and our new center for excellence will enable us to focus on the innovation for our customers such as NetApp’s Data Fabric vision. We have invested Rs.800 crore and it’s going to be one of the largest R&D centres for us.