Innovate or Die: Key Takeaways From The Edge at Gartner’s Infrastructure and Operations Conference 2019

Innovate or Die: Key takeaways from the edge at Gartner’s Infrastructure and Operations Conference 2019

I recently returned from Gartner’s Infrastructure and Operations Conference in Las Vegas – Acronis was a sponsor and our own VP of Infrastructure and Storage, Alex Miro, gave a talk on Building a Secure Enterprise Infrastructure. More on that in a moment.

One of the highlights for me – between talking to customers one-on-one, connecting with analysts and catching a few illuminating sessions – was the opening keynote. If I had to sum up what Gartner’s three expert presenters covered in three words they would be: “Innovate or die.”

Frankly, this is no big shock. Gartner (as well as IDC and Forrester) have been preaching about digital transformation for years – decades even. However, it is the accelerating pace of change that had everyone at IOCS 2019 really beating this “war drum” even louder and harder.

Nothing was more aligned to this message than what distinguished VP analyst Thomas Bittman had to offer attendees in his session, which focused on edge computing.

Tom Bittman tweets out

The term “edge computing” is very popular right now. Acronis frequently pitches that we are the best for data protection at the edge, but “edge” means different things to different people. That’s why Tom set the table first, defining what “edge” means to Gartner.

As you can see below, Bittman defined the “edge” as the physical location where things and people connect with the networked digital world.

What is "the edge"

He then dropped quite a bombshell, especially given the “innovate or die” theme: “More than 50% of all enterprise data will be created outside the data center by 2022.”

When you consider the proliferation of handheld and IoT devices connected with 5G networks, this seems more than plausible. However, this reality also has some very serious implications, especially when it comes to data protection (or the lack thereof).

This forecast also plays squarely into the overarching narrative that Acronis has been sharing with the market for quite some time, summarized nicely below.

Digital World Protection Challenges

With so many devices generating such a massive amount of data on the edge, there’s tremendous, new complexity that’s creating security vulnerabilities. All of this new data also needs to be accounted for and serve a purpose. It needs to feed big data analyses and AI engines, for example – and so it needs to be routinely backed up, and its authenticity ensured to avoid data tampering.

These are just a few of the reasons why the launch of Acronis Cyber Protect (currently in beta) and Acronis Cyber Cloud for Enterprise are timely and important – these solutions unify cyber protection by integrating backup, disaster recovery, AI-based malware protection, remote assistance and security into an integrated solution.

Bittman also noted, “The edge presents an exciting opportunity to explore just how close the technology can get us to the end-user’s device. But high-performance applications need high-performance infrastructure from end-to-end.” In other words, enterprise data centers – both on-premise and off premise facilities – remain as critical as ever.

To address the innovation taking place in both on- and off premise data centers, Acronis’ Alex Miro spoke about Acronis Cyber Infrastructure – a solution that unites virtualization, software-defined network, block, file, and object storage into a single solution. It has multi-tenancy support and self-service abilities that help end-users track resources and also provides application-consistent snapshots of Linux and Windows VM volumes. Alex discussed key use-cases, including backup (“cold”) storage, object storage, as well as high performance (“hot”) storage.

Alex Miro talks innovation and Acronis Cyber Infrastructure

Final thought

By the end of the three-day gathering it was clear to all: For enterprises as well as service providers that urgently need to “innovate or die,” it’s time to rethink infrastructure systems, platforms, and processes in order to accommodate the growth of edge computing. To that end, Acronis Cyber Protect (at the edge) coupled with Acronis Cyber Infrastructure (at the core) creates a truly compelling value proposition.

I think it’s safe to say that we would all rather help our organizations innovate than watch them die. Make sure your organization is innovating appropriately, especially within the rapidly evolving edge computing landscape. I encourage you to take a look at Acronis Cyber Protect and request early beta access.