WD gives consumers a cloud of their own
WD, a Western Digital company and a world leader in storage solutions for the connected life, has introduced its new My Cloud family of personal cloud solutions.
WD’s My Cloud is a complete solution for users to organise, centralise and secure the digital content from all of their computers and mobile devices and access those files from any device, from anywhere in the world.
By simply connecting a My Cloud personal cloud drive to the Internet, consumers get the anywhere, any-device access they can get from the public cloud, without having to pay monthly fees or giving up control of their personal data.
Jim Welsh, executive vice president and general manager of WD's branded products and consumer electronics groups, said: “We believe that there’s no place like home for the cloud.”
“Everyone is inundated with thousands of digital files scattered across multiple computers and mobile devices, and controlling that chaos is a challenge.
WD’s personal cloud is the easiest, most secure and most affordable way for customers to control that chaos, with access to all of their files anywhere, anytime.”
Research firm Gartner estimates that the average household will own approximately 3.3 terabytes (TB) of digital content by 2016.
In line with this growth of digital content is the explosive growth of Internet-connected devices, with the current US household owning 5.7 connected devices, according to The NPD Group.
The convergence of rapid content and device growth requires a new storage paradigm that gives consumers complete control over their digital lives.
Personal cloud storage is the new standard, allowing users to keep media and files safe at home on their own physical drive and then access them over the Internet with any PC or Mac computer or on tablets and smartphones through mobile apps.
Using the My Cloud drive, users can share files, stream media and access content anywhere with no monthly fees and feel secure in the knowledge that their cloud resides in their own home under their exclusive control.
Liz Conner, Senior Research Analyst, Storage Systems, IDC said: “Families are connecting, sharing, syncing, and backing-up numerous mobile devices and computers in their household, with the amount of digital data being created on these devices growing dramatically.”
“Personal cloud is an ideal solution to simplify the complex issue of organising digital files across various devices so that users can enjoy their digital videos, photos and music on all of their devices.”
Anamika Budree, WD Branded Sales Manager – South Africa, said: “These figures, although estimated higher than the local market, indicate that there is a growing trend towards multiple devices.
“The need for a personal cloud in the South African market is also apparent and is meeting the needs of users that require a central repository for their digital content.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”