Storage sushi?

I’m delighted to be back at work after having spent a fortnight on holiday with Mrs. PL and PL Junior in Malta.  I hadn’t been away from work for a full fortnight since Mrs. PL and I went on honeymoon almost six years ago, so it was nice to get away from the hectic pace of London life for a while and relax in almost perpetual sunshine.  This was our second holiday to Malta as we’d has such a pleasant and relaxing time last year, and if you’ve not considered Malta as a holiday destination …I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Many interesting things happened whilst we were away …a nearly three year old PL Junior ensured endless entertainment …but one of the more interesting occurred when we decided to visit Malta’s premier sushi destination.  Now …I know what you’re thinking …on a 70 square mile island in the middle of nowhere, surely the sushi will be substandard?  Erm, no as it happens …it was stunning, possibly the best sushi I have had anywhere in many years.  The fish was incredibly fresh, the miso soup was lovely …and the service was second to none.  I suppose it helps that the owner is from Japan and almost all the staff Japanese …but the thing which really shocked me was PL Junior insisting to eat a bowl of miso soup …which he loved …followed by his swift devouring of all of Mrs. PL’s salmon and tuna nigiri!  Who knew PL Junior liked sushi?!  The sushi chef was so impressed that he taught PL Junior how to bow and say ‘arigato‘ …which he now does just about everywhere.  So if you are ever in Malta and are looking for a good meal, stop by Zen restaurant in Portomaso, St. Julians and tell them the little boy from Mill Hill sent you.

What does this have to do with Data Storage & Protection?

Becoming a sushi chef is no trivial matter and can often take years.  When we tried to leave the restaurant, PL Junior refused as he was fascinated watching the sushi chef prepare the orders and wanted to watch more.  I have to be honest, I was pretty fascinated myself and was happy to stick around a bit longer and I’m pleased I did as the sushi chef explained something that I never knew about sushi …the sharpness of the knife and the way in which the fish is cut can make all the difference in the taste of the fish.  I know, I know …I thought he was having me on as well, but he cut me a piece of sashimi where he brought the blade straight down as well as one where he rocked the blade properly and believe me …there is a discernible difference!

I am sometimes asked by both customers and Computacenter sales folks alike, ‘If we don’t make anything, why wouldn’t a customer just work directly with the vendor directly?‘  A fair point, but I could try to make the same point with sushi.  It is, after all, just raw fish …and I’m quite sure that on an island surround by Mediterranean water such as Malta …I could find good quality ingredients.  But what happens when I want to make some mouth watering nigiri or sashimi?  And what happens if I want salmon and Mrs. PL wants yellow fin (as often happens)?  And what if there are other equally delectable types of sushi which I might love, but have never been exposed to yet …like PL Junior?  I suppose I could train to become a sushi chef …or find a nice restaurant like Zen.

Having read Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ recently on holiday, there is a very interesting chapter which talks about a study which showed that, to truly become an expert at something, requires on average about 10,000 hours of dedicated training and practice.  Now,  our Computacenter storage consultants retain some of the highest accreditations in the industry …and to be fair I’ve never asked them if they’ve spent 10,000 hours studying and practicing data storage …however, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them weren’t far off that number.  And here’s the critical point …they often have gained this experience across multiple vendor products and within customers which span right the way from banks through to merchants through the public sector …and beyond.  Indeed, I have storage expertise which spans several countries [USA, Ireland, United Kingdom, Luxembourg] as well as several vendors [EMC, HP, IBM, NetApp, HDS] and can happily tell you what I think works well and perhaps not as well given different business issues and drivers.  And I’m not alone …we have dozens of such ‘storage masters’ within our organisation.  Sushi storage masters, if you will!

We will continue to work with vendor partners who make exceptional storage products which help our customers to align their data to business value in the pursuit of reduced costs and increased efficiencies.  The freshest fish, if we are using our sushi analogy.

Our job is to understand these technologies at an expert level to ensure that we produce solutions which not only demonstrably reduce costs …but also do so in a way which is non-disruptive to our customer’s business.  How to produce the best sushi at the right cost, if we are going to extend our sushi analogy.

To do that takes expertise and experience not easily gleaned without deciding to become a sushi master …to know which fish to select to produce the best sushi …to know how to cut in just the right way to produce the best tasting product you can.

Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance in articulating how Computacenter adds significant value to vendor products in the pursuit of market leading solutions for our customers.

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