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Paul Speciale – Scality – Interview

Paul Speciale – Scality – Interview

NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:03] Welcome to Disruptive Live. I’m Nayoka Oware, and today, I’m joined by Paul Speciale, the Chief Product Officer at Scality. Paul, welcome.

PAUL SPECIALE [00:00:11] Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.

NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:13] Wonderful. How are you doing?

PAUL SPECIALE [00:00:14] I’m doing great. It’s wonderful to be in London.

NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:16] Great. Please tell us little bit more about what Scality does and how it fits into I.T.

PAUL SPECIALE [00:00:21] Sure. So just on the company side, we’re about a 10 year old company. We actually had our anniversary last year. We’re small, but we’re global. We started in Paris, France. Now our corporate headquarters is in San Francisco, California. But we also have offices in London right here, Tokyo, Japan and various other big cities around the world. We’re a software company. So what we do is we have software to store all of the big data that’s coming at us. I’m sure you know that videos like what we’re producing here need to be stored somewhere. But think about huge image repositories, documents. We need places to put your archives. We have companies like libraries that need to store all their digital assets. We produce the software that you can deploy it on your choice of servers to be able to protect that data for the long term.

NAYOKA OWARE [00:01:05] Thank you for that. What’s the challenge of unstructured data storage and management and the type of customers and use cases that Scality help you?


PAUL SPECIALE [00:01:14] So the first challenge is how big it’s all getting, right? It used to be that if you had a gigabyte of data, that was a lot, I think about 20 years ago. Now, we’re commonly talking to companies that are starting at a petabyte or maybe even multiple petabytes. So just the volume of the state has gotten huge, right? If you go to the hospital and you need a scan on your body, one scan for one patient can be tens of gigabytes, right? so think about that multiplied times all the people that need these medical scans. That’s just one industry. So I’d say that’s one of the problems. But the other problem, of course, is all the variety of data, the different types of applications that need to store it. So really the challenge is to be very selective about what problems you can solve and what other problems you don’t solve well. So I think that’s the real focus is thinking about the use cases that the customer has and solving those very well.

NAYOKA OWARE [00:02:02] Okay. Tell us about the transition from on premises to hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments.

PAUL SPECIALE [00:02:08] Sure. That’s really all the rage these days. So for most of our history, we really focused on building the software for corporate data centers. So people that wanted to do their own storage management on premise, so they would have their own servers, they’d load the software on top and manage the data. About three years ago, maybe a little longer, we started hearing customers say, “that’s great, it works. It does exactly what you tell us it does” but we have this thing coming at us called the public cloud, right? So the question was, how do we take that data that lives on the systems we’re managing on prem and integrate it with the public cloud? Right. So one easy thing they want to do is, for example, take the data that’s no longer used and archive it up into the public cloud, something like an Amazon. But there’s a lot of other use cases. You may want to move the data up to the cloud for using some kind of compute service or using some kind of analytics. So that’s the problem that customers are really asking us for, is the ability to take the data and move it to where they actually need it. And that often is the public cloud.

NAYOKA OWARE [00:03:06] We are hearing a lot about public cloud and the edge iMT. Tell us about the emergence of edge computing environments.

PAUL SPECIALE [00:03:15] Yeah, absolutely. That’s another big trend. I think what you’ll hear now is people talk about big core data centers, but then you’ll also hear about edge data centers. So core and edge, IoT is Internet of Things. So that tends to define the edge, right? So what is the edge? It’s you and I walking around with our mobile devices, but it’s also smart appliances that have embedded processors. It’s cameras for surveillance and lots of other types of devices. Even cars are becoming smart on the edge. So all of that data that gets created on the edge needs to be stored and managed somewhere. So really what we’re seeing is new, a new emerging problem to manage that data at thousands or millions of endpoints, but to intelligently see that as part of the system that you’re managing on prem. So that’s really what defines the edge problem for us.

NAYOKA OWARE [00:04:04] What’s all the best practices in data management and security for customers? Hybrid cloud storage infrastructures?

PAUL SPECIALE [00:04:11] Well, there’s a lot of considerations, right? Because as soon as you start thinking about taking your data from your corporate data center where it’s safe and protected and you manage it and putting into the public cloud and you start getting concerned about it, right. So some of the best practices, obviously are encrypting the data. That’s one thing that people always do, especially in use cases like hospitals where we talked about all these medical scans. You want to store anything that’s unprotected or in the clear, making sure that your networks are secure, making sure that you have access control policies and that you and I are known to the system. So if we access the data, we’re not actors that are trying to do something malicious on the data. So for security, those are kind of the key things. For data management, it’s really, I think, all about knowing where your data is, right? If you have data in one place, that’s easy to manage, if it’s now in twenty places, you need something that lets you see where your data is. So kind of this global view of the data.

NAYOKA OWARE [00:05:05] Lastly, Paul, what is Scality’s product focus and direction 2020?

PAUL SPECIALE [00:05:11] That’s very important for us because we have to keep innovating and investing in the future. So I think cloud is becoming very important today. So let’s say hybrid cloud is today’s reality. But what we hear is multi-cloud. So companies want to not only take that on prem data and put it in their choice of one public cloud, but they also want to be free to choose other clouds down the road. So today I use Amazon. It’s my perfect choice. In a year it might be Microsoft Azure. The year after that it might be Google. I might need to make choices based on what the cost is, what the best service is. So we’re really working a lot on making sure that we have software that can enable that, that can give you choice and not lock you in to one particular solution. So we’re really focusing a lot on that, making the data easier to manage in this sort of multi-cloud world.

NAYOKA OWARE [00:05:58] Thank you so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure speaking to you.

PAUL SPECIALE [00:06:01] Likewise. Thank you very much.

NAYOKA OWARE [00:06:03] Thank you for watching.