Feeling The Pressure Of Big Data?

Feeling the pressure?

Over the years, data centers became fragmented, with numerous types of proprietary software living in silos inside specialized hardware components – making them complex and frustrating to manage. Today, virtualization helps absorb and minimize this challenge, but creates another: Server and application sprawl from explosive data growth.

Server and application sprawl will cost you

A sprawl of uncontrolled and poorly managed application deployments leads to ‘application unavailability’ that endangers an organization’s profitability. Numerous examples of this continue to sprout up all around us. For example, do you remember the Amazon datacenter failure? I always like to remember an article I read that states:

“As business becomes increasingly dependent on technology and information, availability is a universal concern for every business, in every industry…And  globalization means there are no more periods of  ‘acceptable’ downtime. At any time of the day or night, somewhere in the world, customers and vendors need access to your corporate information. If they can’t get it, they’ll go elsewhere – creating an opportunity for your  competition.”

David M. Fishman, Sun MicroSystems, Application Availability: An Approach to Measurement

I was young, and I have to admit that it touched me and created a sense of urgency. Maybe this is why I am so passionate about what I do today. Considering the problem of server and application sprawl, automation and ease of management are no longer a ‘nice to have’ they are a MUST. With this in mind, where do you start?

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Finding a place for your stuff: 5 top storage solution questions to ask yourself

Storage always makes me think of the late, great George Carlin’s classic comedy routine about stuff.

“Sometimes you’ve got to move, you’ve got to get a bigger house. Why? Too much stuff! You’ve got to move all your stuff. And maybe put some of your stuff in storage. Imagine that – there’s a whole industry based on keeping an eye on your stuff!”

Carlin had no idea. That’s because data – the kind of stuff IT decision makers lose sleep over – is growing at an mind-boggling rate and has made finding smart, cost-effective ways to expand hardware and virtualize storage one of their top priorities.

So how should you decide on the mid-range storage solution that’s right for your organization? Here are five questions to ask that can help you figure it out:

1. What’s the management interface? One claim virtually all storage vendors make is that their solution is easy to use, a benefit that’s usually centered around the graphical user interface (GUI). But don’t be fooled, it’s not simply about easy on-screen navigation – though that’s important. True ease of use depends on the functionality available in the GUI, elements like a visualized task flow, an integrated video instruction set and browser-based capabilities that allow for access from any platform. Remember, the degree of navigational difficulty that takes advantage of this sort of functionality varies widely between vendors. [Read more…]