Waterford Technologies giving an Expert View
Brendan Nolan, President of Waterford Technologies was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode we discuss cloud computing, file archiving, data storage growth as well as ITExpo 2015.
Below are a few highlights from our conversation:
TechnologyAdvice: What trends in file management have you noticed recently?
Brendan Nolan: Email archiving is a bit of a more mature market now. Email archiving capabilities are probably coming up on 15 years now, so we see a high adoption rate. It’s interesting to see people who’ve been looking at the technology for many years and they’re still trying to make a decision one way or the other whether this is something they want to adopt or not. I think on the email side, with more and more people now moving to Office 365, the email archiving conversation is still pertinent. Microsoft obviously does offer a solution as part of the Office 365 portfolio, but it’s interesting to us to see that a lot of companies, a lot of organizations are still looking out and are still interested in third party solutions, not just what Microsoft have to offer.
TA: What are some file management challenges businesses must overcome?
Nolan: On the file archiving side, the main challenge that most customers have is the pure growth of the data they’re managing. Again, our capability is built around reporting, so we have a very good capability to go in there and run our software and help our customers understand what data they actually do have on their file servers. Typically when we do our analysis, the customers are very surprised at the age profile of their data.
We regularly run reports and show people with files going back to early 90s when Windows started. A lot of organizations have a policy around keeping most of their data because they don’t know what to delete or what not to delete, so generally speaking, they end up keeping most of it. We have the capability to go in, we can do an analysis, and view the reports with the customer. We help them understand what they have and then discuss what they want to do with all the data.
Then we have an archiving capability where we can either archive the data to local storage or we can actually archive it using cloud storage. The time frame most customers are looking at is keeping files that are less than two years old, and keeping them pretty local on a file server. Then they look at any files that are more than two years old — and really when I’m talking about age, I’m talking about files that haven’t been modified for that time period.
If the file hasn’t been modified for the last two years, then chances are it’s not going to be modified any time soon. So we give the customer the ability to actually move that file to a separate location. We are very flexible about how we do that. They can move the file to alternate storage within their own network — maybe off the file server on to a NAS box. And ultimately, we can even allow them to move it into the cloud if that’s what they’d like to do.
TA: How are you actually using the cloud as a resource for clients? And do you see that growing in the next few years?
Nolan: Yeah, absolutely because I think the barriers or some of the nervousness that people had about the cloud seems to be diminishing. People are getting more and more accustomed to using it. We give them the capability to take their file data and move it. Obviously, we are using the big players to back up our capabilities, so we are using the Microsoft Azure platform and we’re using the Amazon S3 platform.
I’m surprised now, actually, when we talk to customers, nearly everybody seems to have either an Azure or an S3 account in some shape or form. So the concept of them actually moving data to those platforms ia becoming more and more readily acceptable.