Archive for September, 2009

Weight loss revisited.

25/09/2009

I wrote some time ago …24 April 2009, to be exact …about my challenges with weight and new initiatives using to lose four and a half stone to get to a slim new me by 09 September 2009. I won’t go into further depth about how and why I wanted to do this, although you can click here to read the archived Weekly View discussing this if you wish.

By way of an update, as 09 September has well and truly come and gone,I have had very mixed results. I had a full medical workup prior to starting and, whilst no specific problems were noted at the time by my doctor, it was observed that my blood pressure was a bit higher than it should be and …I should lose weight. I thanked him for his sage advice and got on with it. Five months on and my test results are marginally better, I feel a bit better than I did …but my clothes don’t feel significantly looser, I still have my dreaded moobs, and I haven’t lost anything like the amount of weight I set out to.

I won’t deny that I am somewhat frustrated by this, but I’m not one to sit idly by without analysing how I got here …or didn’t, in this case… and what to do to get back on track.

In its simplest terms, what does one have to do to actually lose weight? Well, wouldn’t it be a great excuse for not losing any weight if this were a complicated equation, but it really ain’t …[Reduce Caloric Intake] + [Increase Metabolic Output] = Lose Weight. Put even more simply …eat less, exercise more, shed the pounds. Whilst I have at times considered a ‘radical’ diet, such as a liquid diet for a few weeks or even months, I know that this isn’t really the answer. Given the equation above, simply cutting out the odd Krispy Kreme I’ve eaten …mmmmm, Krispy Kreme!… and reducing the odd gin and slimline or glasses of wine will reduce the caloric intake even further. But that isn’t the part of the equation with the problem, so loading that up isn’t really going to help. Nope, I need to increase my metabolic output …or, put simply again… get off my lardy backside and get into the gym as, the last time I checked, geeking out on my MacBook Air and creating home NAS devices with 802.11n weren’t considered contact sports.

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

I have been a member of a gym for almost eighteen months now, so the hardest bit …joining… is already done. The real challenge lies in actually going to the gym or, more to the point …making time in my diary to do so. In what I suspect is not an uncommon or isolated challenge for me alone, finding time to the gym when one works and has a family can be very challenging indeed. However, the gym doesn’t really care if I show up or not and will continue to take £50 from my account each month. Given I’ve been to the gym about three times in the last six months, I make that almost £100 a trip. Ouch. On the other hand, if I went three times a week as the doctor has suggested …that would work out to £4.16 a trip. And I would be healthier. And I probably wouldn’t have moobs any longer. And I would likely be around a lot longer for PL Junior as well as Mrs. PL getting to dress me in new slimmer togs.

So what we have here is a low utilisation problem and I am paying way too much for my gym. This is a challenge that our customers face as well, and I have yet to meet a customer who is completely happy with their storage utilisation. We know that, on average, a customer reaps just 40% utilisation out of their storage yet, just as I have to pay full whack for my gym membership, so they have to pay for 100% of their storage infrastructure whether they are using it all or not.

What to do? I won’t wax lyrical about how great data deduplication is …although it is and works a treat in backup environments …nor will I bore you silly talking about thin provisioning, zero page reclamation, universal connectivity, or grid storage. They are all fantastic solutions …nay, features… which warrant Weekly Views in their own right and do play a major part in solving the challenge of low storage utilisation.

It can certainly be a fairly complicated discussion, but, just as I know that balancing an equation will help me lose weight, one of the surest ways I know in helping a customer work through this potential minefield is by using the Computacenter consultative equation. [ROI] + [CBA] + [DPB] = Composite Solution Score …Return on Investment + Cost Benefit Analysis + Disruption to Production Business = Composite Solution Score. How quickly will I recoup my investment, how much money will I save, can I implement in a ‘cost neutral’ manner are but some of the questions that this equation helps us to solve.

Before I talk about one place where we’re using this equation today, I should mention that we employ this equation when working with all of our Tier One vendor partners and use both the Carnegie Mellon Capability Maturity Model and IDC Storage v3.0 criteria to help reach accurate scores …in other words, what I’m about to say would also work with HDS, EMC, IBM, or HP given different customer criteria.

That said, one of the more interesting projects on the go right now using this equation is a campaign and project we are running with NetApp and F5 for a major customer in Scotland. This customer already knows the great ROI and CBA they can reap from server virtualisation, but with a storage infrastructure stretching into the petabytes the next question was how to achieve the same with storage. We are currently executing a storage assessment and analysing the environment to show how, by consolidating a majority of their servers and much of the existing storage supporting these servers to a NetApp NAS environment, we will save ££ by reducing power, cooling, storage management and so on. And you may be thinking, why NetApp and not someone else? Well, to be fair, we did the initial indicative analysis using this customer’s specific issues and a comparative vendor matrix derived from the [ROI] + [CBA] + [DPB] and NetApp consistently came out on top as their technology which includes thin provisioning, universal connectivity, et al which result in particularly high ROI and CBA scores for this customer.

Put simply, we have been able to show our customer how we can help them increase their storage utilisation to save money both now and for the life of the storage deployment.

And as for me, I’m off to review my diary and make sure I get to the gym and increase my utilisation to lose weight.

Have a great weekend and, as always, please contact me if you feel we can help you save money with your storage.

-Matthew

Click here to contact me.

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Archived Post – On a slimmer me.

25/09/2009

ARCHIVE – Originally posted 24 April 2009.

If I am completely honest with myself, I always knew this day would come. It is difficult to see the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man like image not only staring back at me in the mirror each day, but becoming ever bigger over the past five years. I suppose the tipping point was when Google phoned Mrs. PL to enquire as to when they could pop round to take my latitude and longitude for Google Earth. That’s right, campers …I’ve decided that I need to step up my diet and lose four and a half stone.

So what is going to be different this time? Well, I went round to see the doctor who helpfully also told me that I need to lose weight but, and here’s the interesting part, instead of sitting and having a qualitative conversation about losing weight so that I’m healthier and around to enjoy PL Junior as he grows older …we had a quantitative conversation. Whilst there are all kinds of different diets and related diet medication out there, seems that people who count calories actually lose 50% more weight over the course of their diet …and also tend to keep it off for good. Why? There’s the obvious answer that they are consuming fewer calories, but scientists have discovered that humans, on average, need to do something at least eighteen times for it to become a permanent habit. Most crash or fad diets don’t actually change eating behaviour, whilst counting calories does help you to not only understand what you are eating but also ‘recalibrate’ your eating habits such that you consume fewer calories even after you have ‘finished’ your diet.

Now, counting calories is right up there with Mrs. PL plucking my nose hairs on the list of things I would rather not do. It’s boring and, frankly, a bit of a pain in the backside. That’s when the doctor pointed me to a great website http://www.livestrong.com created by Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France. Gotta tell you, love this site! You register for free and then begin counting calories by adding foods you’ve eaten as you consume them …with over 550,000 foods in the database, I’ve found it difficult to find any foods it doesn’t have and adding these to your ‘daily plate’ is as easy as a couple of clicks. Wait, it gets better! You tell the site how many pounds you want to lose in total and then how many you wish to lose per week and …presto! You now have the date when you will be at your target weight as well as how many calories you can consume per day to lose the desired weight. And there’s even an app for the iPod iTouch, iPhone, Blackberry etc. so that there’s no reason to not log your food …and so you can see how many calories you have left in the ‘bank’ as the day progresses. Fandabbydoozy! All being well, you’ll see a new lighter me on 09 September 2009.

What does this have to do with Storage and Software?

Gartner and IDC estimate that the average customer reaps just 40% total utilisation out of their storage infrastructure, and when calculating the Total Cost of Ownership [TCO] for storage we know that only 30% of the measurement is acquisition …the remaining 70% is comprised of OPEX [power, cooling, backup, physical management, etc.] However, in my experience many [if not most] of our customers are unaware of the low utilisation and TCO measurements. Why? I don’t want to oversimplify this, but I believe that sometimes vendors, and certainly our competition, would prefer to have qualitative conversations with customers regarding storage.

Customer: ‘I need more storage for my new datacentre project.’

Our Competition: ‘Of course! What are you using now?’

Customer: ‘Ermmm, an EMC thingy.’

Our Competition: ‘Fantastic! And how much budget do you have for the project?’

Customer: ‘About £1.2 m’

Our Competition: ‘Wow, are you in luck …we have the new EMC Vmax for exactly £1.2m!’

Or something along those lines. Never really talked to the customer about what type of performance was required, never enquired as to how many people manage storage now and whether the customer would like to reduce OPEX …nope, not a sausage. And this type of engagement is what leads to low storage utilisation and hefty OPEX within storage infrastructures. So what should we do and how can we differentiate ourselves as Computacenter?

On average we can recoup upwards of 30% of unused storage in a fat provisioned storage infrastructure by implementing thin provisioning, we know that the industry standard for data deduplication ratios is 40:1, and automated storage provisioning can reduce the number of administrators required to manage storage significantly. There are also other technologies that we can look to implement and deploy, such as storage virtualisation, but none of these technologies are ‘silver bullets’ and we shouldn’t market them that way. In fact, you might liken them to ‘crash diets’ which deal with unstructured data when what we really want to do is to reduce the amount of unstructured data we’re creating to ensure that we’re only storing data that is useful to the customer in question.

But counting calories is a pain, and so is counting data …in fact, most users are just not that interested in reducing their unstructured data as they feel it impedes on their productivity. In fairness, though, this is a qualitative argument and we need to be having quantitative discussions with our customers. How?

By baselining the customer storage infrastructure using our Storage Assessment and Strategy Service we can show customers exactly what their storage environment looks like today; how much data is there, what data is duplicate, when is the last time the data was accessed, who is creating the data in question, and so on. This baseline also shows us how the environment has developed historically and, once we understand how we got here, we can now make intelligent assumptions about what the environment is going to look like moving forward over the coming months and years. Most importantly, we can now have very productive and quantitative conversations about how we can implement technologies and strategies to reduce CAPEX and OPEX over time …and without being disruptive to the customer’s production business or leaving users feeling as if we are impeding on their productivity.

We can help our customers lose weight and, in a difficult economy, I’m certain that is a message which will find resonance.

Please contact me if you you feel a Storage Assessment and Strategy Service would be of benefit.

Have a great weekend.

-Matthew

Click here to contact me.

Indulging my inner geek.

18/09/2009

This week Computacenter opened a new branch office on a small nondescript street in the leafy north west London suburb of Mill Hill. There was no laying of a cornerstone nor was there any real fanfare …save for PL Junior screaming ‘hooray daddy!’ at the top of his lungs when the WiFi connection came back online and Mrs. PL stopped giving me the evils as she was trying to order more track suit bottoms from M&S.

To be sure, if you drive around Mill Hill looking for a new Computacenter logo board you won’t find one …if you haven’t guessed already, the new branch office is actually my home office within Casa PL.

Now, many folks have home offices and as the world becomes ever more mobile, home offices will become more and more de rigeur and less of a unique phenomenon. So what makes me special? Nothing really, other than I recently decided that prices had dropped sufficiently enough for me to ‘supercharge’ my home office’s IT capabilities.

*Warning: You already know I’m a technoweenie, and I’m about to geek out for a paragraph or so!

I have upgraded the sub 2MBs DSL internet connection, which uses copper, to a more stable and efficient 8MBs broadband connection which uses fibre optic cable. I have also upgraded my four year old Linksys 802.11b/g wireless router which transmitted at 2.4GHz …and was rather flaky at distance through Casa PL’s brick walls …to an Apple Airport Extreme Basestation 802.11a/b/g/n which operates at 5GHz and slices through the brick walls like hot knife through butter! I’m downloading at 8MBs from Mrs. PL’s garden!Also, the PS3 can stream from the new connection, and Mrs. PL and I were able to watch old Dragons Den episodes using the BBC iPlayer from the PS3 connected via an HDMI cable to our 1080p high definition telly. And, the pièce de résistance? I have connected a 2TB SATA drive kit to my wireless router with a USB 2.0 cable …et voilà! Casa PL now has NAS storage where we can centrally store all of our iPod music, videos, family photos, documents, backups, the lot …and with the MacBook Air I’m consistently getting 230MBs – 300MBs transfer speeds to the disk inside the house …and I have remote disk connectivity setup so that I can access our drives from anywhere in the world with an internet connection using a Mac, iPod iTouch …or even a 3Gs iPhone! Fandabbydoozy!

What has this got to do with Data Storage & Protection?

I could take the obvious route here and continue to indulge my inner geek by extolling the virtues of SATA drives and screaming hot wireless connectivity etc …but I won’t. Equally, some of you may know that I haven’t been feeling well this week and may rightly wonder where I found the time to do all of this. Well, thankfully I wasn’t squealing or snorting …and I don’t eat pork …so I think I’ve survived the man flu as opposed to swine flu, but would you believe me if I told you that I accomplished the above in a little under 37 minutes? Okay, I had a little help from our friends at Amazon.co.uk with delivery …but setup from start to finish, including opening the boxes …was 37 minutes. The speed at which we can now deploy IT, providing you know what you are doing more or less, is becoming frighteningly quick …and easy.

But why did I do all of this? Just to impress you, dear reader? No. You see, with the setup above …and my trusty and loyal friend the MacBook Air …I don’t think that I’ve ever been more efficient in my professional life. And, as practice leader in a business with 200+ sales personnel, 5+ tier one storage vendors, and 500+ hard deck customers alone …I need all the free cycles I can get! Yes, when it comes to efficiency I will admit that the shiny brushed aluminium and slim form factor alone of the MacBook Air are as difficult to justify to Mrs. PL as a pair of Monolo Blahnik would be to me …however, walking in to a customer meeting and being able to open the clamshell of the MBA and be able to work instantly? The native 802.11n wireless support? Not having to lug a 1.5 kilo hunk of metal on the plane? Access to the Windows corporate build via virtualisation software? Efficiency cubed. And the additional accroutrements of the new ‘supercharged’ home office add …nay, amplify …this efficiency.

In saying that, Mrs. PL really couldn’t care less. Yes, okay …she is supportive of any efficiency that means I don’t bring work home at night or weekends and spend more time with her and PL Junior …but 802.11a/b/g/n 5GHz NAS connected devices? She couldn’t give a Fig Newton …but when the wireless connection kept breaking down, or the internet was too slow for her to harvest her crops in FarmVille after PL Junior went to bed, or when the internet connection would reset every time the bleedin’ phone rang, or when we had to ‘sneaker net’ files with USB drives between her ‘puter and my CrackBook …you bet your patootie she cared, and I got an earful!

And so it is with our customers; I believe that the world has become almost evenly divided between those who view IT as a strategic enabler to their business and are prepared to invest sensibly (me, in the equation above) versus those who aren’t at all interested in ‘speeds and feeds’ and view IT as a service (Mrs. PL in the equation above).

Who is right? We .. and they …both are, and Computacenter solutions are designed to address both IT as a strategic enabler and as a service. But we aren’t stopping there …we are so confident of our ability to positively transform an IT environment to be more agile and a strategic business enabler that we are now prepared to have ‘risk / reward’ conversations with customers whereby we will underwrite the savings and risk associated with the transformation. Equally, Colin Bradford has me and others busy at work designing ‘Storage as a Service’ and other IT services which fit into managed offerings whereby we can sell a customer storage at £(x) per user per month.

The challenge is in knowing how to identify our customer’s business issues and ensuring that we articulate the answer as either a strategic enabler, service …or both.

Please feel free to contact me if you need assistance with such a journey now.

-Matthew

Click here to contact me.

11 September looking back …and forward.

11/09/2009

I try not to ask too much of people, but as you read this could you please stop for a moment and think …where were you exactly eight years ago today?  I can tell you that, at 13:46, I was sitting in my flat waiting for the the landlord and plumber to come round and fix the shower in the master bathroom which hadn’t been quite right since I moved in when the phone rang.  I had been working on a project in Dublin with colleagues from Atlanta when one of them rang me …instructed me to turn on the telly …and he would wait on the phone.  We both watched the single Tower burning for a few minutes …I hung up with him and, moments later …the second plane struck the second Tower.  My father in law was on business in NYC and I rang him to ensure he was okay …thankfully he was at a meeting in Connecticut …and next tried to ring my sisters who live near NYC.

By this time the lines between the USA and UK were saturated, so I got no response …and I was thoroughly convinced of two things …we were at war, and the Towers were coming down.  I will never forget just how helpless I felt watching this happen real time and remotely …I had already made the decision to live in the UK permanently ….knowing that many people were losing their lives and there was precious little I could do to help.

Hours later I was finally able to get through to my sister and, after we shared the shock of the day’s events, she told me something that chills me still …she was watching the local NYC television stations who were repeatedly broadcasting a banner message which read ‘If your parents have not returned home, please dial 1-800-XXX-XXX and someone will help you.’  With a three year old PL Junior, it pains me to think of what some of those children went through with their parents either stuck between Manhattan and them …or not coming home at all.  I went to bed feeling exhausted and raw…an exhaustion that would take some time to subside …but woke in the morning to understand that we weren’t at war and that, whilst tragic, the events in NYC, Washington DC, and western Pennsylvania were thankfully isolated.  With better than 3,000 aeroplanes airborne at the time of the attacks, no one had been quite sure just how far or how many targets the terrorists had targeted.

A few days later I did the only thing I could really think of to ‘help’ …I drove past Buckingham Palace with her Union Jack at half mast to visit the US Embassy in London to observe the moments of silence mandated by the UK government.  As Big Ben began to toll in remembrance, the entire city seemed to stop.  Buses stopped, people got out of their cars to bow their heads, it was the loudest silence I had ever heard …until the silence was pierced by the mournful singing of Ray Charles ‘America the Beautiful’ which played from an open top BMW stopped next to the embassy.

What has this got to do with data storage and protection?

Firstly, forget for a moment what this has to do with technology.  I’ll come on to that in a moment.  Take a minute and tell your kids, wife, parents …whomever is precious to you …that you love them and how much they mean to you.  If they’re not next to you, ring them.  Life is too short and there are no promises …so don’t delay thinking that you’ll do it later.

Done?  Great, me too and I feel better for it.

Now, technology had …and still has …a very real part in helping to heal the events of 11 September.  Whilst the loss of human life was indeed tragic, what could have been even more tragic would have been an inability to assist the families of the better than 3,000 murdered.  That companies in the Towers were able to stay in business post 11 September  is one of the unsung elements of 11 September, and one of the principal ways that these companies were able to help the families of those lost.

How did they stay in business?  Business continuity is the short answer, although it is slightly more complicated than that.  Folks sometimes (okay, oftentimes!) confuse disaster recovery with business continuity.  Disaster recovery systems, such as tape backups and the like, are designed to recover data in the event of a catastrophic event.  That’s great, but just how long would it take to recover the data?  Well, that all depends on how you are backing up data …when you are backing up data …are you sending tapes off site? …do you have systems ready to be loaded with the data from tapes? …and so on.  See, I told you it could be complicated!  Indeed, major technology consultancies such as IDC and Gartner believe that most major organisations would take 72 hours or more to recover …if at all …and statistics show that 90% of organisations who suffer a catastrophic event will be out of business in under a year.  What to do?

This is where business continuity comes into play.  Business continuity systems, generally comprised of data replication and related solutions, are designed to ensure that a business can continue to operate immediately following …in some cases during …a catastrophic event.  In the case of 11 September, some of the businesses within the Towers were replicating their data …real time …to London and other cities.

One such business, located on the top three floors of the north Tower, was responsible for 25 percent of the $3 trillion U.S. government bond business on any given day and could ill afford any data loss.  Their systems were designed to send any transaction in NYC to London immediately …and not ‘commit’ the transaction in NYC until the data was acknowledged and written in London within milliseconds.

They lost people …but no data.  And, as such, were able to stay in business on 12 September …and in fact, still are in business …they are Cantor Fitzgerald, and data storage and protection allowed them to help the 700 Cantor Fitzgerald employee families of the victims of 11 September.

The Computacenter Storage Assessment and Strategy Service [SaSS] is designed in part to help customers understand how best to leverage their existing storage infrastructures and build bona fide business continuity systems in a cost efficient manner.  You can find out more about the SaSS by clicking here.

Please feel free to contact me if you require assistance in helping to understand how best to leverage business continuity solutions.

Have a great weekend.

-Matthew
Click here to contact me

On vendor agnosticity …and being selective.

06/09/2009

When I was growing up, I had an Uncle Malcolm.  Now …nothing unusual in having an Uncle Malcolm, save Malcolm isn’t a very common name in the United States …and he wasn’t my uncle.  To be sure, Malcolm was anything but common …some would call him an eccentric here in the UK, whereas most people in the States called him ‘weird’ …and my father insisted I call him Uncle Malcolm out of respect.  You see, Malcolm and my father worked together …and when I was a kid I thought Malcolm was the coolest guy in the world.  A mainframe programmer who has remained single his entire life, Uncle Malcolm taught me much of what I know of small plane flight and also how to play ‘Star Trek’ on the mainframe.  I spent a lot of time with Uncle Malcolm when my father brought me in to the office with him on weekends to verify mainframe backups and the like, and Malcolm was a bit of a minor rock star in my father’s company …there wasn’t much Malcolm didn’t know about mainframes, and what he didn’t know probably wasn’t worth knowing.

And then a young upstart named Bill joined my father’s department …indeed, he has been recruited and hired by my father as dad was beginning to develop solutions to his corporate ‘open systems’ requirements.  You see, the young upstart was …a client / server engineer!  GASP, egads!  It is de rigeur and not uncommon now, but back then?  Well, let’s just say that Bill and Malcolm didn’t exactly see eye to eye!  Bill didn’t do himself any favours by calling mainframes ‘dinosaurs‘ …but Malcolm didn’t exactly take the high road either when he continually referred to Bill’s servers as ‘not REAL computers’.  Things somewhat deteriorated after that, and really came to a head when Uncle Malcolm caught me playing Microsoft Flight Simulator on an IBM XT PC that Bill had setup for me.  In the end, my father made it quite clear to both of them that he wasn’t about to buy flak jackets and UN blue helmets …get on or get out …and thus began a computing cold war which carries on between them to this day.

What has this got to do with data storage and protection?

The problem with Bill and Malcolm was that they were both right …and both incredibly wrong.  Bill was right to highlight that the open systems movement was the evolution of corporate computing …but mainframes were hardly dinosaurs waiting for a hurtling comet to wipe them out forever.  Malcolm was right to highlight the incredible uptime and reliability of mainframes …but open systems were ‘real’ computers and offered corporate users options and flexibility that mainframes simply don’t.  And frankly …who cares?  Their job was to understand how to solve business issues without bringing computing religion into it …and they both failed …miserably.  As a strange circumstance, I got to work with both Bill and Malcolm after my father moved to Texas to take a CIO position and his previous company needed help completing a three tier client / server implementation …in plain English, an open systems infrastructure for their order and delivery system which leveraged the mainframe on the back end and brought the best of both worlds to their corporate users.  Bill and Malcolm called a truce, and I bump into Bill now and again at industry conferences …and Malcolm is making money hand over fist as one of the few people who still know how to reliably make billing systems work on mainframes.

Over the past twelve or so months, some vendors have described me at times …quite unhelpfully and inaccurately, as it happens …that I am either ‘in love’ with a competing vendor product at best, or a [insert competing vendor solution] ‘bigot’ at worst.  Now …they do have one thing right in that equation.  I am a bigot.  I am a customer bigot and …as I’ve stated before …I have a religion, and I can assure you that it is not storage.  Every vendor I talk to is rightly proud of their solutions …and their job is understandably to tell the world that their storage is the only solution to solve customer problems …but the simple fact is that each vendor solution is applicable and ‘correct’ depending upon the customer requirements.  And I’ve not met two customers yet who both had the exact same requirements.

I’m a customer bigot and am only truly interested in how data storage and protection can help our customers both save money as well as remain competitive in their respective markets.  Okay, now and again I will feed my inner geek and get into esoteric conversations with either our consultants or vendor partners by discussing the merits of NAS and NFS/CIFS with traditional database and OLTP systems …or how stable grid storage systems which retain thin provisioning and zero page reclamation in the frame with universal fibre channel, iSCSI, CIFS/NFS likely represent the future of data storage.  But this is not a message likely to excite a customer …customers spend money to solve problems, and nothing of what I’ve written in the last two sentences gives any hint as to how these systems would do this.

My job …and, by extension, the job of our consultants …is to use our consultancy equation* to evaluate our customer’s needs and requirements with a view to recommending what they need, not necessarily what our vendors have.

Please don’t misunderstand my messaging here …this isn’t a vendor bash, and we rely on our vendors to continue to make great products.  But just like Bill and Malcolm were convinced that they were both right, the simple truth was that there were corporate needs which open systems solve and corporate needs which the mainframe solve.  How much better and robust their solution could have been had they decided to work together as opposed to slagging one another off.

Our solutions are designed to solve customer issues as opposed to highlighting the ‘speeds and feeds‘ of a one storage solution over another.  Will thin provisioning solve the problem?  Perhaps, but should we access the storage via fibre channel, iSCSI, or CIFS/NFS?  And what about data deduplication …will that help?  Probably, but should we be looking at inline or post processing data deduplication …or both?

The only way to know is to listen to our customers and articulate our solutions in a way that makes it very clear how our solution helps to solve that issue.  Please don’t hesitate to  contact me if I can be of any assistance in helping you take our customers on this very important journey.

Have a great weekend.

-Matthew
Click here to contact me

*The consultancy equation we use is [ROI] + [CBA] + [Disruption to Production Business] = Composite Solution Score …return on investment plus cost benefit analysis plus potential disruption to the customer’s production business to give us a composite solution score where we can fairly and accurately measure multiple vendor solutions.  It’s somewhat complicated, but feel free to contact me and I will happily walk you through how this works in practice.