In my latest CW blog post I talk about intelligent tiered storage and one particular implementation - Compellent. I find their approach to be smart and extremely valuable.
It is great how most of us embrace the new year with optimism and enthusiasm. However, it has been exhausting dealing with the economic clobbering we took in the last four months of 2008 - personally I feel a bit punch drunk. The biggest challenge we face in 2009 is uncertainty. In business uncertainty is an anathema and can have a paralyzing impact - which creates a vicious downward cycle. Many economists are encouraging those with money to spend, spend, spend - I agree but proceed cautiously. In my business I don't mind spending money but I do mind wasting it. That is why it is important to implement those things that will save and make money for your company. A simple philosophy that is easily undone and forgotten. However, we all must make this idea of save/make money our mantra. We often hear about how solutions and services can save you money but rarely do we hear about how it can make you money. The "save money" aspect is easier because IT is more often than not considered a cost center. It is the "make money" that is the harder concept and one that we often just pay lip service. I encourage and recommend a shift in consciousness around IT spending - to truly prioritize on that which can save and make money for your business. Saving money should be a priority - consider how much revenue must be generated to make one dollar towards the bottom line. You may need to spend to save - but when you make these decisions be sure to do the math - and get all the vendors to roll up their sleeves to help you prove it out. Yes, you are already doing this but are you really? Is analyzing and saving your company money your top priority (without hurting the business of course)? Is it the lens for which you scrutinize and challenge all your IT decisions? If the answer is yes - bravo. Consider any new product or service that will actually make you money - directly or indirectly. Remember that IT should be considered a core part of the business - whatever your business may be - and if it isn't then you are not doing your job. I spoke with a director of IT that implemented virtualization and networked storage in order to create revenue generating applications and services that would have been impossible to achieve otherwise. There is no way that the CEO could have figured out how to make this happen without the smart IT guy analyzing and executing on it. I encourage IT professionals to look through the save/make money lens - today and going forward - consider this awful economy the catalyst for this approach. I am sure many of you already do this but those of you who do not - make it front of mind. Saving and making money for your company needs to be a part of your daily consciousness that informs all your actions and decisions. I recommend to IT vendors and service providers to present your solutions and services in this manner - tell the story of how you are saving and making money for your customers - and provide quantifiable proof - not just a bullet point, presentation or report - but as a way of doing business. Next Blog: Ending Green/Clean IT Lip Service
A recent Forrester report - “Do You Really Need A SAN Anymore?” - challenges the value for having storage area networks (SANs). The title suggests a bold thesis and implies a new alternative to the status quo. However, it falls way short of the expectations created by the title. Go to my HDS blog to read my take on this report - Forrester Asks: Do You Really Need A SAN?
Dear Santa, can I have a good Management Tool? Check out the comments too - there is a good conversation on this. Here is my take: The problem with most (all) SRM tools - candidly - is they are a mesh (or mess) of different programs all glued together. In some (all?) cases - their foundations were poorly architected and developed - and then built on year after year after year increasing the mesh/mess. It seems to me - the large storage vendors don't have a vision that focuses on SRM. And they have made such a huge investment it is hard for them to step back. But I think a multi-year project building new SRM tools is needed - taking everything they've learned over the years and get it right. Sometimes it easier to build a new house than trying to fix an old one with lots of problems. And just like building a new house - there are better tools, materials and methods than what we had 10 years ago. Part of the problem is managing SRM agent software. What is needed is excellent performance, interoperability and easy management. I think a tool that provides efficient agent deployment and reporting would be extremely useful but rarely do the SRM folks think that far ahead. Smart agents provide a ton of value but if they are feeding a bloated SRM solution - what good does it do? Additionally, more and more small and medium-sized customers are implementing relatively complex storage networks - they can't absorb a big bloated SRM solution. However, they still need intelligent tools to manage their environments. With their limited resources, arguably, they need even more useful tools to help them manage and optimize their environments. I personally don't believe we will ever get to full heterogeneous SRM support with the level of depth and capabilities required. Having said that - yes there are some tools that provide specific capabilities for performance and capacity utilization. I think the goal should be to at least have the storage vendors provide a single management platform that supports all of their own storage systems in an elegant, smart and intuitive manner. For the emerging storage vendors - they need to start thinking "out of the box" more and focus on enhancing their management tools. The storage vendor that is brave enough to re-invent its SRM platform could win the game - or at least - have an extremely powerful advantage over the competition. No - it is not a 12 month journey - but if someone doesn't get started now - the problem is going to be worse in three, four and five years from now anyway.I have been reading a storage blogger and IT professional called Storagebod and he recently has been calling for better Storage Resource Management tools. He makes good points in his post called