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Quick Answers to Quick Questions: Mark Greenlaw, VP of Global Marketing Strategy, Cirrus Data

By April 6, 2023Article

It’s been said that 2023 is the year hybrid evolves to multi-cloud for enterprises, driving the importance of data migration to the forefront of IT decision-makers.

Data is the lifeblood of the enterprise and now its movements have become even more complicated. In our quick conversation, Cirrus Data’s VP of Global Marketing Strategy, Mark Greenlaw, shared his observations on what’s happening with data mobility speeds, flexible storage architecture, and multi-cloud transformations.

M.R. Rangaswami: What are companies missing about how digital transformation impacts cloud adoption? 

Mark Greenlaw: The phrase “digital transformation” has become a sort of catchall to describe everything from the process of modernizing applications to creating new digital business models. In reality, digital transformation is not replicating an existing service, but using technology to transform the service into something significantly better.

Unfortunately, less than 20% of companies that embarked on digital transformation strategies have been successful. There are varying reasons for the lack of sustained improvements from transformation initiatives, but infrastructure challenges are among the top. The cloud offers relief from rigid on-premises environments and accelerates time to market.

Public cloud companies now offer flexibility, access to third-party ecosystems, automation, and the ability to truly transform services.


M.R.: What do you advise organizations consider before a multi-cloud strategy?

Mark: Companies have been moving to the cloud for several years, but not all clouds are equivalent. As cloud adoption has grown, different cloud services are ideal for applications, workloads, and business processes. Today, many organizations harness a mix of private, hybrid and public clouds. Selecting the right cloud service and understanding how it integrates into your environment is an important first step.

It can be a challenge to determine which cloud is right for each scenario, but once you’ve made that decision executing the migration is often a roadblock. A ‘lift and shift’ strategy without optimization, often doesn’t yield the ROI anticipated. We often hear from organizations that they are surprised by the costs of the cloud. And, once they have moved their workloads to the cloud, moving them between clouds can be cost-prohibitive without the right data mobility solutions in place.

As part of planning a cloud strategy, data mobility needs to be a key consideration. What is the strategy to de-duplicate and compress your workloads? Do you have a solution that will enable you to move data while it is in use? Can you move data between clouds without exorbitant egress fees? These are all questions that when tackled at the beginning will ensure your program’s success.  

M.R.: Is moving block data to a new environment a high stake move?

Mark: Block data refers to mission-critical databases and applications which are structured data owned directly by applications. The loss of block data can have a catastrophic impact on business operations. Historically, storage experts would spend months planning the migration of this data onto a new storage platform. Legacy migration processes were manual, time-consuming, and prone to human error. For one customer in the travel and leisure industry, their initial attempt to migrate their block data took 18 months and they only managed to move a quarter of the overall traffic. It had a serious impact on their digital transformation plans.

It’s also important to consider the difference between data migration and data mobility solutions. Data migration is for one-time moves from one platform to another. Data mobility allows organizations to move data between platforms accurately and without delays. Data mobility is essential to maximizing a multi-cloud strategy.  Whether you need to move your data for a specific project or you want the flexibility of continuous data mobility, automation and moving data while it is in use dramatically accelerates the speed of the process.

When you can automatically throttle the migration speed around usage, you have the ability to reduce the time spent and bandwidth used by up to 6x.  Designing a strategy to manage your data mobility at the beginning of your cloud journey will lead to increased ROI and a better overall experience.

M.R. Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of

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